Estonia Jewish Community suspends its membership from National Minority Council after inclusion of antisemitic board member

The Jewish Community of Estonia (EJK) suspended its membership in the Cultural Council of National Minorities on Wednesday after the approval of former EKRE MP Ruuben Kaalep as an Integration Foundation board member. The Jewish Community believes Kaalep holds antisemitic views.

EJK Chairman Alla Jakobson sent a letter to the Minister of Culture Heidy Purga (Reform) announcing the group’s membership suspension.

Purga allowed Kaalep to become a board member after he stood down as an MP at the last election and confirmed his appointment.

The EJK has been a member of the national minorities council, which represents minority groups in Estonia, since it was founded in 2008.

“However, it is with great regret that we find it unacceptable that a former member of parliament, whose contemptuous attitude towards Jews is no secret, has been appointed a second time to the board of the Integration Foundation,” Jakobson wrote.

The chairman referred to a 2019 investigation by Eesti Ekspress into Kaalep’s activities titled “Everything is one big coincidence! Or how Ruuben Kaalep continues to justify antisemitism”. 

“Unfortunately, you decided to reappoint him as a member of the Integration Foundation’s board, without taking into account the protest previously expressed by the Jewish Community of Estonia, regarding this person’s public antisemitic views, which are incompatible with the aims of the Integration Foundation,” Jakobson stated.


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