The European Jewish Congress (EJC) held its Executive Meeting in Prague, Czech Republic on 4 June 2018.
Members of the Executive were warmly welcomed by EJC President Moshe Kantor and by Petr Papoušek, President of the Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic.
The meeting started with a report on activities by EJC Executive Vice-President and CEO Raya Kalenova and EJC Director of Legal and Public Affairs, Ariella Woitchik, which included the organisation’s advocacy efforts at the European Parliament and at other national, international and supranational levels, as well as EJC’s high-level meetings, campaigns and calls to action addressed to Jewish communities.
With growing concerns over existing and upcoming restrictions to religious freedom in Europe, which already have nefarious effects on European Jewry, the EJC Executive unanimously approved a Resolution calling on the creation of an EJC Task Force aiming at addressing the state of Religious Rights from a Jewish perspective in Europe.
Yaron Nadbornik, President of the Council of Jewish Congregations in Finland, gave a presentation on the joint efforts of the Nordic Jewish Communities’ Council of Presidents in opposing the legislative initiative to criminalise circumcision in Iceland, which was rejected in committee by the Icelandic Parliament (Althing).
As the 2019 European Elections approach, and with the rising populist challenge from both far right and far left, EJC Director of EU Affairs Nuno Wahnon Martins updated the Executive on the latest developments in the European political landscape. The spread of extremism threatens the European political centre and results in a proliferation of antisemitic discourse. These developments require a decisive response from the Jewish street.
EJC President Moshe Kantor reminded the Executive of the necessity of communicating to the non-Jewish street that the rise of antisemitism and extremism is a pressing challenge not only for Jewish life in Europe, but also for society as a whole.
Ariel Muzicant, Vice-President in charge of security and crisis management, and Ophir Revach, CEO of Security and Crisis Center by EJC (SACC) briefed the Executive on the accomplishments achieved by the SACC over the past year towards strengthening the security of Jewish communities.
Concluding the Executive Meeting, Yohan Benizri, President of the Coordinating Committee of Belgian Jewish Organizations (CCOJB) gave an overview on the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’) and its impact on Jewish communities and organisations, including practical suggestions on its application.
The Meeting took place after the unveiling ceremony of the monument presented in the scope of the Fourth International “Let my People live!” Forum to the Terezin Memorial by the EJC and its President Moshe Kantor in memory of the victims of Theresienstadt and all concentration and death camps.