EJC joined the European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS) in celebrating 40 years of peer-led Jewish student activism.

Jewish leaders, Members of the European Parliament, representatives of the European Commission and international NGOs, joined EUJS alumni and young Jewish students from across Europe at a gala dinner in Brussels on December 2nd 2018, the first night of Hanukkah, to celebrate 40 years of European Jewish student activism.

In her keynote speech at the gala, Ariella Woitchik, EJC Director of Legal and Public Affairs acknowledged the important role of EUJS in empowering young Jewish voices and praised the EJC’s partnership with the youth organisation: “You manage to focus on the positive sides of what our culture and heritage bring to our lives, without ignoring the challenges we face.”

“It is so easy to get caught up with all the things that go wrong in Europe …. instead, EUJS plants the seeds of hope and solidarity in the minds of our future generations,” Ms. Woitchik added.

The gala dinner was also addressed by David Harris, CEO of the American Jewish Committee, Katharina von Schnurbein, Coordinator on Combatting Antisemitism at the European Commission, and MEP Heinz K Becker, Chair of the European Parliament Working Group on Antisemitism.

Former EUJS Chairs including Claude Marinower, Joël Kotek, François Moyse, Joelle Fiss and Olga Deutsch reflected on the history of the organisation, from its humble beginnings  “in February 1978 around a cold table in Grenoble, France”, and through its many accomplishments and challenges over the last forty years.

Attendees acknowledged the impressive work of the EUJS team, led by President Alina Bricman and Executive Director András Ligeti, and looked forward to the next forty years of strengthening Jewish communities and European society through student activism and advocacy.