The "Open Doors" monument was dedicated on June 21, 2009 at the Holocaust Memorial Park in the municipality of RishonLezion by then-Philippine Secretary of Tourism Joseph H. Durano, Israeli Minister for Improvement of Government Services MK Michael Eitan, and RishonLezion Mayor Dov Zur. The monument stands as a testament to the friendship between Filipinos and the Jewish people, and symbolizes Filipino compassion at its finest.
The project was conceived by then-Philippine Ambassador to Israel, Antonio C. Modena in 2005, as part of the Philippine Embassy's efforts to build awareness of this aspect of the historic ties between the Philippines and Israel. The Municipal Council of RishonLezion, which accepted the Embassy's proposal, adopted the plan and contributed substantially to the construction of the monument, including providing funding for construction and related civil work, including landscaping and lighting.
That same year, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) of the Philippines held a competition for the design of the monument and chose the entry of Mr. Jun Yee, a Filipino artist, over seven other designs. Mr. Yee was closely involved with the monument's construction, supervising the fabrication of its components for shipment to Israel.
Generous donations from Manilaners (refugees), their families, the Jewish Association of the Philippines, Philippine-Israel Business Association, the Federation of Filipino Communities in Israel, the Asian Ladies-Philippine Group, the City of Marikina and many other foundations and private individuals such as Mr. Simi Salpeter funded the fabrication of the monument. Marble tiles for the base were donated by Forward Romblon, the Romblon Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Romblon Law Association.
The dream of 2005 was finally realized and completed in 2009 under the helm of then-Philippine Ambassador to Israel, Petronila P. Garcia, in close coordination with the municipality’s Office of Foreign Relations under its director, Ambassador Itzhak Oren, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Israel.
In November 2017,the Philippine Embassy in Israel, in cooperation with the Municipality of Rishon LeZion and the Christian Friends of Magen David Adom in the Philippines, organized a ceremony at the Open Doors Monument in the Holocaust Memorial Park in Rishon LeZion to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Israel.
And during his official travel to Israel, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio witnessed a wreath-laying ceremony in front of the Open Doors Monument in Rishon Lezion on 05 September 2018 to highlight the enduring friendship between Filipinos and the Jewish people.
Three doors of increasing heights open inward to form a triangle, a common feature in both Philippine and Israeli flags. The monument base is tiled with Romblon marbles donated by the Romblon Chamber of Commerce, Forward Romblon and Romblon Bar Association.
In front of each door are etched footprints of three individuals who embody this historic moment in Philippine-Israel relations:
• George Loewenstein, who was among the hundreds of Jews who sought refuge in the Philippines in 1939;
• Max Weissler, who arrived in Manila in 1941 at the age of 11 years as a refugee from Germany, grew up in the Philippines, and presently resides in Hod Hasharon, Israel; and
• Doryliz Goffer, a Filipino-Israeli child born in the Philippines, a granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, representing the continuing friendship between the Philippines and Israel.