European Jewish Fund
The European Jewish Fund (EJF) is an international non-governmental organisation that coordinates and supports programmes and events aimed at improving interreligious and interethnic relations, reinforcing Jewish national identity, counteracting assimilation, promoting tolerance and reconciliation in Europe, fighting against xenophobia, extremism and antisemitism, and preserving Holocaust memories. The EJF was established in 2006 on the initiative of Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor, who is President of the European Jewish Congress and EJF Chairman. Arie Zuckerman is EJF Secretary General.
The Fund is structured as two chambers: the Chamber of Community Leaders (or Executive Council) and the Board of Governors. The EJF’s activities are supported by:
- Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor;
- Mikhail Bezelyansky, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Hypercenter Company;
- Yuriy Kanner, President of the Russian Jewish Congress;
- Ronald P. Stanton, Chairman of Yeshiva University’s Board of Trustees;
- Mikhail Fridman, Chairman of the Alfa Group Supervisory Board;
- German Khan, TNK-BP Executive Director.
The Executive Council consists of representatives from European Jewish communities.
The EJF implements local, regional and pan-European projects initiated by both individual communities and the Fund itself. The EJF’s main goal is to implement large-scale programmes aimed at disseminating tolerance on the European continent, strengthening mutual respect among representatives of all nationalities and faiths, reinforcing Jews’ cultural pride and counteracting assimilation. The EJF actively fights xenophobia, antisemitism and racial discrimination and develops proposals and recommendations on reinforcing the fight against these negative phenomena of the modern world.
The Fund’s activities fall into four categories.
Educational programmes to preserve Holocaust memories: It is no surprise that one of the founders of the European Jewish Fund in 2006 was the World Holocaust Forum Foundation, a key organiser of “Let My People Live!” World Forums held in 2005 and 2006 in Krakow (Poland) and Kiev (Ukraine). These major events were aimed at illustrating the importance of Holocaust remembrance and Holocaust education for the younger generation to prevent the Catastrophe from recurring in the future. The EJF is expected to be a co-organiser of the third World Forum scheduled for 2010 in New York (U.S.). Other Holocaust memory initiatives: publishing The Countdown, a photo album, releasing the documentaries Whisper in die Kristallnacht and The World after Auschwitz.
Publicising the achievements of outstanding individuals of Jewish origin: in order to reduce the level of antisemitism, xenophobia and nationalism in Europe. The EJF supports the Museum of Avant-Garde Mastery, containing a collection of works by famous Russian artists of Jewish origin including Valentin Serov, Léon Bakst, Marc Chagall, El Lissitzky and Chaim Soutine.
Promoting nuclear non-proliferation and preventing a nuclear Holocaust: The EJF supports the activities of the International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe, which consists of prominent political and public figures, diplomats and nuclear experts. The EJF’s leadership believes that the Iranian nuclear programme is one of the major threats to global security today.
Providing a platform for reinforcing relations between European Jewish communities: As part of the work of the Executive Council, the Fund’s sponsors and representatives from European communities meet to exchange opinions. They present proposals for specific charity and educational programmes and discuss ways to increase the level of tolerance on the continent.
The Fund actively participated in the organisation of the European Week of Tolerance, held in large European cities on November 9–16, 2008. This series of events marked both the International Day for Tolerance and the 70th anniversary of die Kristallnacht. Within the framework of the European Week of Tolerance, prominent leaders, business people and scholars came together for a series of meetings. The European Parliament and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe were presented with the draft European Framework Convention on Promoting Tolerance and Combating Intolerance and the Concept for a White Paper on Tolerance.
- European Jewish Congress
- International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe
- World Holocaust Forum
- Museum of Avant-Garde Mastery
- Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor