Challenges throughout the Jewish world and questions of Jewish identity and continuity formed the backdrop for a fascinating private meeting with Dr. Moshe Kantor, President of the European Jewish Congress (EJC), a representative body of democratically elected European Jewish communities throughout Europe and the Chairmen of the Cape and Gauteng Jewish Board of Deputies, Rael Kaimowitz and Marc Pozniak respectively.
Dr. Kantor also founded the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation, a non-governmental organisation that fights xenophobia, extremism and antisemitism. In the private meeting, initiated by Dr. Kantor, through the National Board office, the challenges that various European communities are facing were juxtaposed with the landscape and challenge of the South African Jewish community. These included antisemitism, Jewish identity, communal funding, advocacy and relationships with government and other communities. A fascinating discussion ensued around the balance between security and tolerance and its impact on global politics. Opportunities with the European Jewish Fund were explored for local projects making a difference in how the Jewish community interacted with and were seen by the non-Jewish world.
The importance of alliances and partnerships with Jewish communities and international bodies like the EJC from around the world is a key objective of the SA Jewish Board of Deputies. It serves to bridge our community, geographically isolated at the tip of Africa, with those countries in Europe, The US and the world over.
Dr. Kantor also had a private tour of the SA Jewish Museum with Director Gavin Morris and the Holocaust and Genocide Centre with Director Richard Freedman.