Raya Kalenova addresses Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism

EJC Executive Vice-President and CEO Raya Kalenova addressed the 7th Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism (GFCA), held in Jerusalem.

Ms. Kalenova took part in a panel discussion entitled: A Vaccine against Antisemitism: Education and Historical Research.

The main objective of the panel session was to emphasize the centrality of education as a long-term coping strategy for Antisemitism and ascertain what constitutes the fundamental knowledge required for every individual in society to hold regarding the learning of Holocaust history and its lessons.

The panel also included President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Marie van der Zyl; Kishan Manocha, Head of the Tolerance and Non-Discrimination Department at the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR); Eyal Kaminka, Director of the International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem; and Anna Bokshitskaya, executive director of the Charitable Foundation Russian Jewish Congress.

The panel was moderated by Yossi Gevir, Director of External & Governmental Affairs at Yad Vashem.

In her remarks, Ms. Kalenova laid out the role of education as an essential aspect of the EJC’s strategy, across all levels, from decision makers to police and law enforcement, to universities and schools.

“Raising awareness among decision makers about antisemitism is one of the crucial aspects of our daily work. At the 5th World Holocaust Forum, 48 world leaders pledged that fighting antisemitism & remembering the Holocaust go hand in hand.”

“Any strategy on combatting antisemitism must begin by addressing education across all levels. Just like with any other pandemic, the young generation must be vaccinated against the virus of antisemitism,” she added.

“Preventing antisemitism and extremism from becoming the norm is one of the greatest challenges of our time. For any strategy against antisemitism to be successful, it needs to be comprehensive across all levels of society.

“This means promoting education and research and identifying decision makers willing to make a difference and giving them the tools to make a difference. Most crucially, we need to double on efforts with the young generation,” Ms. Kalenova concluded.

The GFCA is an initiative of the Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry for Diaspora Affairs. The latest edition kicked off on 13 July 2021 and included appearances by President of the State of Israel Isaac Herzog, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Minister of Diaspora Affairs Dr. Nachman Shai and Natan Sharansky.

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