EJA Zoom Conference with Jewish Communities Across Europe

April 27, 2020

It was our pleasure today to host a zoom conference with Jewish communities from all across Europe to share with each other the difficulties and how we are coping under #COVID19 just before the Pesach holidays.
we would like to thank:
Rabbi Arie Goldberg, Director General of the Rabbinical Center of Europe -RCE
Daniel Kapp (Austria), Member of the Advisory Board
Ellen van Praagh (The Netherlands), Member of the Advisory Board
Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs (Netherlands), Chief Rabbi of the Intern-Provincial Chief Rabbinate of the Netherlands
Dr. Emil Kalo (Bulgaria), Member of the Advisory Board
Dr. Ferenc Olti (Hungary), Member of the Advisory Board
Pascal Markowicz (France), Member of the Advisory Board
Fernando Rosenberg (Spain), Jewish Community of Barcelona
Konstantinos Karagounis MP (Greece), Member of the Advisory Board
Regina Suchowolski-Sluszny (Belgium), Member of the Advisory Board
Rabbi Zevi Ives (Belgium), ECJS (European Center for Jewish Students)
Maximillian Marco Katz (Romania), Member of the Advisory Board
Joël Rubinfeld (Belgium), Member of the Advisory Board
Saskia Pantell(Sweden), President of the Zionist Federation of Sweden
Leon Bendahan (Spain)
Hanna Luden (The Netherlands), Director at CIDI – Centrum Informatie Documentatie Israel
Diana Sandler (Germany), President of the Jewish Community of Barnim
Szalai Kálmán (Hungary), Secretary of the Action and Protection League - APL
Edward Odoner (Poland), Vice-President of the Social and Cultural Society of Jews in Poland
Rabbi Köves Slomó, Executive Rabbi of EMIH – Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation

a note about our next zoom conference will be published on our Facebook page

Additional Articles

Opening of the First ‘Chesed’ Centre in Odessa, Ukraine.

The First of many European ‘Chesed’ Centres operated jointly by the EJA and the RCE was inaugurated in Odessa, Ukraine.
The centres provide the free lending of of a large range of medical equipment to all.
The Odessa branch is one of dozens that will open over the next two months across Europe.
The unique project is a first for the Jewish communities in Europe, although similar lending centers exist in Israel.
Each lending centre provides medical equipment for people of all ages, from infants to the elderly, worth tens of thousands of euros. The arrival
of the equipment is imminent and the centre will soon be fully up and running

SUCCESSES IN THE FIGHT AGAINST ANTISEMITISM

It should become a tradition to not only publish major antisemitic slurs at the end of each year. There is now also a possibility to publish successes in the fight against antisemitism.

In 2018, there were a variety of important actions against antisemitism. Summarizing the main ones at the end of the year provides some counterweight to the annual report of the worst antisemitic incidents -- regularly increasing in pages -- published now for a number of years by the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
One important development is the expanding acceptance of the definition of antisemitism of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition (IHRA). One cannot try to fight antisemitism effectively unless there is a common measure of what it entails. By now the IHRA antisemitism definition had been formally adopted for internal use by the United Kingdom, Israel, Austria, Scotland, Romania, Germany, Bulgaria, Lithuania and the formerly Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. It has also been accepted by a wide array of others such as universities and towns including the cities of London and Berlin.
A second substantial development was successes in the fight against the BDS movement which aims to delegitimize the State of Israel. Legal measures play an important role in hampering BDS. In November 2018, Kentucky became the 26th American state to pass legislation to ban awarding state contracts to companies that endorse the BDS movement. The governors of all 50 US states have signed a declaration condemning the BDS movement as antithetical to American values. Chile has recently forbidden its municipalities to boycott Israel by aligning themselves with the BDS movement as a reason not to conduct business with Israel. Various municipalities in Spain have also tried to apply BDS to their practices. However, a number of courts have voided these measures, for instance, in Barcelona.
Yet another positive development is the appointment of antisemitism commissioners in Germany. This occurred at the national level but also in a variety of federal states. National commissioner Felix Klein has already addressed many aspects and incidents of antisemitism in Germany. He has, for instance, indicated that he intends to tackle the political distortion of reported statistics of antisemitic acts. Crimes against Jews by unknown perpetrators are registered as having been committed by extreme right-wingers, while attacks on Jews by Muslims are far more numerous than what is recorded. Among the state commissioners, Ludwig Spaenle of Bavaria has initiated a monitoring function that is slated to become operational next year.
The European Commission had already in 2015 appointed Katharina von Schnurbein as the coordinator for combating antisemitism. She has undertaken various initiatives, however has not been given anywhere near adequate resources to fulfill her task in exposing the massive antisemitism among the more than 500 million EU citizens.
A fourth important development is the increasing assurance of the security of synagogues and other Jewish institutions. Switzerland has been extremely negligent in this area. Finally this year, the first Swiss city, Basel, belatedly decided to join this process and assign police officers to guard the synagogue. This is an important precedent and challenge for other towns in the country.
A fifth important development is the publication of additional studies on antisemitism. In December, the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) released a report it claims is the largest study on antisemitism ever undertaken. It investigated twelve European Union countries and is titled: “Experiences and Perceptions of Antisemitism.” The study found that the most common antisemitic statement encountered by Jews in Europe is that Israelis behave like Nazis toward the Palestinians. Muslim antisemitism is mentioned as the dominant identified source of harassment of Jews in Europe. It is followed by left-wing antisemitism and right-wing antisemitism. It is a Europe-wide problem that due to poor follow up, most victims of antisemitic incidents do not complain to the authorities.
There are many other incidental or smaller issues of importance. One was a French manifesto against Muslim antisemitism that was signed by 250 Jewish and non-Jewish personalities. This document sums up the main elements of violence and incitement against Jews emanating from parts of this immigrant community. One can only hope next year others will follow in those footsteps and expose what a variety of European governments try to hide or whitewash. Fifteen years too late, French President Emmanuel Macron has formally accepted that the murder of Jewish disk jockey DJ Sebastien Sellam in 2003 by a Muslim neighbor was an antisemitic act.
The Council of the European Union (EU) approved the first declaration of its kind to fight antisemitism and strengthen the security of Jewish communities in Europe. Outgoing US Ambassador Nikki Haley castigated the UN saying, “We will not tolerate a situation that a world body of 198 countries can spend half their time attacking one country: Israel.”
British media such as The Daily Mail and The Daily Telegraph have exposed the substantial antisemitism in the British Labour Party, which is led by Jeremy Corbyn, a friend of genocidal terrorists, associate of Holocaust deniers, anti-Israel inciter and part-time antisemite.
There are many other meritorious acts against antisemitism by individuals. Alyssa Milano refused to speak at the Women’s March in the US after two of its leaders Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour refused to break ties with the leading US antisemite Louis Farrakhan. Another important development was the firing of extreme anti-Israel inciter Marc Lamont, by CNN.
It should become a tradition to not only publish major antisemitic slurs at the end of each year. There is now also a possibility to publish successes in the fight against antisemitism.
Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld is the emeritus chairman of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Journal for the Study of Antisemitism, and the International Leadership Award by the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
The article was published in The JPost

German antisemitism Czar comments about public kippah wearing are a “surrender to hate” say EU Jewish Heads

“Is this the solution? Will the next advice be for me to cut off my beard? Or change my name?” asks Chief Rabbi Jacobs.
EU Jewish Association (EJA) Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin and Head of Governmental relations for the Rabbinical Centre of Europe Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs (Netherlands) today expressed their disappointment and alarm at comments made by Germany’s respected antisemitism co-ordinatior, Dr Felix Klein, where he said that he wouldn’t advise Jews to wear Kippot (skullcaps) in some parts of the country.

The heads, representing hundreds of communities across Europe, said the comments, however well-intended towards the safety of Jews in Germany amounted to a policy of a surrender towards hate.
In a statement EJA head Rabbi Margolin said,
“It is with disappointment and alarm that I read the comments of Dr. Felix Klein. It is clear that through his work he has put the safety and welfare of the Jewish Community in Germany first, but his latest comments are a surrender to hate.
Jews cannot surrender to those who despise us. We do not alter who we are to placate the basest instincts of humanity. Dr Klein’s solution appears to be hide everything that is Jewish and then there is no antisemitism. This is a dangerous position to adopt and the EJA repudiates it in the strongest possible terms.”
Chief Rabbi Jacobs added:
“Dr Klein rightly points out the problem of antisemitism in Germany, but his well meant advice is not, to my humble opinion, the solution at all. What is next? Should I shave off my beard? Change my name? This is the road where his comments lead to. My own parents had to hide during the Nazi period. I simply refuse to hide today, nor should anyone, least of all the man tasked with fighting antisemitism in Germany, be asking us to do just that.”
Read more in dutch HERE

Letter to the President of the European Commission about the ban of kosher slaughter

Additional Communities
United Kingdom
Ukraine
Schweiz
Switzerland
Spain
Slovakia
Serbia
Russia
Romania
Portugal
Poland