The Ups and Downs of European Jewry Through the Eyes of Jewish Influencers

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( — February 21, 2018) — The road for European Jewry is anything but smooth. On the face of it, one may think that anti-Semitism is over with the unification of Germany. After all, we have come a long way from the brutal history of the Gestapo.

Anti-Semitism has been on the rise in Europe and many Jews have emigrated back to Israel to avoid discrimination and to protect themselves. In 2015, more than 7500 Jews from France went to Israel while in 2014, more than 6,000 Jews from Russia and 7,000 Jews from the neighboring Ukraine left for their homeland. Much of these decisions have come due to the growing anti-Semitist culture and the growing fear of Islamist terror taking place throughout Europe.

Over the same time, the EU has also been creating laws that affect the business and economy of Israel. For example, it requires Israel to have a separate label for products from West bank and Golan.  Added to it, the Brexit plans spell more trouble for Israel as the UK has a free hand in trimming laws against Israel. It is believed that the bureaucratic process to live and work in the UK could get more cumbersome for Jews.

Amidst all these happenings, a few Jewish influencers from different industries are taking measures to protect Jews and preserve their way of life. Here’s a look at some of them.

Dr. Moshe Kantor

Born in Moscow on September 8, 1953, Dr. Moshe Kantor has been heading the European Jewry for a decade. He has championed many key tasks as the president of the European Jewish Congress (EJC). Under his leadership, Kantor has developed the Jewish way of life in Europe and has successfully restituted Jewish properties that were confiscated during the Second World War.

He established the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at Tel Aviv University in Israel to enhance research and discussion about European Jews, their challenges and way of life.

He has also been actively involved in preserving the Holocaust memories for posterity, and to this end, he founded organizations such as the World Holocaust Forum and the European Jewish Fund. In addition, Moshe Kantor was instrumental in declaring a day as the Holocaust Remembrance Day, an annual event in the European Parliament since 2013.

Yohan Beniziri

Yohan Beniziri is the President of the Belgian Federation of Jewish Organizations (CCOJB) and he is one of the emerging Jewish leaders who is fighting anti-Semitism in Europe. In February 2018, he sent a protest letter to the European Parliament President to prevent Omar Barghouti, a founder of the boycott movement against Israel, to speak as a guest in the European Parliament.

Charlotte Knobloch

Knobloch is the Vice-President of the European Jewish Congress and the World Jewish Conference and was the former President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany.  She has been one of the few unique voices that has been fighting anti-Semitism in Germany for the last two decades.

Jeremy Newmark

Newmark is the head of the Jewish Labor Movement in Britain and the chair of the Jewish Labor Movement. He fights actively against anti-Semitism in the UK and is instrumental in preserving the Jewish way of life in a Catholic world.

Let’s hope the tireless efforts of these leaders keep anti-Semitism at bay in Europe and other parts of the world.