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EJF supported projects - 2010

The "Shevet Achim" Project is jointly run by the Israeli Government and the European Jewish Fund.

"Shevet Achim" was initiated a year and a half ago, by Minister Yuli Edelstein and the ministry of Diaspora affairs and is implemented together with the Foreign Ministry and the Israeli Embassies in Europe.

Each month, the program introduces a Minister of the Israeli Government or a senior Israeli public figure to the representatives of a particular European Jewish community. The Jewish community participating that month is hooked up to the Israeli Minister through a Video Conference.

The purpose of this program is to reach and strengthen the ties with all Jews in the Diaspora by learning more about Jewish life in the European countries participating.

As known, European Jewry faces difficult challenges in trying to preserve Jewish life and the strong connection between Jews and our Heritage. This difficulty is sometimes compounded when individuals find themselves constrained to defend the actions of the State of Israel against hostile and vicious propaganda frequently fueled by the media.

Over the past year, Several Israeli Ministers as Yuli Edelstien, Moshe Bogi Ye'elon, Michael Eitan, Yossi Peled and Sofa Landver among others, hosted communities from all around Europe. They "visited" in London, Bulgaria, Kishinev, Hungary, Italy, Ukraine and Vilna and met community members along with the young Jewish leadership of several cities.

The initiating and organizing staff believes that these meetings strengthen the participating communities' spirit and enhance their ability to face these challenges. The communities have the unusual and very personal opportunity to learn first hand what the Israelis feel and think and to ask questions which are troubling them. Through these meetings both sides--Israel and the Diaspora-- learn how to cooperate better and work together to achieve the shared goals.

The new and wondrous technology available today gives a tremendous opportunity to keep in touch and to share information and impressions between one end of the world and the other. It is clear that one should mobilize this technology and to take advantage of this opportunity.

One of the ways to do so is by making these discussions available to any one wishing to view these new and interesting encounters on the internet. One needs only connect to www.Leadel.net/live

The European Jewish Fund has been a wonderfully cooperative and innovative partner and we thank Dr. Moshe Kantor, President of the Fund, for helping us make this project happen.

At the beginning of each meeting the minister shares his views and values along with other information he finds relevant to the event with all participants, before answering the questions they prepared.

After over a years experience, it is clear that there are several issues that are raised by all communities such as anti-Semitism, the part and duty of Jews in the Diaspora - mainly about joint efforts in "hasbara", how the Israeli Government can contribute to the education and well being of Jews in the Diaspora, what Jewish communities should or could do to help the State of Israel and to help combat the growing feelings of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel, and to what extent should Israeli interests and concerns dictate the agenda and policies of the Diaspora Jewish communities.

The initiators feel that now after over a year that the project has been active, there is room to elevate the platform that has been set and take the project forward an additional step. The communities' reactions and feed back emphasized and highlighted this feeling, There is a real striving for pursuing the initial connections that have been established at the first meetings.

During these meetings, the staffs on both sides have been honored with the presence of senior figures of almost all communities together with Israeli officials stationed in every country.

The initiators believe that this program benefits each participating community and creates an appealing and personal channel for a more meaningful relationship with the Israeli people and its elected government, and know that there is a real desire to cooperate with the Israeli government on strengthening Jewish Identity and other educational projects.

At this point, the goal is to deepen the existing dialog with every Jewish community in Europe and to continue and involve each of the cabinet ministers in this important initiative.


United Kingdom

European Junior Fellowships Program

World ORT
ORT is the largest Jewish education and training organization in the world with activities in more than 100 countries past and present with current operations in Israel, the CIS and Baltic States, Latin America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, North America, Africa, Asia and the Pacific.

World ORT is a non-profit, non-political organization that meets the educational and training needs of contemporary society with more than 3,000,000 graduates worldwide since its inception.

The aim of ORT's educational programmes, throughout the world, is to give its students the best possible preparation for their future. This preparation includes education to help them become citizens who will make a positive contribution to their society and focused training to enable them to undertake worthwhile and fulfilling careers.

Future Leaders Program
This project is for the creation of a program to develop future leaders for Diaspora communities. In particular, the program will address the needs of smaller Jewish communities in European and Former Soviet Union countries.

The proposed program will appeal to young Jewish individuals who have a desire to take an active part in the improvement of their communities. It will provide opportunities for personal development as well as imparting the skills necessary to enable participants to influence their peers and fulfill communal roles.

An essential component of the training program will be the development of participants’ understanding of the modern State of Israel and its connection with Diaspora communities.

We will recruit 30 to 40 students from Grade 10 (15-16 years old) to the Future Leaders Program from countries across Europe and FSU.

In general selection criteria will include: demonstrated leadership ability, an interest in Israel and the Hebrew language, an interest in local community affairs, a reasonable level of English and an able to travel internationally.


Orientation Seminar:

The five-day seminar will take place at World ORT’s offices in London and participants will be accommodated locally. The seminar program will contain activities to help participants clarify their understanding of and to develop practical skills to equip them for local communal leadership. They will also experience training to expand and develop their knowledge of Israel, the Hebrew language and the dynamics of Jewish communities.

Distance learning and community-based activities:

Following their return to their home communities, participants will be expected to become actively involved in practical activities that enable them to put into practice the skills and knowledge that they gained in London and to develop and apply lessons from the distance learning course.

These activities will be selected by the participants and will include either Jewish youth club work, Israel advocacy, informal education or any other relevant community activities. Participants will be expected to complete regular online assignments throughout the year which will be designed to keep them in communication and to encourage sharing and support amongst their fellow participants. The reporting process will be facilitated by the dedicated website which will allow reporting in a text, blog or multimedia format as well as online discussion and social networking.

A course of online activities as well practical tasks delivered through a dedicated website will be created for the participants and will encourage them to consider and hone the skills that they began developing in London and the Jewish knowledge that will be relevant for their community activities both currently and for the future

Students will work on these activities for six months, with assignments of two hours each, twice a month. They will submit reports as coursework which will be assessed and monitored throughout the year and support will be offered where needed.

Israel summer school

The program will culminate in an intensive three-week summer school in Israel.

By bringing the group together for a shared experience and with a carefully crafted program, we anticipate that the participants, in addition to enriching their knowledge of the Hebrew language, will intensify their interest in their heritage and culture, develop their attachment to Israel and its people and increase their understanding of the broader Jewish world.

During this summer school, participants will attend a personalised course providing intensive Hebrew language study, together with other educational and cultural activities. These activities will be designed to enhance participants’ knowledge and appreciation of Israeli and Jewish themes and will as far as possible include an ‘immersive’ language environment so that participants can develop familiarity and fluency with the Hebrew language.

Opportunities will be provided for students to meet their counterparts at Kadima Mada high schools in Israel in order to develop a mutual understanding of each others’ lives and aspirations. Connections made during this visit will be strengthened through structured dialogue

Implementation of the summer school will be the responsibility of a project coordinator from Kadima Mada who will be responsible to the steering committee.





For the fourth time the Union of Belarusian Jewish Public Associations and Communities with the support of the European Jewish Fund carried out International Children Art Forum ‘Jewish shtetle Revival’ in Belarus. The Project continued and developed the ideas of the previous three Art Forums, which successfully took place in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

This year twenty three teenagers participated in the Art Forum 2010 . They were from eight countries : Bulgaria, Belarus, Estonia , Israel, Lithuania, Moldova, Serbia, Ukraine

Creative young people of the age from fourteen to eighteen years old from European Jewish communities gather and travel together studying the history of the Jewish culture and art. Being inspired with the historical Jewish places that they see, they make their creative works in various trends: painting, drawing, arts and crafts, photography, fashion, texts and others.

The Project is directed at the support of the young generation of the European Jewish communities to make the first step to the study of the Jewish art, as well as to the development and improvement of their abilities.

The result of the Project is to make contacts between young people of the European Jewish communities, their further mutual relations, including creative contacts, the development of the interest to the Jewish art and the development of their creative thinking.

During the Project the participants visited the towns of Mir and Smilovichi, where Chaim Soutine, a painter whose name is known to the whole world, was born and grew up, as well as a museum exposition dedicated to him.

The visit to Vitebsk made a profound impression on the participants, especially the house in which a painter Marc Chagall used to live and the streets along which he used to walk and later painted them. The revelation for a lot of participants was the visit to the museum with some works by I. Pen, the first M.Chagall’s teacher.

Comprehension of the Holocaust by an artist is paid special attention to. The participants visited some places with monuments in Gorodeya and Minsk, as well as the monument in Krasnyi Bereg to the children who were killed in WW II. The monument is made with the use of the children’s post-war drawings.

In the course of the Project the participants made their presentations about the Jewish art of the countries they came from.

After the realization of each Art Forum an album with the participants’ works is issued.

The project gives a strong impetus to each of the participant’s personal development and makes it possible, using the unique training by the example of the Jewish culture and art in Belarus in the past and at present, to develop and to form the modern art in those Jewish communities which they represent.

CHILDREN DRAW A SHTETL From the Jewish News Agency

Thank You Letter from Belarus

Video about The EJF Art Forum Revival of Jewish Shtetls 2010

EJF Secretary General Arie Zuckerman in IBA News about Belarus community





The Dangers of the increasing extremism in the 21st century

The EUJS was founded in 1978 in Grenoble, France. Formerly known as the European Section of the World Union of Jewish Students, the formation of EUJS solidified a strong and independent Jewish student leadership in Europe. In 1982, EUJS opened its office in Brussels, Belgium, from where it continues to operate.

EUJS is an umbrella organisation for 34 national Jewish student unions in Europe and the FSU, representing over 200,000 Jewish students. Cognizant of the religious, linguistic and cultural diversity that make up the European Jewish community, EUJS strives to present a variety of perspectives through its leadership training programs, educational seminars, and international conferences, all tailor-made to the needs of its students. Throughout its history, EUJS has placed itself at the cutting edge of inter-cultural and inter-religious programming, as well as programming related to genocide education, advocacy, and Jewish continuity in Europe.

EUJS is one of the largest international student organizations worldwide and the first Jewish Youth NGO to obtain the special Consultative Status to the ECOSOC of the United Nations. Its annual programming includes the Summer University, international, inter-religious, inter-generational seminars, study sessions at the European Youth Centre, and cutting edge work that puts it at the forefront of the European context.

This year in the light of the recent European Elections and the growing right wing extremism EUJS organized a seminar focusing on the threat extremism posed for us as Jewish citizens but also for other minorities. Extremism poses a threat to human rights, individual freedoms and mutual respect and influences daily the lives of millions of European citizens. As a Jewish organization and a European minority we have through our history been a constant subject to extremism, an issue that touches thousands of European citizens on a daily basis through anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. This project aimed at creating awareness around this situation, to outline ideas, purposes and perspectives in order to combat all forms of discrimination.

During the first day the Secretary General of the Belgium Jewish Community Dan Levy came to speak to the participants to show how important this seminar was according to him and why the Belgian Jewish Community and the Belgian Union of Jewish Students supported it.

After a presentation of EUJS made by current President Benjamin Zagzag, former EUJS President and author of the kook “Cartoons and Extremism” came to speak to students about the danger of the use of cartoons by media (especially from the Arab world) to export extremist ideologies. To conclude this first day EUJS Executive Director made a presentation about Hasbara in Europe with the new effective ways and how students could be more effective.

On the second day of the seminar French philosophical writer and teacher Hervé Elie Bokobza spoke to the participants about the connection between the three monotheistic faiths and how religious leaders became extremists.

French Historian Philippe Boukara spoke the European and worldwide Jewish phobia the violence of the First World War and explained how this process led to the Shoah the biggest result of extremism.

Darfuri Genicide survivor Mohamedhin Eshak who is currently an activist in Belgium spoke of the Darfur situation too students and told his gratitude to all the Jewish organizations which are helping the Darfuri survivors in their fight against the extremist regime of Sudan.
To conclude this day French journalist editor in chief of French Newspaper Marianne Guy Sitbon spoke to students of his experience with extremism in the press and its consequence.

During the morning of the third day of the seminar all participants went to Breendonk Memorial which used to be the concentration camp of Belgium to remember the Shoah.
During the afternoon a visit of the Jewish sites of Brussels was organized for students to know more about the specificity of the history and the Jewish community of Belgium itself.

On the last day of the seminar all participants went to synagogues for the prayer of Shabbat and attended the annual event of the Belgian Union of Jewish Students during the evening.



The Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry

The Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry, inaugurated in May 2010 at the Tel Aviv University, provides an academic framework for inter-disciplinary research of European Jewry beginning from the end of the Second World War and up to present day.

The Center will provide a platform to the various research requirements of researchers, students, governmental and civil service personnel, professionals, activists and the public at large, both in Israel and abroad. The Center will initiate, encourage and coordinate research projects, conferences, seminars and publications in the following areas:

  • examining historical demographic processes and their ramifications on issues such as identity, education, the family unit and communal organisation;
  • legislation and enforcement, promoting minority rights and prohibition of discrimination, racism, hate crimes and hate speech, anti-Semitism (particularly Holocaust Denial);
  • Mutual contacts between Jewish communities and their leaders, and the local societies and other minority and religious groups, in the political and cultural context.
  • Preserving the national memory and communal legacy, and its implications on the present-day.

The Center's website will reflect its activities and shall provide a wide ranging platform for materials on Contemporary European Jewry research.

The 2010 - 2011 Activities

The Kantor Center was inaugurated in 10 May 2010 with a festive ceremony attended by dignitaries and ambassadors from across the world. The ceremony was followed by a symposium in which Prof. Itamar Rabinovich gave the main lecture. Prof. Dina Porat began her position as Head of the Kantor Center in October 2010.

During the first months since establishment, the Kantor Center was involved in recruiting speakers for the Dubrovnik conference on Reconciliation and Tolerance Conference and had enlisted Prof. Yoram Dinstein, an esteemed International law professor, to provide a keynote speaker. The Center's staff has been working on two projects:

  • An update to the book "Legislating against Discrimination" published in 2005. The update will set forth new legislation on prohibition of discrimination, racism, hate crimes and hate speech enacted during the past decade in the European states. The compilation of materials is complete and the update is currently in editing stages. Moreover, the Center is in the process of drafting a model law against anti-Semitism.
  • A study of the existing demographic materials and researches on European Jewry is in the process of compilation for the purpose of future research. Furthermore, the Center has started planning researches in the areas of legislation and demography for preparing grant proposals to international research funds.

During 2011, the first two research fellows of the Kantor Center will be named and granted with scholarships that will help them to conduct their researches on demographics and legislation. During the second semester of the academic year, a three-semester seminar on Identity Dilemmas: European Jewry in the 21st Century with participants from Israel and abroad is scheduled to start at Tel-Aviv University.

On May 2011, close to the Tel-Aviv University Board of Governors meeting and to the Center's inauguration day, a first annual academic symposium focusing on one Jewish European community will take place, involving leaders from other communities as well.

An international conference on European legislation and enforcement trends, in cooperation with the European Union and ministries of Justice is planned. November 9th, 2011, the International Day against Fascism and Anti-Semitism in Europe and the Kristallnacht anniversary, would be an ideal date.

Further plans are coordinating work with other institutes and centers, in Israel and abroad; finally – publications, the first of which will be the above-mentioned update to the book "Legislating against Discrimination".


The Center's Staff

Prof. Dina Porat. , Head email: kantorce@post.tau.ac.il

Dr. Haim Fireberg, researcher email: fireberg@post.tau.ac.il

Adrian Gruszniewski. M.A. email: adriang@post.tau.ac.il

Talia Na'amat, Adv. email: kantorce@post.tau.ac.il

The Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry
Tel Aviv University,
The Lester and Sally Entin Faculty of Humanities
Gilman Building, Room 454C, Tel Aviv University,
P.O.B 39040, Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel

Tel: 972-3-6406073; Tel. & Fax: 972-3-6406034

Reviving The Jewish Diaspora : The Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry

Jerusalem Post Abstract : Holocaust didn't erase Jewish Life





Yiddishervelt - festival of Yiddish culture

Bucharest, September 2-5, 2010

Following the very successful EuroJudaica 2007 Festival, in Sibiu, the Federation of Jewish Communities of Romania (FEDROM) decided to develop another cultural project, one dedicated to the “World of Yiddish”.

Thus, the Federation of Jewish Communities of Romania, with the generous support of the European Jewish Fund, the Ministry of Culture and National Patrimony and the Department for Interethnic Relations, organized the first edition of the Festival of Yiddish Language and Culture, on September 2-5, 2010. This period was chosen in order to coincide with the European Day of Jewish Culture.

The purpose of the project was to promote and preserve the Yiddish language and culture – as a part of the Romanian and European linguistic and cultural diversity.
By having integrated many components of the Yiddish language and culture, both traditional and contemporary, the larger audience was offered a most varied image of the Jewish world.

This was accomplished due to the following events:

  • Press conference (with audience) – the presentation of the Festival’s schedule and its purposes (the written and audio-visual media was present there, as well as about 80 spectators):
    • Panels and lectures (most of all, the audience included specialists from the academic and cultural environment, as well as university and high-school students): From “The Green Tree” to Broadway – four lecturers – audience: cca 80 persons; The Shtetl and its Universe – 5 lecturers – audience: cca 80 persons; Yiddishland – 4 lecturers – audience: cca 60 persons; Mammelushn – 3 lecturers – audience: cca 50 persons.
  • Documentary film projections: “They Faded Out like the Wind…” – the story of the Barasheum Theater – audience: cca 90 persons; Itzic Manger - cca 120 persons
  • Theater: The Fools of Helem (The State Jewish Theater) – audience: cca 200 persons ; "Alein ist die Neshume rein" – “Alone, the Soul is Pure” - Yiddishpiel Theater - Israel - audience: cca 250 persons; Yiddish Experience – an alternative show of theater and music (Maia Morgenstern) - audience: cca 220 persons.
  • Concerts of traditional music and dance: Concert by the Vienna Klezmer Band (Austria) - audience: cca 300 persons ; Concert by the Hakeshet Klezmer Band (Romania)Y Show of Jewish Dances – The “Hora” Group (Romania) Y Concert by the Mames Babegenush Klezmer Band (Denmark) - audience: cca 800 persons (a three-hour show, outdoors) ; Concert by the Mazel Tov Klezmer Band (Romania) Y Concert by the Preβburger Klezmer Band (Slovakia) - audience: cca 600 persons (a two-hour show, outdoors) ; Concert by the Klezmer Band of Botoşani – September 5 – (it is not included in the printed schedule, since they agreed to sing just three days before the Festival) – cca 220 persons.
  • Other events: Religious service and traditional meal for Shabbat – cca 200 persons ; Tour of the Great Synagogue from Bucharest (three visiting days) – cca 130 persons ; Tour of the History Museum of the Jews from Romania – cca 50 persons.

This project entailed an intercultural dialogue, since mutual influences between European cultures of our time were underlined, as well as the role of the Jews in spreading this inter-dependence.

The variety of events and activities of the festival attracted several types of audience: inhabitants of Bucharest, most of them young (university and high-school students), an academic audience, professionals of culture and education, members of other ethnic minorities from Romania, representatives of Jewish communities from Europe, etc.

Due to this festival, the larger audience had access to various possibilities of expressing the Yiddish language and culture. This also encouraged the acknowledgement of the mutual influences between the Yiddish and Romanian culture, and developed an interest of the audience for the Yiddish literature, theater and music. The Festival pointed out the contribution of the Yiddish culture to the development of the Romanian and universal cultural patrimony, as well as its influences, as an expression of a way of life in certain areas of Romania, where Yiddish speakers could be found in great numbers.

Watch Video about the Jewish Community in Romania

Watch Video About The first ever Yiddish Festival in Romania

PDF Article about the Yiddish Festival in Romania


EJF special project

European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR)

International Conference - "Towards Reconciliation. Experiences, Techniques and Opportunities for Europe"

Two powerful words, tolerance and reconciliation, took a further step forward in their quest toward pertinent consolidation at the end of a two-day international conference on October 24-25, 2010, in Dubrovnik, Croatia titled “Towards Reconciliation. Experiences, Techniques and Opportunities for Europe” initiated by the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR) and European Jewish Fund, as well as the German-based Bertelsmann Stiftung and Robert Bosch Stiftung. The gathering brought together current and former heads of European nations, senior ministers, high-ranking politicians, human rights officials, religious and lay leaders in order to collect European experience in reconciliation, and offer this experience to the Balkan nations.

Among the conference participants who discussed their experiences and how to build reconciliation, were President of the Republic of Croatia Ivo Josipović; President of the Republic of Montenegro Bakir Izetbegović; former President of Cyprus George Vassiliou; Former Prime Minister of Italy Giuliano Amato and Former Prime Minister of Norway Kjell Magne Bondevik.

With racism and xenophobia on the rise in parts of Europe and conflict never far away, this conference offered distinctive approaches to reconcile adversaries on the European continent and beyond.

The European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR) is a non-governmental organisation that focuses on monitoring tolerance in Europe and preparing practical recommendations to improve interethnic relations and intercultural communication.

The ECTR consists of prominent former European heads of state, political and public leaders, scientists, Nobel Prize laureates and individuals who have gained global recognition for their outstanding achievements in the humanitarian sphere and the promotion of tolerance. Co-Chaired by former President of Poland Aleksander Kwaśniewski and President of the European Jewish Congress and Chairman of the European Jewish Fund Dr. Moshe Kantor, members of the ECTR include Jose María Aznar, former Prime Minister of Spain, Václav Havel, former President of the Czech Republic and Göran Persson, former Prime Minister of Sweden.

European framework convention on promoting tolerance and combating intolerance (pdf, 0,2 Mb)

Concept for a white paper on tolerance (pdf, 0,3 Mb)



EJF special project

The International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe.

The International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe has held a conference in Washington, D.C., on September 20-21. An impressive list of prominent politicians, leading world experts in arms control, non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, materials and delivery vehicles, including current and former administration advisors, have discussed the prospects of further strategic nuclear arms and tactical nuclear arms reductions, cooperation in the area of anti-ballistic missile defense, results of the 2010 NPT Review Conference, and the status and settling the Iran and North Korea nuclear crises.
The Luxembourg Forum is the largest expert institution of that kind, comprising leading world experts on nuclear non-proliferation and arms control from the USA, Russia and Europe. It was created in 2007 and since then has held similar meetings in Vienna, Moscow, Geneva, and Rome.

The Luxembourg Forum was established to counteract growing threats to the nuclear non-proliferation regime and erosion of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), as well as to promote international peace and security through new approaches and by presenting practical recommendations to decision-makers on nuclear non-proliferation and arms control critical issues.

The president and founder of the Forum, Dr. Moshe Kantor, stressed the importance of such a meeting. “We are on the verge of a chain of events that could potentially change the current world order,” said Kantor. “If Iran is allowed to acquire nuclear weapons it will force other nations in the region to seek nuclear weapons, signal the end of the NPT, allow rogue regimes and terrorist entities to acquire a nuclear deterrent and hold the international community to ransom. These are all extremely grave scenarios.”

The forum has also discussed the recently signed Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty agreed between the U.S. and Russia and how to build on this important accord. High-ranking members of the American administration have further discussed the prospects of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament from the perspective of the U.S. foreign policy. At the end of the conference a memorandum containing the outcome of the meetings, observations and recommendations was circulated to heads of leading powers and major international IGOs.

The list of participants included Rose Gottemoeller, Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of State and former Assistant Secretary for Non-Proliferation and National Security of the U.S. Department of Energy, Sam Nunn, Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, former Chairman of the Armed Services Committee and the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the U.S. Senate; Vladimir Dvorkin, Chairman of the Organizing Committee, International Luxembourg Forum, and former Director of the 4th Major Institute of the Russian Ministry of Defense; Igor Ivanov, Professor of the MGIMO, former Foreign Minister of Russian Federation, Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation.


Luxembourg Forum Press-Conference

C-SPAN TV, September 20, 2010
"FORUM ON THE PREVENTION OF NUCLEAR CATASTROPHE", Full Broadcast of the Luxembourg Forum's press conference

The Jerusalem Post, September 22, 2010
'Russian missile sale to Syria can't destabilize region'

The Jerusalem Report Magazine, October 4, 2010 - in PDF Format

The Jerusalem Post, October 12, 2010
"The Gravest Threat"

RIA Novosti, October 13, 2010
"The Gravest Threat"




College Hadracha

The goal of the Turkey Jewish Community was to create an initiative where the Community Youth will have a special possibility to explore and develop its identity, while absorbing Judaism with its different aspects such as history, religion, culture, literature, poetry and philosophy.

In order to realize this vision Hadracha Seminars were organized twice a year with an up to 120 participants – out of which is the Hadracha group selected. These seminars are a living laboratory for young people of the community future generation who are going to serve community and keep this project going. The other main goal of this project is to remind that Jewish identity is a whole entity with its religious education, with its music, literature, its intellectuals, its obscure periods and its philosophy.

The creators of the Hadracha Seminars with the generous help of EJF wish to fulfill the lack of information in the field of Jewish Education, to advance one step towards intellectuality. The lecturers are various and "hand picked" from such a broad perspective. In addition to the group's main concerns, Turkish Jewish Community also planning to add personal improvement programs which will bring to light young people's leadership qualities.


Turkey presentation 2010




Norway is a relatively small country, with two main Jewish centers, one located in Oslo and the other in Trondheim. We do have reason to believe that there are about 2500 Jews in Norway who are not members of any of the communities. There are many reasons for why they have little or no contact with the Jewish centers in Norway. A large part of this group cannot benefit from the activities offered by the communities because of too big of a geographical or cultural distance to the communities. We seek to change this with the Chibur project. Through our program, we wish to build a bridge to reach out to as many Jews in Norway as possible to offer them a Jewish context in their everyday life and to give them a possibility to feel a part of the Jewish people.
The project is divided into two parts:

  • Contacting Jews throughout the country

In spite of the size of Norway, here are great geographical distances which make it difficult for many Jews to be a part of Jewish live in Norway. In this part of the project we will get better contact with Jews living far away from out centers, map the needs people may have concerning their Jewish life, inform about our activities and what we can offer them and create programs that are suitable for each group.
We can offer them:

  • Weekly contact by phone and email
  • Gatherings and activities close to their home
  • Invitations to activities in the communities, like yearly family shabbatot, seminars for children in school, summer camps arranged by the community in Oslo and B’nei Akiva summer and winter camps.
  • Offering sponsoring for high travelling costs and hosting solutions when coming to Oslo for arrangements
  • Internet based Hebrew school program
  • Internet based study program for grown-ups.
  • Offer special reduced membership fee in the communities for those living 150 km and further away from the communities. ¨
  • Contacting Israelis both in Oslo and the rest of the country

We experience that many Israelis feel a distance between them and the community. This may due to the cultural differences between the Norwegian Jews and the Israeli Jews. We acknowledge this, but also fell the importance to unite all Jews with different cultural backgrounds in Norway

Through our program we want to find ways in which to be able to fulfill the needs of this group within the framework of the community. We will in this process seek to build up and have a strong connection with an already more or less existing Israel group . Our aim is that this group will grow in numbers, and with time will be strong enough to both work independent within the community as well as with the “other” members .

Activities we can offer :

  • Cover the cultural needs (israeli movies, music, books and sports)
  • Hebrew classes for the non-Israeli spouces
  • Israeli club and parties, celebration of Jewish and Israeli holydays
  • Extra hours in Hebrew school in Hebrew for Israeli children
  • Shlichot from Israel





Limmud in Germany is a completely volunteer-based, nationwide Jewish learning festival, in which participants create the event. We have modeled our Limmud in Germany (www.limmud.de) on the successful Limmud in the UK (www.limmud.org).

The concept is revolutionary in post-war Germany: At Limmud, Jews who might not meet in every life, because of political, religious, cultural or ethnic differences, come together in a spirit of openness and solidarity. We can keep our individual Jewish identities while seeing ourselves as part of a family.

Our multi-day festival in 2010 – the third major festival we have organized – was held May 13-16 at the usual venue – a former youth retreat in Werbellinsee, outside Berlin. We provided kosher food and lodging and all the logistics. About 400 participants spent the long weekend together, attending some 140 sessions on themes related to Jewish history, Israel, current events, Jewish learning, Jewish culture, art and philosophy and much more. A concert featuring the Israeli group Coolooloosh followed the Sabbath and brought us into our final day of workshops on Sunday.

Limmud.de provided simultaneous translation into Russian, English and German for many sessions. One of our goals is to bring Jews in Germany from German-speaking and Russian-speaking backgrounds into contact, in order to encourage integration while celebrating unique cultural characteristics.

The vast majority of sessions were offered by the participants themselves. Many sources of Jewish learning are "right around the corner." Anyone who registers is welcome to present a workshop, performance, lecture or other presentation.

In addition, participants organized Sabbath and other prayer services themselves; there were orthodox, conservative and progressive services for those interested in taking part.

Limmud.de is now in the process of organizing Limmud Day events in various cities.

We hope to become a part of the Jewish educational landscape in Germany, supporting and being nourished by existing programs across the country.

The fourth annual Limmud.de nationwide festival is scheduled for June 2-5, 2011.

Watch Video
Program Brochure
The Jews in Germany 2010
Letter of Gratitude




Stiftelsen Paideia – The European Institute for Jewish Studies in Stockholm

The European Jewish Fund Leadership Program at Paideia educates civil society activists and professionals for the renewal of Jewish life and culture in Europe, a vision that underpins the aims of the European Jewish Fund and Paideia alike.

Since the inauguration of the program in 2008, over 100 professionals and social innovators from 28 different countries have been trained through the EJF-Paideia cooperation. The vast majority of former participants are deeply engaged in European Jewish life - as heads of communities, educational directors, fundraisers, artists, government advisors, Limmud organizers, Moishe House residents, Hillel directors and heads of Jewish studies departments among many other things.

On an aggregate level, a recent survey by The Pears Foundation, ROI Community and Jumpstart shows just how quickly the European Jewish NGO start-up sector has developed in Europe, more than doubling in numbers in the past 5 years. Estimates put the number of new initiatives (younger than ten years) currently in operation in Europe at between 220 and 260 new initiatives, reaching around 250 000 people.

Over 1/3 of all responding initiatives have gone through Paideia, making it by far the most frequently quoted program, with nearly twice as many respondents as the runner-up.

The Program
The European Jewish Fund Leadership Program at Paideia combines an in-depth and comprehensive education in the texts that constitute the bedrock of Jewish civilisation, traditional study methodology (Hevruta), an academic approach to interpretation and applied project development, making it a unique program in Jewish studies. It provides the participants with the knowledge and the tools they need to become driving forces in strengthening Jewish community life throughout Europe.

The program typically brings together participants from 12-15 different European countries, who work for civil society institutions, in the educational sphere, in the arts or who themselves direct projects of social innovation. It prepares young leaders to become the engines of a European Jewish renaissance through engagement in the interactive study of Jewish textual sources and applied leadership development.


To give participants a solid academic base and fluency in Jewish text, through academic textual courses offered by top tier Israeli scholars.

To give participants the practical tools for project building, resource development and developing an analytic mindset.

To involve the participants in a pan-European network of Jewish activists.


The One-Year Jewish Studies Program – The Jewish Professional Track
Fellows in the Paideia One-Year Jewish Studies Program study five days a week, seven hours per day. The program includes 14 two-week Jewish textual courses, each 30 hours, running chronologically from Torah to Modern Jewish Philosophy and Literature. The academic courses are taught in English, primarily by visiting Israeli faculty who are world-renowned experts in their fields and hail from institutions such as Hebrew University, Bar-Ilan University, Tel Aviv University and Ben Gurion University. The fellows take four hours of Hebrew Ulpan each week, and the program also includes a mid-year study trip to Israel, conducted in cooperation with Yad Vashem, immersing the fellows in the land and its culture.

By adding practical leadership training and project development to the One-Year Program, Paideia makes sure that the fellows return to their respective countries as leaders in their communities and multipliers of their acquired knowledge. The applied dimension of the program allows fellows to explore the question of how Jewish studies can nourish their respective fields of competence and to establish a deeper connection between Jewish textual studies and their profession. During the course of the year, each fellow executes and present a project based on his or her interest and profession. The projects are cultural, artistic, academic and community-based, most often in cooperation with the Stockholm Jewish community or other external institutions.

The program also consists of 15-20 yearly lectures by prominent European, American and Israeli guests from the political, academic, NGO and community spheres.

The Paideia Project-Incubator

The Project Incubator is a ten-day interactive summer workshop where activists from all over Europe gather to develop and concretize projects for Jewish culture in Europe. Innovative artistic, cultural, educational and community-centered projects are created, developed and implemented as new initiatives. Program participants range from artists to journalists, Jewish educators to academicians.

The intensive program consists of textual studies, project-development workshops, interaction with foundation representatives and personal tutoring. Following the workshop, personal tutoring is given throughout the year in response to the needs and requests of the participants.

The 2010 Project-Incubator took place in Stockholm between August 3rd and 12th, with an inaugural address by the EJF. Participating staff came from organizations such as the Jewish Social Action Hub/Pears Foundation in London, ROI Community and Jumpstart from LA.

During the Incubator, the participants are provided hands-on tools for realizing the projects in their home countries, while simultaneously broadening their cultural and intellectual horizons through the study of Jewish textual sources. The 2010 program included the following teaching methodologies:

Project Development Lectures and Seminars on topics such as Resource Development, Proposal Writing, Project Components and Evaluation, CSR and Businesses Community Involvement, Branding and Marketing

Workshops on topics such as Vision and values, Leadership Precepts and Practices and Budgeting

Networking session and peer group discussions, to facilitate the sharing of experiences and best practices

Jewish studies sessions, on Leadership in Jewish Sources

Individual tutoring, where each participant is designated a personal tutor to work intensively with over the course of the program.

The final two days provides the participants the opportunity of receiving feedback and advice on their ideas from representatives of various different foundations and organizations working in the European Jewish context – through pitching their project in front of a panel, by getting to know how the foundations work, in individual conversations with the representatives and through conference calls. Participating foundations included representatives from the European Jewish Fund, The Pears Foundation, the Jewish Community of Stockholm, the Claes Groschinsky Memorial Foundation, UJA-New York Federation, The Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation / Bernard Osher Philanthropies, Jay Pomrenze, The L.A. Pincus Fund for Jewish Education in the Diaspora and The Rothschild Foundation Europe.

For the participants to successfully implement the tools they have acquired during the Project Incubator, the projects are tutored continuously throughout the ensuing year by the Incubator staff and by local tutors.



Ari Zuckerman on Muslim Violence in Malmo Sweden from Israel Up Close on Vimeo.

Video About Sweden's Jewish Community in 2010


Project-Incubator, Summer 2010.


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Shevet Achim

The "Shevet Achim" Project is jointly run by the Israeli Government and the European Jewish Fund.

"Shevet Achim" was initiated by Minister Yuli Edelstein and the ministry of Diaspora affairs and is implemented together with the Foreign Ministry and the Israeli Embassies in Europe.

Each month, the program introduces a Minister of the Israeli Government or a senior Israeli public figure to the representatives of a particular European Jewish community. The Jewish community participating that month is hooked up to the Israeli Minister through a Video Conference.

The purpose of this program is to reach and strengthen the ties with the brothers and sisters in the Diaspora by learning more about Jewish life in the European countries participating.

As known, European Jewry faces difficult challenges in trying to preserve Jewish life and the strong connection between Jews and our Heritage. This difficulty is sometimes compounded when individuals find themselves constrained to defend the actions of the State of Israel against hostile and vicious propaganda frequently fueled by the media.

They believe that these meetings strengthen the participating communities' spirit and enhance their ability to face these challenges. They have the unusual and very personal opportunity to learn first hand what the Israelis feel and think and to ask questions which are troubling them. Through these meetings the two communities--Israel and the Diaspora-- learn how to cooperate better and work together to achieve the shared goals.

The new and wondrous technology available today gives a tremendous opportunity to keep in touch and to share information and impressions between one end of the world and the other. It is clear that one should mobilize this technology and to take advantage of this opportunity.

One of the ways to do so is by making these discussions available to any one wishing to view these new and interesting encounters on the internet. They need only connect to www.Leadel.net/live

The European Jewish Fund has been a wonderfully cooperative and innovative partner and creators of this project thank Dr. Moshe Kantor, President of the Fund, for helping to make this project happen.

As the minister of Diaspora affairs, minister Edelstein hosted all three meetings and shared his views and values with all participants before answering the questions they prepared

The first meeting was conducted with the Stockholm Jewish community at the Paideia institute. Important issues such as anti Semitism and the press were discussed during the meeting and all the participants felt that is was an important experience.

The second meeting was held in Budapest and leaders of the community were present together with the Israeli Ambassador to Hungary. They discussed the vision of the Israeli Political Leadership on Israel - Diaspora relations and about the ways is Israel contributing to the struggle of Diaspora Jewry.

The third meeting was hosted in Rome and it was the first time meeting had an interpreter assisting. It was also the first time that three different countries participated in the meeting when Mr. Robert Singer, the Director General & CEO, World ORT joined in London and greeted all participants, due to the meeting being held in on the ORT premises in Rome.

All heads of the community such as Claudia De Benedetti – Vice President - UCEI, Rabbi Roberto Della Rocca and others together with Israeli officials stationed in Rome attended and spoke mainly about joint efforts in "Hasbara", and the Jewish leaders' desire to cooperate with the Israeli government on strengthening Jewish Identity and educational projects.

Their strong believe that this program benefits each participating community and creates an appealing and personal channel for a more meaningful relationship with the Israeli people and its elected government.

The goal is to conduct such a dialog with very Jewish community in Europe and to involve each of the cabinet ministers.