OUR HISTORY

Over 30 years ago, European Jewish communities decided to merge their activities and unite their efforts.

The European Jewish Congress (EJC) was officially established as a new and independent structure in 1986. Previously, European Jewish issues were dealt with by the European branch of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), first based in London, before moving to Paris in 1980.

The EJC is today the regional affiliate of the WJC. As the sole political representative organisation of European Jewry, the EJC protects the interests of its affiliated communities, working daily with European Union institutions and officials, the Council of Europe (where the EJC has participatory status) and national governments and parliaments.

The EJC was created to give a unified voice to Jewish communities around Europe, representing their common interests and concerns, but at the same time allowing smaller Jewish communities a wider platform to express their specific needs.

The EJC acts as an intimate forum between communities, where ideas can be exchanged easily, and internal elections and referenda decide future leadership, projects and goals. Since its establishment, the EJC has developed and expanded in order to meet the constantly changing and enlarging European Union (EU).

With the collapse of the communist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe, and finally the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989, the EJC enlarged the scope of its representation and activities to encompass those Jewish communities in the former Soviet Union.

Today, the wide political and geographical representation of the EJC matches that of the Council of Europe. Based in Brussels, the EJC federates and co-ordinates 42 national Jewish communities in Europe, encompassing approximately 2.5 million Jews.

Events & Meetings

EJC holds online Directors’ Meeting

The European Jewish Congress held its annual meeting of Directors of Jewish communities online. Over thirty directors, professionals and experts from Jewish communities came together to discuss recent developments and exchange best practices.

EJC holds online Executive Meeting

The Executive Committee of the European Jewish Congress held its first meeting of the new term following the 2020 General Assembly.

EJC and WGAS hold webinar on online hate speech, conspiracy theories and radicalisation

EJC Executive Vice-President and CEO Raya Kalenova addressed the webinar “Online hate speech, conspiracy theories and radicalisation", organised by the EJC and hosted by the European Parliament Working Group against Antisemitism (WGAS).

Slide 1986 – 1988 Théo Klein 1988 – 1991 Lionel Kopelowic 1991 - 1995 Jean Kahn 1996 - 1998 Eldred Tabachnik Slide 1998 - 1999 Ignatz Bubis 2000 - 2001 Henri Hajdenberg 2001 - 2003 Michel Frieman 2003 - 2005 Cobi Benatoff Slide 2005 - 2007 Pierre Besnainou 2007 - present Moshe Kantor EJC'S PRESIDENTS