Bootcamp- Madrid day 2&3

April 13, 2021

Day two of our bootcamp started with two special guests: Berlin’s combatting anti-semitism representative Mr Sigmount Konigsborg, and ACOM’s Mr Angel Mas who took our participants on an intensive session into modern manifestations of anti-semitism, the challenges of social media and how to fight back on campus and in public discourse. Both are heroes of ours and it was great to have them share their experience and tips.
We had a brief tour of Madrid before getting straight back into it with Attorney at the Paris Bar and leading French Jewish and Israel advocate Pascal Markowicz who gave us his take and counter arguments to the ICC’s announcement to investigate Israel, then we dove straight into an EJA team seminar on two threats to Jewish life in Europe: Shechitah and Brit Milah. Day 2 concluded with a great dinner where special guests from the Israeli embassy and Spanish MP and friend of the EJA José Ignacio Echániz. Then, well, we let our hair down a bit…
Day 3 coincided with Yom Hazikaron, and it was fitting on a day that Israel mourns its dead in defence of the country that we spoke about the positive impact that Israel has played in embedding normalisation in the hearts and minds of the Emiratis. Two masterminds of the the social media strategy Strategic Mr Yonatan Gonen who heads up the Arab language social media section at the MFA and Mr Ido Daniel who directs public diplomacy and social media at the Ministry of Strategic Affairs shared their remarkable and inspiring works as well providing tips and insights on how to manage social media relations.
We then went straight into a panel of leading Spanish Journalists for an exchange of views on Israel and how the media covers the region, before concluding with former ACOM President and former President of the Madrid community Mr David Hatchwell, who shared his incredible and inspiring story of how he got engaged in advocacy and the challenges and opportunities in advocacy work going forward. Finally, as we drew our bootcamp to a close, we talked about our Jewish Diplomatic Corps, which is the next step for many of our bootcampers….intense, fun, enlightening and constructive. The EJA, our partners the
ECJS (European Center for Jewish Students) and Concert – Together for Israel are building the next generation of Jewish leaders. Leaders with the right skills and tenacity to lead from the front. We are proud of them.

Additional Articles

Jewish communities under #COVID19

In these challenging times of #COVID19 , when we are all facing personal difficulties as well as community and global ones, the EJA is here to listen.
We have been receiving a lot of emails, messages and videos from Jewish communities all over Europe, sharing their concerns and challenges but also sending messages of hope and tips for coping.
If you feel like sharing your thoughts with us you are more than welcome to. you can send your videos to info@ejassociation.com or by whatsapp to 0032483362607

The latest reflections from our esteemed colleague and advisory board member Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs

I am a tightrope walker
With fear of heights

You probably know those images of a tightrope walker who has strung a rope between two gigantic high-rise buildings In Manhattan and walks on the tightrope with a stick in his hands. One slip and the show is over! It is vital that the tightrope walker constantly concentrates, does not get distracted, keeps his goal in mind and is not afraid of heights. In this week’s Sidra as well as in the Pirkee Awoth – Proverbs of the Fathers that we will learn this Shabbat, I meet myself as the tightrope walker. And on the eighth day he must be circumcised on the foreskin of his body (Leviticus 12: 3). In the Halaga, Jewish law, it is stated that although the Brit Mila, the circumcision, can be performed during the whole eighth day, it is nevertheless better to fulfill this mitzvah early in the morning. Keeping a commandment or any good deed should not be delayed! We learn this lesson from patriarch Awraham. When he was ordered by G’d to sacrifice his son Yitzchak, he did not postpone thatorder, but he got up early to do what was required of him.
Knowing this, the question arises: Why didn’t Awraham circumcise himself in the morning, but delayed his Brit Mila until later that day? One of the answers I found was that Awraham didn’t just think about himself. He wanted others to hear what he was doing. He wanted the entire society to stop idolatry. He hoped that everyone would realize that there is only one G’d and that He demands of the men to be circumcised. He understood that if he fulfilled this mitzvah early in the morning, hardly anyone would notice. And so, for the sake of publicity, he decided to do it later that day. So that others would be inspired.
In the Proverbs of the Fathers (chapter 2:1) we read: What is the right way for man to choose? Any way that honors him who follows him and at the same time honors him by the people.
From this we see that Awraham’s position is a general rule. In everything we do we have to look at the context. What is the influence of my behavior on my environment? Judaism is not black or white. On the one hand you always have to walk the right way, but on the other hand, depending on the situation, you sometimes have to choose an alternative route to achieve the same goal.
So life is a continuous tightrope walk. If you only look up, you lose sight of the road you have to walk. If you only look down, you will be overwhelmed by the fear of the abyss. Especially in this difficult period in which we all find ourselves, it is vital
not to think black and white. It will be fine and I will ignore all the adapted rules that the Government and the physicians require from us, is a one- sided and therefore completely wrong position. It is like that tightrope walker who has no eye for reality and only tries to reach the other side with his head up. But also just looking into the depths, seeing everything
black, letting your thoughts be determined solely by screaming terrifying media reports, is a wrong position.
I feel like a tightrope walker. I make sure that I am not getting sick by alarming headlines on FB, newspapers, radio and TV. At the same time I have to consciously observe new rules and good advice. I must not shut myself off from reality. I also have to realize that I am constantly observed and that my unstable behavior can also instill fear or indifference in others.
Dear people. Do not take this column personally. I just wanted to show you how I am constantly balancing. I am a tightrope walker who refuses to look down due to fear of heights. But I also know that only my view upwards is not the Jewish and right way. I try to keep my balance. Do you do that too!
Binyomin Jacobs, Chief Rabbi

Iran vs. Israel. Assessing the global implications

Our EIPA colleagues had a successful emergency special briefing on the following topic: Iran vs. Israel. Assessing the global implications. 

The escalating hostilities between Iran and Israel are sending shockwaves across the globe, as Arab countries join forces to intercept Iranian UAVs and cruise missiles. This unprecedented collaboration represents a seismic shift in regional power dynamics, illuminating a united front against Iran’s belligerent agenda. 

The urgency of this situation cannot be overstated, underscoring the critical necessity for advanced military capabilities and expert analysis to confront these volatile geopolitical complexities head-on. Immediate action is imperative to mitigate the looming threat posed by Iran’s aggressive posture.

Meet our esteemed experts:

  • Jonathan Spyer: A British-Israeli analyst and Director of Research at the Middle East Forum. With extensive experience in Middle Eastern affairs, he serves as the Editor of Middle East Quarterly magazine and contributes as a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.
  • Beni Sabti: An Iran Program Researcher at Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) and coordinator of the INSS podcast “Voices from Iran”. Born in Iran, Sabti offers unique insights, having served in the IDF and specializing in Iranian culture and media.

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The European Jewish Association is a prominent and influential organisation dedicated to representing, advocating for, and fostering the interests of the Jewish community across Europe. Founded on unity, tolerance, and inclusivity principles, the EJA bridges diverse Jewish communities and European societies.

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EUROPEAN JEWISH ASSOCIATION Annual Policy Conference Budapest: 20-21 June

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