European Jewish Association


It’s a challenging time for Jewish communities in Europe. Anti-Semitism is on the rise as populism and the politics of the lowest common denominator are gaining traction. Our communities often need round the clock protection and our practices and customs such as keeping Kosher are under pressure from increasing political interference.

The European Jewish Association was set up to deal with these and many other challenges.

Acting on your behalf, we are the leading, biggest and widest reaching Associations of Jewish organizations and communities in Europe.

Our associates represent hundreds of communities and thousands of Jews across the continent. We believe that there is strength and influence in numbers.

Our Mission

Our mission is simple:

  • To strengthen Jewish Identity and expand Jewish activities in Europe.
  • To defend Jewish interests in Europe.

We love being Jewish. We love the contribution we have made to the betterment of the world.

We don’t believe in a ‘behind closed doors’ Judaism, but instead one that reaches out across religious and cultural divides. A Judaism that engages, that influences, that matters.

We also seek to instill some pride and joy in people on their Jewish journey, from old hands to first timers and everyone in between.

In short, we exist for you.

Wherever you are in Europe and whoever you are; if you are a community or an individual we invite you to find out more about us, our work and why we do it.

Above all we invite you to join us and be part of the leading Jewish voice in Europe.

What we do

Based in the beating democratic and political heart of the European Union – Brussels, we have built lasting and meaningful contacts with the key decision makers and opinion formers in the Council, Commission, Parliament and various permanent representations and embassies. We also work closely with the Mission of Israel to the EU, standing up for Israel, promoting the world’s only Jewish State and creating political initiatives that run against Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)

We count Commissioners, special envoys, MEPs and ambassadors as our friends, colleagues and people who we can call on for help and support.

We also lobby on behalf of Jewish communities from Portugal to Ukraine and everywhere in between, whether that’s defending the rights of Jewish Students to observe Jewish holidays, fighting against bans on Shechita (Jewish ritual slaughter), promoting and supporting Jewish holidays and traditions, securing and safeguarding Jewish communities, schools, synagogues, Mikvot, and representing communities on Committees, at conferences and high level consultations within the European Institutions.

We also undertake events, celebrations and information sessions in the European Institutions. From Euro-Chanukah, Holocaust Memorial day, to cross community initiatives, we put Jews front and centre in any European conversation affecting minority groups and minority interests.

You can find out in much more detail about our work in the various sections of this website.

Thank you for dropping by and we look forward to welcoming you back soon.

EJA activities January 2020-January 2021

Our leadership

Rabbi Menachem Margolin

Chairman and the founder of European Jewish Association

Since graduating from Yeshiva in New York, Rabbi Margolin’s became program director at the Rabbinical centre for Europe in 2004, he quickly became general director in 2006, then four years later he became General Director of the European Jewish Association – Europe’s centre of Jewish activity.

Spearheading the direction and activities of this umbrella organisation and representing Jewish communities and organisations across Europe, Rabbi Margolin ensures that the EJA effectively lobbies European and national politicians to raise the profile of and support its initiatives to fight against anti-Semitism and intolerance and preserve religious ritual practice across EU member states.

Our Advisory Board

Régine Suchowolski – Sluszny

Advisory Board Member

Born in Antwerp (Belgium), September 25, 1939 into an Jewish (Orthodox) family. Hidden Child (from 1942 to 1945) at Charel and Anna Jacobs-Van Dijck’s home in Hemiksem, I survived the Holocaust. After the war, I returned to live with my parents while
retaining close ties with my adoptive family throughout my whole life. In 1960 I married Georges Suchowolski, also a hidden child (during the war) and we had 2 children, Roland and Sabine. After my professional career, when I retired in the 1990s, I started to be fully involved in “Memory” work (WWII/Shoah).

Fonctions publiques
– Chairwoman of the ‘Forum der Joodse Organisaties’ (

° Fighting anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia in Belgium in all its forms ° Lobby-work towards Belgian ministries to promote the Jewish position on a Belgian national level
° Promotion of solidarity with the State of Israel

° Conferences at the Belgian Parliament and the European Parliament – Vice-President of the “Hidden Child” (‘l’Enfant Caché’)

° Participation in the creation of the Association in October 1991
° Active on the official recognition of the status of the Hidden Child
as moral status as a victim of war (in 1999)
° Active for the compensation claim for Holocaust victims from both Germany and Belgium
° At the initiative of the Flemish adaptation of the “1954 Law” to its’ French (Wallony) peer version, concerning the final settlement of governmental (pension) budgets

Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs

Advisory Board Member

Born in 1949 as a son of a old Dutch Ashkenazi family whose roots are for many generations in Holland. Started working as a rabbi in 1975 and was appointed in 2008 as Chief Rabbi of the Inter Provincial Chief Rabbi Rabbinate. Worked for more then 40 years in Jewish Psychiatric Hospital, member of RCE in charge with Inter Gouvermental Relationship.

MEP David Lega

Advisory Board Member

Mr. David Lega is a Member of the European Parliament since 2019, and is part of the European People’s Party.
He is a Member of the Committee for Foreign Affairs and the Sub-committee for Human Rights. He is also a Member of the Delegation to the EU-Russia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee. 

In his political engagement, Mr. Lega aims to be a voice for people having most trouble being heard. He has therefore worked on multiple initiatives on children’s rights, both in his previous role as board member of UNICEF and in his current role as Co-chair in the intergroup for Children’s Rights. 

Previously, Mr. Lega worked as deputy mayor of the city of Gothenburg and was elected second vice chairman of the Christian Democratic Party in Sweden in 2012. He is also a member of the board for Jewish Homes for the Elderly. Before his political career, he was a very successful Paralympic swimmer and beat 14 world records during his swimming career. 

MP Konstantinos Karagounis

Advisory Board Member

MP Konstantinos Karagounis is a Greek Member of Parliament and former Deputy Minister of Justice, Transparency & Human Rights. He has also served as Chairman of the Parliamentary Friendship Group of Greece and Israel. 

He is a graduate of the Law School of the University of Athens and holds a postgraduate degree from the University of London UEL, with specialization in the field of International Law. He continued his postgraduate studies at the University of Edinburgh, specializing in the field of intellectual property.

MP Karagounis as a practicing lawyer has also trained at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He was elected as a Member of Parliament for the first time in 2009 at the age of 34.  In 2015, he was appointed as the spokesperson for New Democracy, which belongs to the EPP political family. 

As Deputy Minister of Justice, Transparency & Human Rights who held the position for one year and during this time was pivotal in initiating and passing the first bill outlawing racial, religious, ethnic and homophobic incitement in Greece. The bill included punishment for Holocaust denial and Nazi salute. 

As Chairman of the Greece-Israel Parliamentary Friendship Committee he was able to nearly double the number of active members to about 70. He has strong ties with the AJC, WJC, ADL and has participated in several conferences on Anti-Semitism. He has also visited the Nazi Death Camps in Poland and has travelled to Israel both on a personal and professional basis.

Highlights of his work on Greek- Jewish relations include his participation in the 4th Conference of the Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism in May 2013, Jerusalem. He also visited the USA in March 2014, where he addressed a crowd of 300 people during a conference held by the Congressional Hellenic Israeli Alliance, co-chaired by Congressmen Gus Bilirakis and Ted Deutch.

Maximillian Marco Katz

Advisory Board Member

In his current position Mr.Katz is the Vice-President of the Zionist Movement, Romania (ASR)

Mr. Maximillian Marco Katz was Born in Romania in 1959

with a background of Master in Tourism Business Administration and Management he was always involved with the Jewish affairs in Romania. 

In 2002 he became The Founding Director of MCA Romania – The Center for Monitoring and Combating Antisemitism in Romania

In 2011 he was a Founding member of the Forum for Combating Antisemitism in Romania and since 2015 he is also The vice-president of the Romanian Zionist Association (ASR)


MEP Stefano Maullu

Advisory Board Member

Mr. Stefano Maullu is a Member of the European Parliament since 2015, part of the European People’s Party.

He is Vice-Chair of the Committee on Culture and Education, and Member of the Delegation to the EU-Russia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee.

During these years, he actively worked on several political initiatives aimed to restore a constructive dialogue between Brussels and Moscow.

Previously Mr. Maullu worked as a Regional Councillor for the Lombardy region. He has also been President and Chief Executive Officer of the Outer Ring Road in Milan

Joël Rubinfeld

Advisory Board Member

In his current position Mr. Rubinfeld is the President of the Belgian League Against Anti-Semitism and President of the Jewish Coalition for Kurdistan

Since the early 2000s, Joël Rubinfeld has been actively involved in the fight against anti-Semitism and in Middle Eastern issues, being successively Secretary-General of the Belgium-Israel Friendship Society, President of the Jewish Community of Belgium, Vice-President of the European Jewish Congress and Co-Chairman of the European Jewish Parliament.

As an expert on issues related to the Middle East and anti-Semitism, Joël Rubinfeld is regularly interviewed by the European and international media, and lectured on these matters at universities in Europe, Israel and the United States as well as at the European Parliament and the U.S. Congress. He is the author of the Belgian chapter of the book “Les habits neufs de l’antisémitisme en Europe” (Editions Café Noir, 2004, France).

Borris Oks

Advisory Board Member

In his current position Mr. Oks is the Director for Development and Commercial Director of the Tallinn Non-ore Materials Plant, Estonia.

Outside of business, Mr. Oks has a rich history of public work in the Jewish community of Estonia.

Boris Oks did a great deal of work as Chairman of the Board of the Jewish Religious Community of Estonia, a position to which he was elected in 2004.

He carried out work on the return to the community of all its previously owned property on Karu Street, Luise Street and Rahumäe Street. Upon his petition, the community received financial compensation for the land plots on the Magasini Street and on the Narva Highway.

Oks developed a digital plan for the Jewish cemetery and carried out an inventory of graves. This has become the first such digital mapping carried out in Estonia.

He contributed to the transfer of the Jewish cemetery’s territory to the City of Tallinn, as a result of which the community ceased to bear the huge costs of caring for the cemetery.

Under the leadership of Boris Oks, monuments to the victims of the Holocaust and the victims of deportations were renovated at the cemetery.

He did a huge work on the construction of a new building of the Tallinn synagogue. The beginning of construction was preceded by a competition for the selection of architects for the building – a competition amongst firms that wanted to carry out the construction work. Boris Oks inspected the construction process, while all the construction stages had been carried out under his daily supervision.

Oks did a great deal of work on getting a grant for a major renovation of the Tallinn Jewish School, which was done for the first time ever since the school building’s construction. A modern sports ground was built near the school.

In 2008, the President of Estonia awarded Boris Oks for his great public work with an Order of the White Star IV class.

Doctor Ferenc Olti

Advisory Board Member

In his current  position Doctor Olti is an educational coordinator and negotiator for 16 Jewish Organizations in Hungary.

As a Doctor of Technical Sciences, Ferenc Olti held many positions in a number of Banks and Universities across Hungary through out the years, finishing his last position in 2017 as the Local representative of SOFGEN, a Swiss Banking Software Company based in Hungary.

Since 1998, Doctor Olti decided to engage more deeply and support the Jewish community of Hungary. Taking a position of a board member with various organizations; ECJC, EMIH, Hungarian Jewish Cultural Association, Hungarian Jewish Social Aid Fund, and Israeli Cultural Institute in Hungary.

Later on. he also became the Presidant of Scheiber Sandor Cultural Fund and the Chairman of Keren Hayesod Hungaria Foundation

His vast knoladge in technology alowed Doctor Olti to become the Curator the exhibition “Jews and Hi-Tech; from Einstein till today” implemented in the newly renovated Synagogue in Balatonfüred, Hungary.

He is also a writer of 2 Books, and 35 papers.


Jacob Max (Jaap) Hartog

Advisory Board Member

Mr. Jacob Max (Jaap) Hartog is the former the President of Ipor and NIK, Holland.

Born and raised in Holland, Mr. Max was always involved and active in his community. in his younger years he have been active in B’nei Akiva. later on he was working in the textile-waste business while staying a key member of the community.

Mr. Max has been the president of the Jewish Congregation of Enschede for 25 years in which period he had managed to restored the shul of Enschede of which people say it is the nicest from Western-Europe, he had also managed to restored the cemetery  of Enschede and the mikva. through their activities they were also able to merged the 3 kehillot Enschede, Hengelo and Almelo together and formed the Jewish Congregation of Twente.

Later on Mr. Max was asked to become the president of Ipor and after that to became the president of the NIK which is the Organisation of Jewish Communities in the Netherlands.

Mr. Max is now living in Amsterdam, along with his wife, Elize Zanten. He is also a father to 2 children and a happy grand father to 6 grand-children.

Kalman Szalai

Advisory Board Member

In his current position Mr. Kalman Szalai is the Secretary of the Action and Protection Foundation, Budapest.

With a long career and expertise in managing and monitoring technology systems in the European electronics market, Mr. Szalai decided over the last few years  to dedicate his time to working with the Action and Protection Foundation.

The Foundation’s mission was the creation, protection and promotion of  a sovereign, independent Hungarian Jewish identity. Mission accomplished. The Foundation‘s board of trustees now includes significant people representing the length and breadth of Hungary’s Jewish organisations, underlining the foundation’s commitment and consensus decision making to achieving common goals.

As a part of his role Mr. Szalai is also producing Anti-Semitic hate crime and incident monthly reports in Budapest and is managing a project that seeks to help law enforcement organisations address and define hate crime.

Danilo Medic

Advisory Board Member

Mr. Danilo Medić, current President of the Jewish community of Belgrade, has two and a half decades of experience working in both private and public sectors of Serbia as well as Singapore.

From 1994 until 2006, he worked as the Representative for TOPCON Europe in South-east Europe, in parallel – from 1997 until 2003 – being a co-owner of IDEA (largest food wholesaler in Serbia). From 2000 until 2001, Mr. Medić acted as the Vice-President and Board Member of the National Theatre, from 2000 until 2002 – as the Chief Financial Officer at Parking Service Belgrade public utility company. During the same period, from 1996 until 2000, Mr. Medić had been a team member for elections control against then-President Slobodan Milošević.

During Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Đinđić’s tenure, Mr. Medić had been a member of his cabinet (2001-2002). From 2004 until 2012, he was a co-owner of Dahlia (Serbian cosmetics company) as well as the Managing Director for its Singapore division (Dahlia Investments Pte. Ltd.) from 2005 until 2012, simultaneously – from 2006 until 2007 – acting as the Director of the Youth Committee at the Rotary Club of Singapore. In turn, after return to Serbia, he was the President of the Rotary Club Belgrade International from 2012 until 2013. Presently, since 2013, Mr. Medić acts as a Consultant for Saint-Gobain Construction Products D.O.O. in Serbia.

Before becoming the President of Belgrade’s Jewish community in 2017, Mr. Medić had been its Board Member from 2016 until 2017. Mr. Medić also serves as the Board Member of the Water Polo Federation of Serbia (since 2018) and holds an MBA degree.

Ellen van Praagh

Advisory Board Member

Mrs van Praagh is a long time member of the Jewish Community of Utrecht and is also the chair of the IPOR. 

Mrs Van Praagh is working closely with Chief Rabbi  Jacobs  to built and extend the community.

Ellen is  married to Gideon, a mother to two sons 2 and a happy grandmother to two 2 wonderful grandchildren.

She and her family run a family business in the heart of Utrecht for selling top of the line in the region of the well laid table. the business exists since 1926 as a family affair.

Mrs Van Praagh is an active in the organization as treasurer and chair and maintains contacts with the Trade unions.

Her goal in life is to keep Jewish life in Holland going and fight all wrongdoers. This to preserve Jewish Community for all the children and grandchildren in the Netherlands. 

Daniel Kapp

Advisory Board Member

Mr. Daniel Kapp is an entrepreneur and communication expert. Between 2000 and 2011 Kapp was press spokesman of various Austrian government members, most recently Minister of Finance Josef Pröll .

He initially worked for the Minister of Agriculture and the Environment for Wilhelm Molterer and from 2003 for Josef Pröll, whom he followed in 2008 to the Ministry of Finance . After the resignation of Josef Pröll also Kapp retired from politics. and worked as a director in the Vienna office of British strategy consultancy Brunswick Group LLP . Today he works as an independent consultant in Vienna. With over ten years in various functions spokesman Kapp was the most long-serving spokesman of the Austrian government.

Pascal Markowicz

Advisory Board Member

Pascal Markowicz is an attorney at the Paris Bar association.

Coming from a background of Law studies (Faculty of Law Paris-Assas University), and practicing as Representative of the Paris Bar association at the Civilian & Criminal Electronic Proceedings Committee (French Ministry of Justice).

Mr. Markowicz has always been a significant contributor to the betterment and protection of Jewish communities in France.

Treasurer & Member of the Executive Board of the Association of French Jewish Lawyers. Former Executive Chairman of the French Committee of the International Association of Jewish Lawyers & Jurists (IAJLJ). Member of the Board of Governors of the IAJLJ (world fédération).

Mr. Markowicz is also very much involved with Israel affairs

He also works closely with the Embassy of Israel (France), the Israeli Mission to the European Institutions in Brussels, Israeli MFA and Israeli Strategic Affairs Ministry, about BDS and terrorism matters.

Vice-President of the International Relations Commission & Member of the Board of Directors (CRIF), he is also an Expert on delegitimization of Israel, anti-boycott and radical islamic terrorism litigations.

Our Team

Tal Rabina

EJA Strategic Director & Head of the Israel Office

Tal is a seasoned Strategic, media and crisis management expert, working alongside EJA since its inception. For three decades, Tal has been serving as a strategic media consultant to leading corporations, organizations and high-level executives in the private and public sectors in Israel and abroad.

A former military correspondent for IDF radio and economic correspondent for Kol Israel – Israel’s national radio, Tal is widely regarded by key politicians, executives, journalists and opinion leaders as one of Israel’s most reliable media professional.

Alex Benjamin


Alex Benjamin is the Director of the EJA in Brussels. With over 10 years experience of working in the European parliament as a political adviser and communications director, he knows the EU Institutions, its main players and how to get things done for Israel and for Judaism. His tasks involve directing campaigns, liaising directly with key EU figures and generating positive outcomes for the Association membership.

No stranger to challenging political environments, he also worked for the former Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, David Trimble following the signing of the Good Fridayagreement and during the Northern Ireland Peace Process.

Ruth Daskalopoulou-Isaac

Head of EU Relations

Ruth is a lobbyist at the European Parliament and the Head of EU Relations at EJA since June 2019. She has been a long-time friend of EJA and a fellow professional working on Jewish issues and Israel advocacy on both EU and national level for a number of years.

Highly respected, knowledgeable and with an established and broad network of contacts across different communities, Ruth has been successful in raising awareness and mobilising support for a number of campaigns.

She is involved in outreach and training of young professionals and encourages others to get involved.

Nir Natan

EJA International Media consultant and spokesman

Nir is one seriously focused media consultant whose experience in international media relations means that he gets the different media cultures and how non-Israeli journalists think and operate. This is a vital component of our work.

With a Degree in Political Science from Bar Ilan University, Nir also walks the tightrope of the differing political cultures in Europe and Israel with ease, linking and tailoring politicians with counterparts that can challenge, prompt political debate but who won’t rub each other up the wrong way.

Yossi Beinhaker

Director of Communities and Organizations Division

Coming from a background of studies in Industrial engineering and management in Jerusalem, Yossi had became The Director of Communities and Organizations Division of European Jewish Association since 2009.

Yossi was raised on the principles of faith and Jewish Values and as such is finding great pleasure managing and organizing EJA international’s projects which ams for ‘keruv levavot’ and straightening the ties between Jewish organizations and Jewish individuals around the world.

Shaked Harel

EJA International Media consultant

Shaked is a graduate of the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. She studied political and government studies, sociology, and anthropology. Her previous roles include being the spokeswoman for Shacharit Think Tank, as well as research and production on Radio Darom. She is a social entrepreneur who focuses on creating and building communities.

While in University, she participated in the Stand With Us Fellowship program in which she was trained in diplomacy and activism for the improvement of Israel’s image in the world. In addition, she studied in the excellence program at Sciences Po University in Paris.
Shaked is a former delegate of the Jewish Agency and has
guided in the Knesset of Israel and the Supreme Court as part of the Citizenship and Democracy Center.

Rabbi Eli Edelkopf

Director, European Jewish Development Fund

The European Jewish Development Fund (EJDF) – an integral part of the wider European Jewish Association – acts as the engine room to the various groups under the organisational umbrella, allocating resources to where the needs are greatest.

Ably led by Rabbi Eli Edelkopf for 16 Years, as Director he ensures the smooth running of our targeted activities across the organisational spectrum, whether that be activities promoting Jewish education, advocacy work on combatting antisemitism at national, diplomatic and European Institutional level, Events and initiatives promoting Jewish culture and practice, Rabbinical support and resource allocation at communities level, Press briefings and trips to counter anti-Israel narratives and promote Israel as an innovator and positive force for good in world affairs, the EJDF provides the fuel and power driving the EJA and its pro-Jewish and pro-Israel mission forward.

Shlomo Dahan, Advocate

Head of the Legal Advice Division

Shlomo Dahan is the Head of the Legal Advice Division at the European Jewish Association.

Holding both a Bachelor of Law LL.B and a Master of Laws LL.M with specialization in Commercial Law and an M.A. in real estate .

As a specialist in Crisis managing, Shlomo is highly regarded and known for his ability to find legal solutions in an innovative way and whilst thinking outside the box. He has served as chairman and CEO of the Netanya Student Association, Shlomo is a social activist who has initiated social projects for youth and disadvantaged populations over the years.

Ethan Bergman

Youth Development and Creative Projects Officer

An Antwerp native with an absolute passion for Israel and Jewish activism, Ethan is responsible for the ongoing development and training of our bootcampers and diplomatic council members.
On creative projects, Ethan creates and oversees the implementation of unique, engaging and innovative campaigns designed to maximise youth and wider community engagement and maximise external engagement between the EJA and the wider public.
A key part of the EJA, Ethan very much represents the future of activism and inspires the next generation to come forward and play their part.

Our Diplomatic Council

Alexander Driessen

Diplomatic Council member - Netherlands

“My name is Alexander Driessen. I’m 27, born in Amsterdam and have lived there almost my whole life. Im halachicly Jewish, a Zionist and activist in StandWithUs Nederland. My field is Leisure and event management, but i’m more prone to organising in informal education and massaging (still a leisure field). I went to Israel for my internship and finished it at the Israel education center of StandWithUs in Jerusalem. I love to meet people from all over.

My personal goal in this group is to support other activists who need it. We have a network that can help each other and we should do that to strengthen our own. Besides that I enjoy listening to interesting people to make myself more educated, more reliable and more supportive of my network.”


Alan Mekibel

Diplomatic Council member - Russia/Spain

“In regards to my activism activities. I was born in Israel and grew up in Moscow, Russia. After that I went to Syracuse University and then ended up in Madrid where I studied at IE business school and am now still living and working in Madrid. I have always been outspoken towards Israel. In the US I was part of StandWithUs Syracuse Chapter where we hosted certain educational events. Except that I have never been involved in any formal activism except my own. I always have dialogues with people and try to educate them about Israel and the reality on the ground compared to what is in the media. For a few months during the Pandemic, I also had been using apps to join many different Israel conversations whilst trying to have a dialogue and support Israel while once again educating and clearing up any misconceptions towards Israel. I would love to learn from this group and get some “formal” training and continue supporting Israel in whatever ways I can. As well it will allow me to better understand the situation in Europe and around the world. Lastly, I  wish to know how to best react to the things that go on in regards to Israel.”

Noam Gaash

Diplomatic Council member - Israel/Spain

“As a son of Jewish Agency’s educational Shlijim, since a very young age, I have absorbed the passion of Zionism and Israel. During my years living abroad, I also have realized how antisemitism is a real and widespread problem. Furthermore, as an Israeli, I found myself very often as unofficial ambassador diving into debates in almost everywhere (travels in the world, international friends, social network ect.). Currently, I’m a Global Studies student in Barcelona (Spain) and also the secretary of FEJJE (Federation of Young Jews in Spain) and I speak Hebrew, English and Spanish. I’m very excited to be part of the Diplomatic Corps firstly as it’s an unexceptional opportunity to contribute in ‘live’ to our Jewish advocacy endeavors – at the same time of gaining experience and tools. Furthermore, I believe that being a part of a wide European network of skilled and motivated people is no doubly significantly powerful and surely will develop into a flow of ideas and knowledge.”

Aynur Bashirova Herischi

Diplomatic Council member - Azerbaijan/Belgium

“I was born in Azerbaijan. I moved to Belgium in 2005 as part of my studies. Currently, I am a PhD student at the ULB, writing my thesis on the development of Israel’s partnership with Azerbaijan since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 until 2018. My research experiences involve fellowships in several institutes, including Rubin Center affiliated with IDC Herzliya, where I spent one month. On many occasions, I also had opportunities to work with media and press, attending programs as a speaker. I have written several articles on Israel and Azerbaijan. I speak Azerbaijani, Russian, Turkish, English, and French.

There is a vibrant Jewish community in Azerbaijan, with Quba region being home to the last surviving shtetl, Red Settlement. I grew up in the capital Baku and had many Jewish friends around me. I always felt close to this nation. This is the reason why I chose these two countries as a case study for my PhD thesis. I paired these two together because there is limited amount of objective information about the reality of both countries. This way, I wanted to bring more clarity about their existence through presentation of dynamics of their cooperation. Through breaking the tradition and focusing on their positive, peaceful, and cooperative aspects toward each other, rather than their individual issues in other spheres.

I have always been combatting anti-Semitism and informing people about the history of modern Israel and its reality. I am delighted to be part of the DC. I met many amazing people here. I am confident that together with the network of so many bright and knowledgeable people we can do and achieve many things.”

Vanessa Roth

Diplomatic Council - Germany

“I am currently studying European Studies in my third year in Maastricht. I come from a small Jewish community in Trier and although I am generally connected to my home city, I am still open to learning new things and try to get to know the world! In 2018/19 I successfully completed the Jewish Gap Year “JAcademy” of the Lauder Foundation. Currently, I am mainly active in the Jewish student union in Germany, among other things I also support the Social Media Task Force. I recently co-founded a youth forum of the German Israeli Society in Trier and am on the board.

Above all, I expect to continue to be Jewish and learn from others from the Diplomatic Council. In particular, I expect to gain the skills to further strengthen Jewish life in Europe and working for tackling challenges European Jews currently face. The Diplomatic Corps will bring to me unforgettable experiences and meeting interesting people.”

Juan Caldes Rodriguez

Diplomatic Council member- Spain

“My name is Juan Antonio Caldes Rodriguez and I am a 24 year old islander born in the beautiful island of Palma de Mallorca, Spain. At the young age of 14 years old I moved to a boarding school in CT, USA. I majored in Political Science and Finance from Emmanuel College, located in the city of Boston. Currently I am finishing my studies in the field of Law at the University of Edinburgh. I have had the great opportunity to live in five different countries and nine different cities. I am fluent in Spanish, English and Catalan, and I speak a little bit of Hebrew. 

I am very much involved in my Jewish life as I am currently serving as the Director of the Public Affairs section of FEJJE (Federation of Young Jews in Spain). I describe myself as an unapologetic Zionist and I often participate in mainstream Spanish media to talk about Israeli politics and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I also work as an educator giving tours in the Jewish quarter of Palma and I am also a member of the Proyecto Shoa that consists of going to different schools and teaching teenagers about the sordid legacy of the Holocaust. I am thrilled to be part of the DC team. I hope that this new incredible initiative will bring us, as European Jews, even closer to each other and that we will be able to create a network of young political/social activists in working to spread more awareness about Israel and Judaism.”

Carla Halioua

Diplomatic Council member - Belgium

“I am originally from France but I have lived in Belgium most of my life. I am a very enthusiastic person that loves to meet new people and I try my best to make this world a better place. I am currently studying Law in Belgium and I would like to study International relations following my bachelor degree. I believe we all have a role to play in making the world a more free and fair environment for humans to live in, because at the end of the day I believe full-heatedly that we are all equal and deserve the same amount of respect and protection. 

As a member of the Diplomatic Council I hope to meet new people as well as work in group projects  because I am convinced that confronting divergent opinions and ideas leads to becoming more accepting of each other’s differences which is what I think is lacking in today’s society.

I am beyond excited to embark on this new adventure! “

Moritz Florian

Diplomatic Council member - Austria

“The Diplomatic Council is a space for young activists from all over Europe to connect, collaborate, and exchange ideas about our work. It gives me access to exclusive insights into politics and diplomacy, for example through closed-door briefings with high-level diplomats. But what really sets the DC apart is the personal engagement and conviction of its members. Through the excellently organised personal meetings and bootcamps, I feel like I’m part of a strong network of peers that will have my back no matter what. I look forward to a future of fighting together for the rights of the Jewish people and against antisemitism wherever it appears!”

David Fiorentini

Diplomatic Council member - Italy

“As a young Jew, coming from a very small Jewish Community, expanding my horizons through the lens of the European Jewish Association has been astonishing. Reaching out to politicians and other European leaders, raising awareness about the issues facing Jewish Communities and helping my fellow Jewish brothers and sisters is something truly meaningful and inspiring. Also considering my Jewish student activist background, being part of the EJA Diplomatic Council is always a stimulating and exciting experience.”