European Jewish Congress Holds First Sit-Down since Pandemic in Vienna

European Jewish Congress Holds First Sit-Down since Pandemic in Vienna

The European Jewish Congress held their firs in-person meeting since the outbreak of the corona virus in Vienna on November 10. Lithuanian Jewish Community chairwoman Faina Kukliansky attended.

The meeting touched on current problems of concern to European Jewish communities.

On November 9 members of the executive board attended a commemoration of the 83rd anniversary of Kristallnacht at the Holocaust memorial Judenplatz in Vienna. The same day EJC president Moshe Kantor presented a comprehensive plan to defeat anti-Semitism.

At the executive meeting Kantor shared plans for the coming months and emphasized the importance of teaching young people about the dangers of extremism and anti-Semitism.

EJC executive vice-president Raya Kalenova told board members about the organization’s activities and the delegation sent to the recent international forum to fight anti-Semitism in Malmö, Sweden. She also spoke about strategies in the European Commission’s recently-adopted plan to fight anti-Semitism and foster Jewish life in Europe.

EC coordinator for battling anti-Semitism and fostering Jewish life Katharina von Schnurbein spoke about recommendations included in the new strategy and about changes for the better they might bring to Jewish communities in the EU.

Member representatives relayed to the board problems facing their communities, including growing anti-Semitism, especially within the social media, lack of effective prosecution of anti-Semitic incidents and a general trend towards increased racism, intolerance and extremism. The EJC expressed concern regarding the attack on religious freedom which is affecting Jewish communities across the continent.

Israeli president Isaac Herzog addressed the meeting as well via video, and EJC executive board members were able to air their thoughts on the current state of relations between Israel and the diaspora with Israeli diaspora affairs minister Nachman Shai. Israeli ambassador to Austria Mordechai Rodgold was also in attendance.