The World Jewish Congress joins the European Jewish Congress and our Jewish communities throughout Europe in mourning the passing of long-time EJC secretary-general and friend Serge Cwajgenbaum z”l.
Serge was a pivotal figure for European Jewry who began his communal engagement with the French Jewish students union, joined the WJC in 1974, headed the French section of the World Jewish Congress and then served as director of World Jewish Congress Europe for many years before the founding of the European Jewish Congress in 1986.
Serge was greatly respected by all of the communities throughout Europe which he served, with great dedication and commitment, over so many decades and also by his colleagues and friends at the WJC. Serge was also a driving force in establishing Jewish communal representation towards European institutions including the Council of Europe and the European Union and in ensuring that the issue of antisemitism in Europe was treated seriously by these bodies. He was also a proponent for the fight against racism and xenophobia more generally, worked on building bridges with other faiths and promoted better relations between Europe and Israel. Serge believed strongly in paying proper tribute to the memory of those who perished in the Shoah and in the vital importance of countering Holocaust denial and trivialization while promoting education about the Shoah especially for high school students.
The WJC family’s thoughts are with Serge’s wife, Ruty, their children Nathalie and Raphaël and grandchildren. Serge will be sorely missed not only for his tremendous contributions to Jewish life but also for his endearing good humor. May his memory be a blessing.