EJC holds Executive Meeting in Lisbon 

The European Jewish Congress held its Executive Meeting on 18-20 October 2023 in Lisbon, Portugal.

The meeting was held in cooperation with the EJC’s Portuguese affiliate, the Jewish Community of Lisbon (Comunidade Israelita de Lisboa), headed by David Joffe Botelho.

Members of the Executive expressed their full solidarity and unconditional support for the State of Israel and the urgent need to bring back the hostages taken by Hamas to the Gaza Strip.

They also discussed the current challenges faced by Europe’s Jewish communities and how to address them, especially in the context of the war between Israel and Hamas.

The meeting also included discussions on security, the rise of the far right and far left across Europe, and the dramatic surge of antisemitism both online and offline in the aftermath of the brutal attack by Hamas.

Considering the recent increase in antisemitic attacks across Europe and the urgent necessity for Jewish communities to protect their institutions and individuals, the members of the EJC Executive called on the European Union and national governments to immediately allocate the necessary funding for community security, emphasizing that the financial responsibility for security should not rest solely on Jewish communities during these difficult times.

Participants also had the opportunity to exchange views with H.E. Dor Shapira, Ambassador of the State of Israel to Portugal, and a leading expert in Israeli defense and security and a former military intelligence officer.

The EJC Executive meeting took place after the Young Presidents Organisation (YPO) Jewish annual summit in Cascais, where members of the executive, including EJC President Dr. Ariel Muzicant, and Executive Vice-President and CEO Raya Kalenova, had the opportunity to address the audience and present the work of the European Jewish Congress, discuss the European response to Hamas’ brutal attacks, and the concerning surge of antisemitic incidents.

EJC executive members attended a solemn ceremony at Shaaré Tikvah Synagogue organized by the Jewish Community of Lisbon to honor the victims of Hamas and express solidarity with Israel. The event was graced by the presence of the Ambassadors of Israel and the United States to Portugal.