Message from Simon Bokobza
Created during the Second World War by French Resistance fighters as the Service d’évacuation et de regroupement d’enfants (Office of Evacuation and Regrouping of Children), our Fondation took the name Oeuvre de protection des enfants juifs (OPEJ/Programme for the Protection of Jewish Children) in 1944 and became an association in 1945.
Since its creation, it has continued to grow in order to carry out its mission of protecting children and young people in danger, adapting its mission to the changing circumstances of history. The concept of protecting children intersects with all the schools of thought that impact society, and continues to evolve. The ongoing debate among different players helps define its primary courses of action.
The Fondation OPEJ-Baron Edmond de Rothschild is faithful to fundamental human values, which are deeply rooted in Jewish tradition, and particularly in the essential value of teshuvah. Teshuvah affirms the capacity of people to get back on track after losing their way and to advance along the path to self-discovery. The Fondation adheres to the republican and democratic values that determine the legal framework of its public service mission.
In carrying out our work as an association pursuant to the Loi relative aux droits des personnes et à la qualité du systéme de santé of 2002 (law pertaining to the rights of persons and to the quality of the healthcare system), we see again that all people seek to be treated as individuals in all situations, and that all children and young people should have the means to determine the direction of their lives and to embrace their history. In the spirit of the law, we have adopted procedures for evaluating the quality of our work.
This is, for us, a necessity, as we have been entrusted by local, territorial, and national authorities to carry out our public service missions.
This is also a requirement, in view of our commitment to solidarity and social justice.
And this is a moral obligation in the eyes of our Board of Directors and our presidents, Baron and Baroness Edmond de Rothschild, today Benjamin and Ariane de Rothschild, who have always supported us with their presence, availability, and generosity.
Today, as in all periods in its history, the Fondation looks resolutely to the future and choses life, which is again what transcends its institutions and programmes. Life that is built upon fundamental human values that are entrusted to each of us, which we are responsible for handing down to those who will create the future.
The Director of the OPEJ