Newsletter Combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life

News Europa - pubblicata il 11 Marzo 2024

Source: European Commission Spokesperson's Service  



Coordinator on combating antisemitism holds Laudatio for Igor Levit’s Buber-Rosenzweig Medal

3 March 2024 – Katharina von Schnurbein, European Commission Coordinator on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life, held the Laudatio for world renowned pianist Igor Levit who received the Buber-Rosenzweig Medal, by the German Coordinating Council of the Societies for Christian-Jewish Cooperation. The award is a recognition of “his commitment against all forms of misanthropy, be it antisemitism, racism or other forms of discrimination, and for a free, democratic and diverse society.”

In her speech, Ms. von Schnurbein stated:

“Igor Levit described himself as a European. Many Jews consider themselves as Europeans and, according to surveys they trust EU more than their nation state. Not because Europe does everything right, but because (…) Europe stands for values such as democracy, freedom of expression and the protection of minorities, which provide the framework conditions for the peaceful coexistence of an increasingly diverse society on this continent. However, this only works if each and every one of us not only accepts the free democratic basic order as a given, but actively stands up for it and defends it.

She further added:

“Standing up against antisemitism and hatred is not a responsibility of the Jews. Every public administration, every NGO, every school, every university, every sports club, as well as political parties and also the churches, need a protocol on how to prevent antisemitism and any form of hatred and how to deal with antisemitic incidents in their own ranks, so they can react swiftly and decisively.”

Read full Laudatio here (German).


© Pictures: DKR/Wardeski Photography

See also Watch here (German)

Katharina von Schnurbein visits Rhineland-Palatine Landtag and addresses the rise of antisemitism worldwide

4 March 2024 – Together with the President of the State Parliament Hendrik Hering and Monika Fuhr, the Prime Minister’s Commissioner for Jewish Life and Anti-Semitism Issues, European Commission Coordinator on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life, Katharina von Schnurbein, met with the Jewish community representatives at the New Synagogue in Mainz.
At the Rhineland-Palatine State Parliament, she joined President Hering for a podcast on „The role of the EU and parliaments in the fight against antisemitism and as initiators of a future-oriented crossborder commemorative work“. They discussed actions to address the dangerous rise of antisemitism after 7 October 2023 and the importance of remembrance. This includes Shoah remembrance, but also Jewish heritage, such as the impact the UNESCO world heritage SchUM cities Speyer, Worms and Mainz had since the 10th century on Ashkenazi Jewry, European judiciary and culture.

© Picture: Landtag RLP

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EU Coordinator addresses the Federal-Länder Commission on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life

4 March 2024 – In a discussion hosted by the Hesse State Secretary for Finance and Special envoy for the fight against antisemitism, Uwe Becker, the European Commission Coordinator Katharina von Schnurbein urged representatives of the 16 German Länder to step up actions against antisemitism in the education sector and to speak out against antisemitism coming from all stratus of societies.
She pointed to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism as the main tool to inform civil society actors about contemporary antisemitism and trigger a broader response.

The event was co-hosted by the Federal Government Commissioner for Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight Against Antisemitism, Dr. Felix Klein, and attended by representatives of the Central Council of Jews and Mr. Daniel Neumann, Chairman of the regional association of Jewish communities in Hesse.

See also About Federal-Länder Commission (German…

Inside the European Commission: Commissioner Várhelyi opened the exhibition ‘Escaping Ukraine: am I my brother keeper?’

22 February 2024 – To mark the second anniversary of the start of the Ukraine war, Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi opened the exhibition ‘Escaping Ukraine: am I my brother keeper?’ at the European Commission premises.
The exhibition focuses on EU funding used to support Jewish refugees, highlighting the rescue of the Odessa Jewish orphanage, the creation of a shelter for Ukrainian Jews at a former resort in Hungary at lake Balaton, and a camp set up by the Jewish Community Center in Krakow, Poland for non-Jewish refugees.
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EU-funded initiative to develop systematic approach to Jewish heritage in East Central Europe

22 February 2024, Pascale Falek, Policy officer, addressed the closing event of Negotiating Difficult Past project (NeDiPa) focusing on “Difficult heritage” about memory practices at Jewish heritage sites. This EU-funded initiative (500.000 Euro) developed a systematic approach to Jewish heritage in East Central Europe through trainings, commemorations and artistic initiatives, including original initiatives such as green and ephemeral commemorations.
It demonstrated the importance of memory activism and caring for neglected Jewish heritage sites, a shift from “memory” to “caring and engaging with the past”.
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EU Youth Conference engages in discussions about antisemitism

On 4 March 2024, Pascale Falek, Policy Officer in the office of Commission Coordinator on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life, discussed “Challenging discriminatory attitudes and cultures” with delegates from national youth councils, youth organization representatives and ministerial delegates as part of the EU Youth Conference.
Ms. Falek also gave introductory remarks at the EU co-funded conference “Educating against antisemitism, intolerance and discrimination in France: essential elements for teacher training”, organized by UNESCO, the French Ministry of Education and DILCRAH on 21 February 2024 in Paris. The conference brought together school inspectors, teacher trainers, educators, policymakers and representatives of Jewish organizations, to share knowledge and good practices on preventing antisemitism through education. It focused also on the new mandatory visit in France for each secondary school student to a historical or memorial place related to racism, antisemitism and anti-gypsyism.


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