Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor
Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor
Вячеслав Моше Кантор
|Education||Moscow Aviation Institute (diploma, 1976)|
Moscow Aviation Institute (PhD, 1981)
Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor (Russian: Вячеслав Моше Кантор, born on September 8, 1953 in Moscow) is a Russian international public figure, a Jewish leader, businessman, peace activist, international philanthropist and scientist, who actively participates in the promotion of tolerance and reconciliation in the modern world. He is also engaged in fight against racism, antisemitism, xenophobia, neo-Nazism and intolerance, discussing and elaborating ways to stop nuclear proliferation and prevent a nuclear catastrophe.
Kantor is President of the European Jewish Congress, President of the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR), President of the International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe, President of the World Holocaust Forum Foundation (WHF), Chairman of the European Jewish Fund (EJF), and Chairman of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) Policy Council.
In 2018, Forbes estimated Kantor's net worth at US$3.7 billion, making him the 29th richest person in Russia and the 630th richest person in the world. In 2019, Kantor entered The Sunday Times Rich List for the first time, with an estimated wealth of £2.992 billion, making him the 53rd richest man in the UK. In the 2020 edition, Kantor's wealth is estimated to have increased by £496 million, to £3.488 billion.
Life and career
Kantor was born and spent his early years in Moscow, and obtained a degree from the Moscow Aviation Institute (MAI) in 1976 and did research for NPO Spektr at MAI. In 1981, he completed his PhD in Spacecraft Automatic Control Systems.
Kantor heads the publicly traded Acron Group, one of the leading mineral fertilizer producers and distributors in the world. Today, Acron is a large group of companies producing over 40 chemical products with annual output exceeding 7.3 million tonnes.
In 1989–1993 Kantor was Director General of the joint venture Intelmas (intellectual materials and systems). Under his leadership, one of the first computer networks was introduced and installed in Russia, including at branches of the Academy of Sciences.
In 1996–2000 he was an economic adviser to the Chairman of the Federation Council of the RF Federal Assembly.
In 1997, Viatcheslav Kantor was named Honorary Citizen of Veliky Novgorod for his major contribution to development and strengthening of economy, science and cultural heritage of the old city of Novgorod, and improvement of social and living conditions for its residents.
Since 2000 Kantor has served as President of the National Institute of Corporate Reform (NICR), a non-profit organization uniting top political leaders, business leaders and scholars. The NICR focuses on improving the investment climate in Russia and enhancing the global image of Russian companies.
Kantor is married to Anna Kantor and has four sons and a daughter.
Kantor, who is president of the European Jewish Congress (EJC), is well known worldwide for his fight against anti-Semitism, promotion of reconciliation of peoples, and has greatly contributed to revitalizing Jewish life in Europe and beyond. He serves as the President of the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR) and is known for his extensive involvement in the promotion of tolerance in the modern world. He is also president of the International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe and is engaged in discussing and elaborating ways to stop nuclear proliferation and prevent nuclear catastrophe.
Kantor is associated with and serves on the boards of many communal and civic organizations and has made significant contributions to the development of essential European concepts including Model National Statute for the Promotion of Tolerance and "Secure Tolerance," whereby tolerance as an objective can only be assured with personal security for the individual and the repression of intolerance as a society. This can be best achieved through early education, model legislation and enforcement. He is known as the author of ‘Manifesto on Secure Tolerance’ where the concept of Secure Tolerance is being disclosed in details and speaks about modern global threats and crises and ways to overcome them.
Kantor's work promoting tolerance and reconciliation of peoples and nations, human rights and interfaith dialogue, and his struggle against anti-Semitism and racism earned him numerous awards in recent years from European heads of state, including the Italian Knight's Grand Cross of the Order of Merit (2013), the highest decoration given to a non-Italian and France's Officer of the National Order of the Legion of Honour (2014).
Kantor has been the president of the European Jewish Congress (EJC) since 2007, having been re-elected to the position in 2008, 2012 and 2016. The EJC, the largest secular organization representing the interests of European Jewry, is an influential, international public association representing 2.5 million Jews across the European continent in 42 national Jewish communities.
The key tasks undertaken and resolved by the EJC today include supporting and developing Jewish life in Europe and fostering Jewish unity, fighting antisemitism, preserving the memory of the Holocaust, reinforcing the national identity of the Jewish people, monitoring legislation, promoting reconciliation, preserving the traditions of European Jewry, particularly among young people and enhancing inter-religious dialogue.
In 2010 he established the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at Tel Aviv University.
In 2019, Yad Vashem nominated Moshe Kantor as Chancellor of the Council, and before it he served as its Member of Directorate since 2010.
Kantor also served as President of the Russian Jewish Congress (RJC) in 2005–2009.
Holocaust remembrance forums
Kantor is particularly involved in Holocaust education. To preserve historical memory of nations all over the world and preventing future tragedies, he founded and headed the World Holocaust Forum (WHF) in 2005 and the European Jewish Fund in 2006.
As Chair of the World Holocaust Forum Foundation Kantor initiated and organized the commemoration events in Krakow, on January 27, 2005, to mark 60 years since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. The "Let My People Live!" World Forum was attended by more than 40 heads of states and official delegations, including President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, Vice President of the United States of America Richard Cheney, President of the Republic of Poland Aleksander Kwaśniewski and other distinguished guests.
Since then, the Forum has acquired great support from the European Union institutions and Heads of State as well as high-ranking politicians and distinguished personalities. It has become a tradition to organise the Forum on historical dates and sites related to the Holocaust.
On January 26–27, 2015, the Fourth International "Let My People Live!" Forum was held in Prague and Terezín (Czech Republic) to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, in collaboration with the President of the Czech Republic and the President of the European Parliament. The event was attended by several hundred distinguished guests, including heads of state, political leaders, members of parliament, diplomats, scholars and public figures from many countries, Auschwitz-Birkenau liberators, former prisoners of the concentration camps and Holocaust survivors.
Tolerance and reconciliation
Moshe Kantor is also the founder of the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR).
Kantor is actively engaged in promoting interfaith dialogue, tolerance and reconciliation in Europe. In 2008, he established the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR), which he co-chaired from 2008 until 2014 with the President of Poland Aleksander Kwaśniewski. Today Kantor serves as the President of the ECTR, while ex-Prime Minister of Great Britain Tony Blair is the chairman since 2015. The ECTR is a non-governmental organization composed of former heads of European states, distinguished representatives of the civic society and other world-renowned individuals for their achievements in promoting tolerance. The ECTR was established to promote tolerance and fight against racism and xenophobia, to monitor European countries’ adherence to principles of democracy and tolerance and to develop practical initiatives aimed at promoting mutual understanding and reconciliation between peoples and cultures.
In 2018 the ECTR has announced the establishment of the Kantor Prize for Secure Tolerance and ECTR Research Grants. The aim of the Grant programme is to foster new thinking on these and related issues by developing and applying the concept of a more secure form of tolerance. ECTR Grants may be held for up to 1 year. The maximum grant is 50,000 Euro.
Concept of Secure Tolerance
Dr Kantor has formulated and developed the notion of Secure Tolerance to highlight the need to reimagine the theory and practice of tolerance to meet the new challenges of a globalised world and the highly diverse and fragmented societies it contains.
Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry and annual "Antisemitism Worldwide Report"
In light of his perception of rising antisemitism worldwide, in 2010, Viatcheslav Kantor created of the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry in Tel Aviv University and the Moshe Kantor database for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism and Racism.
The Kantor Center publishes annually the ‘Antisemitism Worldwide Report’ recognised internationally and used by European Union institutions and international organisations as one of the main sources of information and reliable research on the trends, sources and manifestations of antisemitism in the world.
In 2007, Kantor founded and was elected president of the International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe, an international non-governmental organisation uniting leading world-renowned experts on nuclear non-proliferation,materials and delivery vehicles. The Forum was established pursuant to a decision of the International Conference held in Luxembourg on May 24–25, 2007. The conference was attended by over 50 renowned experts from 14 countries, including Sergey Kirienko, Director General of the Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation, Mohamed ElBaradei, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Nikolay Laverov, Academician and Vice President of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), William Perry, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Defense, and Hans Blix, Chairman of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission and former Director General of the IAEA.
The Luxembourg Forum's activities are aimed at discussing nuclear security and non-proliferation issues, as well as elaborating proposals and recommendations to political leaders and diplomats regarding the reinforcement of nuclear security and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, as well as fight against catastrophic nuclear terrorism. It works to prevent trivialization of the nuclear threat in the modern world and aims to provide trustworthy information on the current situation in states and regions of concern (the Middle East, the Korean Peninsula and South Asia).
In 2012, Moshe Kantor launched the SACC programme, which deals with the security and crisis management of European Jewish communities. Due to the aggravation of the threat, the programme expanded into a new entity "SACC by EJC" which opened its headquarters in Vienna in 2016.
The Security and Crisis Centre by the EJC (SACC by EJC) is now based in Brussels, Belgium. The SACC trains and prepares Jewish communities to handle crisis and security management by coordinating all the various arms of the community – leadership, security, medical and psychological in crisis management teams. The SACC helps Jewish communities establish a crisis management team, support in training of team members, as well as regular follow-ups to make sure that the community is prepared to handle any situation – whether it is a terror attack, natural disaster, or any other crisis. The President of SACC is Moshe Kantor.
Charity projects and philanthropy
Kantor is a benefactor and philanthropist to many causes in Europe, UK, Russia and Israel and worldwide.
Anna Freud Centre
Kantor is a trustee and Life President of the Anna Freud Centre (London, UK). He is actively supporting the organization in its groundbreaking work for children, young people and their families who are experiencing mental health issues. Kantor is helping to build the new "Kantor Centre of Excellence" in London's King's Cross as an extension of the Anna Freud Centre. At the heart of the project is a school for 48 children with emotional problems who have been excluded from mainstream education and require specialist support.
Kantor King Solomon High School
Royal Opera House in London, UK
Kantor is a member of the Board of Honorary Directors of Royal Opera House Covent Garden Foundation. Royal Opera House is an opera house and major performing arts venue in London. Kantor has been a benefactor of the Royal Opera House since 2013, in which capacity he has facilitated various projects.
King Edward VII's Hospital
Psychoneurological nursing home in Novgorod Region
In 2013, after hearing of the fire at the Malovishersky psychoneurological nursing home in Novgorod region which killed 37 patients, Kantor launched an initiative to upgrade infrastructure and equipment at inpatient social institutions locally and across Russia. Kantor personally paid to rebuild the nursing home and a new residential center which opened its doors two years after the fire.
Kantor is also a Patron of the Community Security Trust (CST), Patron of Jewish Care, Patron of Jewish Leadership Council (UK), Sponsor of Royal National institute of Blind People, etc.
European Jewish Fund
Kantor is the key founder and chairman of the European Jewish Fund (EJF), which focuses on promoting Jewish life throughout Europe by supporting educational and leadership programmes to reinforce Jewish identity, culture and traditions, especially by re-connecting young people with their rich and vital Jewish heritage. It is a non-governmental organization whose main task is to develop the Jewish life in Europe, reinforce the national identity of European Jewry and implement charitable and educational programs aimed at developing Jewish life on the continent.
Kantor serves as the president of the Museum of Avant-Garde Mastery (MAGMA), founded in 2001 in Moscow on Kantor's initiative. The Museum contains the world's largest and most important private collection of 20th Century Russian avant-garde art. The Russian art movement flourished from approximately 1890 to 1930 and included such artists as Valentin Serov, Marc Chagall, Chaim Soutine and Léon Bakst.
According to Kantor, the purpose of MAGMA is "to bring back to Russia all the names that have been ‘appropriated’ by other countries. For many people it would probably be a revelation to find out that many famous artists that rose to prominence in Europe and America, whose works are the envy of any museum in the world, were in fact our compatriots. At the same time, people in other countries are surprised to discover that their ‘local heroes’ happen to be Jews, and originally from Russia: Chagall, Zadkine, Lipschitz, Delaunay. The elite of the School of Paris.”
In 2018, President of the Russian Academy of Arts and People's Artist of the URSS Zurab Tsereteli officially awarded Kantor as the President of MAGMA Museum with the robe and diploma of Honorary Member of the Russian Academy of Arts.
2nd International Violinists Vladimir Spivakov Contest
Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor has bought a violin mabe by famous Italian violin maker Riccardo Antoniazzi in 1912. The violin has been given as a First Prize of the 2nd International Violinists Vladimir Spivakov Contest. Its price was $140,000.
In 1976 – 1986, after graduating from the Moscow Aviation Institute (MAI) Viatcheslav Kantor worked as a scientist and headed one of MAI research laboratories.
Honors and awards
Kantor received the following government awards: Order of Friendship (Russia, 1998), Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit (Poland, 2005), Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise (Ukraine, 2006), Order of Leopold (Belgium, 2009), Chevalier of the National Order of the Legion of Honour (France, 2012), the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (Italy, 2013), Grand Cross with honours of the State Order for Merit (Romania, 2014), Officer of the National Order of the Legion of Honour (France, 2014, presented in 2015) and The Order of Honour (Russia, 2016).
In addition, he received an honorary doctorate from Tel-Aviv University (2004); the Medal of Merit for Medal "Deserved for Tolerance" by the Ecumenical Foundation Tolerance (2011); and the European Jewish Leadership Award (2012).
Kantor has been recognized for seven consecutive years as one of the '50 Most Influential Jews in the World'.
- European Jewish Congress
- World Jewish Congress
- European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation
- International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe
- European Jewish Fund
- World Holocaust Forum
- Museum of Avant-Garde Mastery
- Rebel, Alina (September 3, 2020). History of the Jews in Russia (in Russian). p. 249. ISBN 978-5-457-53661-6. Retrieved January 4, 2020.
- Moshe Kantor to head WJC Policy Council
- Ynetnews, May 08, 2013
- Forbes. The World’s Billionaires
- Forbes. The World’s Billionaires. | Forbes.com
- Times, The Sunday (May 12, 2019). "Rich List 2019: profiles 53–100, featuring Mike Ashley and Bernie Ecclestone". ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
- Times, The Sunday. "Rich List 2020: profiles 21-50, featuring Salma Hayek and Sir Richard Branson". ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved August 4, 2020.
- / Acron Group’s Fertiliser Output Up Increases 16% in 2017
- "Honorary Citizens of Veliky Novgorod at the City Administration website – Viatcheslav Kantor – 08.09.1953". Archived from the original on April 10, 2017. Retrieved April 10, 2017.
- "Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor – biography". Retrieved October 20, 2013.
- 'Manifesto on Secure Tolerance', by Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor
- Our Mission – European Jewish Congress
- ‘Holocaust didn’t erase Jewish life'. Center for study of contemporary European Jewry opens at TAU. The Jerusalem Post, May 10, 2010.
- New Executive Committee of World Jewish Congress, Wed, 05 Jun 2013.
- "EJC President Moshe Kantor re-elected as Chairman of World Jewish Congress' Policy Council". Archived from the original on August 26, 2017. Retrieved April 28, 2017.
- "Vice Presidents". Jewish Leadership Council. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
- Tony Blair appointed as head of European body fighting antisemitism | The Guardian, June 4, 2015
- ECTR Announces Research Grants and Kantor Prize for Secure Tolerance
- A series of interviews with experts of the Luxembourg Forum, aired by Russia Today TV channel, July 2009
- https://sacc-ejc.org/ Security and Crisis Centre by EJC
- Anna Freud Centre
- Trustees of Anna Freud Centre
- Kantor King Solomon High School
- King Solomon school changes name in Jewish leader’s honour / Jewish News — November 11, 2016
- Royal Opera House Boards and Committees
- Malovishersky psychoneurological nursing home to be re-opened after repair / Komsomolskaya Pravda — St. Petersburg, February 10, 2015
- The Holocaust History Museum Donors
- Museum of Avant-Garde Mastery
- Forbes, January 26, 2014, “You cannot buy what you really want without paying too much”
- President of the Museum of Avant-Garde Mastery Viatcheslav Kantor elected Honorary Member of the Russian Academy of Arts
- Bashinform, September 17, 2018, "The Winner of the Vladimir Spivakov Contest Will Get a Violin for $140,000"
- Tel Aviv University Webflash – May 2004
- "The Jerusalem Post's 50 most influential Jews". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved May 21, 2015.
- Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor (website)
- European Jewish Congress
- International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe
- European Jewish Fund
- Security and Crisis Centre by EJC
- Kantor Center on the Study of Contemporary European Jewry