The European Jewish Congress (EJC) held the annual meeting of directors of its affiliated communities on September 27 and 28, 2016. Directors and professionals from nineteen countries gathered in the EJC office in Brussels to exchange best practices and to discuss how to approach specific challenges faced by European Jewish communities.
The participants attended the conference entitled “The Future of the Jewish Communities in Europe” at the European Parliament (EP) hosted and attended by EP President Martin Schulz and EP Vice-President Antonio Tajani. Francis Kalifat, EJC Vice-President and President of the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF) and Abraham Lehrer, Vice-President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, took part in the conference, speaking on the panels devoted to national patterns and the current situation on antisemitism in Europe respectively. EJC Executive Vice-President Raya Kalenova urged Vice-President Tajani and Members of the Working Group on Antisemitism to issue a resolution as a follow-up to this important conference, condemning antisemitism and anti-Zionism as well as adopting a working definition of antisemitism.
The EJC Directors’ meeting kicked off with a session dedicated to case studies of communal engagement in different Jewish communities. Representatives from France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Denmark presented their best practices with social media and fieldwork in combatting antisemitism and BDS, policies with regard to dealing with far-right and far-left parties as well as public affairs strategies and tools. The session generated a lively and in-depth roundtable discussion where all directors shared their respective experiences.
Karen White, Senior Manager of Public Policy at Twitter, conducted a training session on how to make an efficient use of the social media platform as a communication instrument. The participants also had a chance to engage in an open discussion on the policy of Twitter to combat antisemitic hate speech online.
The CEO of SACC (Security and Crisis Centre) by EJC delivered a presentation of the recently launched activities and tools aiming at improving the security and crisis management in Jewish communities in Europe.
The official dinner of the event was addressed by the newly appointed Ambassador of the State of Israel to the European Union and NATO, H.E. Amb. Aharon Leshno-Yaar. Several Members of the European Parliament, European Commission’s officials and prominent members of the Belgian Jewish community were also among the guests.Thursday, September 29, 2016