The European Jewish Congress (EJC) bestows Mag. Wolfgang Sobotka, President of the Austrian National Council, with the 2024 Golden Vision Award in recognition of his long-standing support for the Austrian Jewish community and his commitment to combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life.
In his role as President of the Austrian National Council, the principal legislative chamber of the Austrian Parliament, Wolfgang Sobotka has exhibited extraordinary dedication to the well-being of Austrian Jews, actively engaging in initiatives to commemorate the Holocaust, tirelessly advocating for the fight against antisemitism, and promoting and protecting Jewish culture and traditions.
His work has not only strengthened the bonds between the Austrian government and the Jewish community but has also contributed to fostering a more diverse and welcoming society.
Dr Ariel Muzicant, President of the EJC, presented the Golden Vision Award on behalf of EJC’s affiliated Jewish communities to President Sobotka during a ceremony held in the Austrian Parliament in the presence of Jewish leaders from over 30 countries across Europe and beyond.
“Mag. Sobotka has always been on our side, both in moments of joy and sorrow, especially during these difficult times for Jews all over the world. As antisemitism rises in Europe and in Austria alike, we are proud to have Mr. Sobotka as a true friend.” Dr Muzicant said.
“In the last 54 years since I have had the privilege to represent the Jewish people in different positions, from “Let my people go” to President of the EJC, the Jewish-Austrian relationship has resembled a roller-coaster ride. But I cannot remember any time where the situation of Austrian Jewry was as good as in the last 5 years. Therefore, lately in many speeches I express how proud I am to be an Austrian Jew. President Sobotka is one of the personalities responsible for this Austrian development and that is why he deserves this recognition.” Dr Ariel Muzicant concluded.
“This recognition touches my heart deeply. It is not just an acknowledgment of the Republic of Austria’s critical efforts, but a symbol of the collective dedication to a society without hate and where diversity thrives. Antisemitism is not only an affront to the Jewish community but a direct threat to the very core of our democracy and values of the free world. This award reinforces our shared commitment to combatting antisemitism from all sides, preserving the richness of Jewish heritage, and nurturing a democratic spirit that embraces every citizen, irrespective of their background,” Wolfgang Sobotka commented.
The Golden Vision Award is the highest honour of the European Jewish Congress, bestowed upon personalities for their outstanding intellectual contribution to a more inclusive world where antisemitism is not tolerated.
The European Jewish Congress strongly supports the honour and recognition of public figures who stand firm against all forms of antisemitism and work towards securing a vibrant and prosperous Jewish future in Europe and beyond.
The Golden Vision award was presented for the first time in 2018 to Ambassador Ronald S. Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress, for “devoting his life to the flourishing of Judaism, helping Jews reconnect with their roots and helping rebuild Jewish communities across the world” and to Lithuanian writer Ruta Vanagaite for her courage in shedding light upon one of the most troubling chapters in Lithuanian history.
In 2020, the Golden Vision Award was bestowed on Pope Francis in recognition of his message of brotherhood between Christians and Jews as a living testimony of love and trust in the future of humanity, and his unrelenting commitment to younger generations and promoting solutions to the moral and ethical challenges of our time
Credits of the picture: IKG/Schmidl