Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor

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Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor
Вячеслав Моше Кантор
Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor in the Palace of Nations, Geneva
Kantor in June 2009, at the opening of the Museum of Avant-Garde Mastery Exhibition My Homeland is Within My Soul: Art Without Borders at the Palace of Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.
Born (1953-09-08)September 8, 1953
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Nationality Russia
Alma mater Moscow Aviation Institute
Occupation philanthropist
Home town Moscow
Net worth Increase $2.7 billion[1]
Spouse(s) Anna Kantor
Children 4 sons and 1 daughter
Website http://www.moshekantor.com

Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor (Russian: Вячеслав Моше Кантор, born on September 8, 1953 in Moscow) is an international public figure, a Jewish leader, businessman, peace activist and philanthropist, who actively participates in the promotion of tolerance and reconciliation in the modern world. He is also engaged in 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.[2][3] In 2017, Forbes estimated Kantor's net worth at US$3.1 billion, making him the 34th richest person in Russia [4] and the 630th richest person in the world.[5]

Life and career[edit]

Education[edit]

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.

Business activity[edit]

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 4.1 million tonnes. In 2016, Forbes estimated Kantor's net worth at US$2.7 billion, making him the 33rd richest person in Russia [1] and the 688th richest person in the world.[6]

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.

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.

Family[edit]

Kantor is married to Anna Kantor and has four sons and a daughter.

Career[edit]

He has been awarded the Order of Friendship and the Order of Honour (2016) for his work in promoting cooperation and friendship between nations.[7]

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.[8]

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,”[9] 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. To promote this concept, Kantor has initiated the establishment of a European academic center dedicated to researching and studying tolerance.[8]

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).

Civic activities[edit]

Jewish leadership[edit]

Kantor has been the president of the European Jewish Congress (EJC) since 2007, having been re-elected to the position in 2008 and again in 2012 and 2016. The EJC, the largest secular organization representing the interests of European Jewry, is an influential, international public association representing over 3 million Jews across the European continent in 42 national Jewish communities.

Kantor calls himself “the main person on duty on the European Jewish street.” The key tasks undertaken and resolved by the EJC today include supporting and developing Jewish life in Europe, fighting antisemitism, dealing with the issue of restitution of Jewish property confiscated during World War II, reinforcing the national identity of the Jewish people, promoting reconciliation, and preserving the traditions of European Jewry, particularly among young people.

In 2010 he established the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at Tel Aviv University.[10]

He serves as Deputy Chairman of Yad Vashem[11] and was recently elected Chairman of the Policy Council of the World Jewish Congress[12][13]

Kantor also served as President of the Russian Jewish Congress (RJC) in 2005-2009.

Holocaust remembrance forums[edit]

Kantor is particularly involved in Holocaust education. In order to preserve memories of the tragic events of the 20th century, he founded and headed the World Holocaust Forum (WHF) and the European Jewish Fund.

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, President of the State of Israel Moshe Katsav, and President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko.

On September 27, 2006, the Second “Let My People Live!” World Forum to commemorate 65 years since the Babi Yar tragedy was held in Kiev. It was attended by over 60 official delegations.

The Third World Forum “Let My People Live!” took place on 27 January 2010 in Krakow and was dedicated to the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. The Forum was attended by a group of about 100 deputies from the European Parliament, headed by its President Jerzy Buzek, as well as representatives of other European institutions and official delegations from around the world.

In 2013, the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz declared International Holocaust Remembrance Day an official annual event for the European Parliament starting in 2013.

On 26–27 January 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. 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[edit]

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 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.[14] The ECTR is a non-governmental organization composed of former heads of European states, Nobel Peace Prize laureates and other world-renowned individuals for their achievements in "promoting tolerance". The ECTR was established to fight xenophobia, extremism and anti-Semitism, monitor European countries’ adherence to the principles of tolerance, develop practical initiatives, and make recommendations for promoting mutual understanding between peoples.

Nuclear non-proliferation[edit]

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 International Atomic Energy Agency.

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. 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).[15]

Charity projects and philanthropy[edit]

Psychoneurological nursing home in Novgorod Region[edit]

In 2013, after hearing of the tragic 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.[16]

European Jewish Fund[edit]

Kantor is the key founder and chairman of the European Jewish Fund (EJF), which focuses on promoting Jewish life throughout Europe by supporting programmes to reinforce Jewish identity and Jewish pride, 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. The Fund is also engaged in promoting tolerance, supporting intercultural and interreligious ties in Europe, and fighting xenophobia and anti-Semitism. The Fund supports a number of projects and holds seminars and conferences on urgent issues attended by prominent experts and young people.

Yad Vashem[edit]

Over several years, Kantor has been a donor to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes’ Authority.[17]

Art[edit]

Kantor serves as the president of the Museum of Avant-Garde Mastery (MAGMA),[18] 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 “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.”[19]

Science[edit]

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[edit]

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);[20] 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 five consecutive years as one of the '50 Most Influential Jews in the World'.[21]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Forbes. The World’s Billionaires
  2. ^ Moshe Kantor to head WJC Policy Council
  3. ^ Ynetnews, May 08, 2013
  4. ^ Forbes. The World’s Billionaires
  5. ^ Forbes. The World’s Billionaires. | Forbes.com
  6. ^ Forbes. The World’s Billionaires. | Forbes.com
  7. ^ Указ Президента Российской Федерации от 26.08.2016 № 432 "О награждении государственными наградами Российской Федерации"
  8. ^ a b "Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor - biography". Retrieved 20 October 2013. 
  9. ^ 'Manifesto on Secure Tolerance', by Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor
  10. ^ ‘Holocaust didn’t erase Jewish life'. Center for study of contemporary European Jewry opens at TAU. The Jerusalem Post, May 10, 2010.
  11. ^ A Letter to Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor from the Yad Vashem Leadership Regarding His Appointment As a Deputy Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council
  12. ^ Moshe Kantor to head WJC Policy Council.
  13. ^ New Executive Committee of World Jewish Congress, Wed, 05 Jun 2013.
  14. ^ Tony Blair appointed as head of European body fighting antisemitism | The Guardian, June 4, 2015
  15. ^ A series of interviews with experts of the Luxembourg Forum, aired by Russia Today TV channel, July 2009
  16. ^ Malovishersky psychoneurological nursing home to be re-opened after repair / Komsomolskaya Pravda — St. Petersburg, February 10, 2015
  17. ^ The Holocaust History Museum Donors
  18. ^ Museum of Avant-Garde Mastery
  19. ^ Forbes, January 26, 2014, “You cannot buy what you really want without paying too much”
  20. ^ Tel Aviv University Webflash - May 2004
  21. ^ "The Jerusalem Post's 50 most influential Jews". Jpost. Retrieved 21 May 2015. 

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