Representatives of the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) traveled to the city of Porto, Portugal, this week to participate in the annual policy conference of the European Jewish Association (EJA).
The two-day event — held under the banner of “Shaping the Future of European Jewry Together” — was hosted by the Jewish Community of Porto.
Director of European Affairs Oriana Marie Krüger and Social Media Manager Hannah Goldstein attended the summit on behalf of CAM.
We’re excited to join the 2023 @EJAssociation annual conference on Shaping the Future of European Jewry and develop new strategies to combat antisemitism in Europe. #EJAPORTO23 pic.twitter.com/WKOjN0zGbF
— Combat Antisemitism Movement (@CombatASemitism) May 15, 2023
“We are one community undivided by borders,” said EJA Chairman and Founder Rabbi Menachem Margolin. “When we speak with one voice, we are stronger together.”
“As we meet, governments across Europe are coming forward with plans affecting Jewish life in Europe,” he added. “We must ask ourselves what kind of future we want to see. And what part all of us can do to make that vision a reality.”
Rabbi Margolin also credited local Jewish leaders in Porto for showing “how just a few individuals who believe in Judaism, in the future of Jewish life, can do magnificent work.”
Gabriel Senderowicz — president of the Jewish Community of Porto — noted, “Many European governments confuse Jewish life with Jewish heritage. They think of Judaism as ancient houses that have been rehabilitated and some municipal museums that open on Shabbat.”
“I am honored to be president of a community that has synagogues that respect traditional Judaism, that has kosher restaurants, films of history, a Jewish museum closed on Shabbat, and a Holocaust museum that welcomes 50,000 children a year and teaches them that the aim of the ‘Final Solution’ was to exterminate the Jews and not minorities in general,” he added.
European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas stated, “Antisemitism is on the rise and has morphed. We are witnessing a rise of Holocaust distortion and a resurgence of old antisemitism. We cannot accept this and we need to all act to fight this scourge.”
Schinas continued, “The data show that approximately 38% of the Jews in Europe are considering leaving Europe because they feel unsafe. This is a shame, and it’s the responsibility of every government in the EU to protect its Jewish citizens.”
He further pointed out that 19 EU governments had already published national action plans against antisemitism.
Other speakers included national antisemitism coordinators and leaders of Jewish communities from across the continent.
Lord John Mann — an independent adviser to the UK government on antisemitism and a member of the CAM Advisory Board — highlighted the importance of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism, saying, “The reason that an MP has been expelled from his political party is a breach of the IHRA definition. We approached 99% of British universities who’ve signed to the definition, and are using the definition.”
The conference concluded with the passing of a resolution calling for antisemitism to be separated from other forms of hatred and bigotry, saying, “Antisemitism is unique and must be treated as such.”
Upon the conclusion of #EJAPORTO23 @EJAssociation would like to sincerely thank the Jewish ✡ Community of Porto for their hospitality and impressive contributions to the revival of 🇵🇹 Judaism.
We visited Shoah and Jewish Museum, and the breath-taking synagogue 🕍 in Porto. pic.twitter.com/ZN5M7We0py
— EuropeanJewishAssociation – EUIsraelPublicAffairs (@EJAssociation) May 16, 2023