‘Freedom to Thrive’: CAM Joins European Jewish Association Policy Conference in Budapest

The 2022 European Jewish Association (EJA) Annual Policy Conference, in Budapest, Hungary, June 2022. Photo: Oriana Krüger.

June 23, 2022

The European Jewish Association (EJA) held its annual policy conference this week, in Budapest, Hungary, under the banner of — “Freedom to Live. Freedom From Hate. Freedom to Thrive.”

The Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) was represented at the two-day event by Director of European Affairs Oriana Krüger.

The distinguished gathering brought together Jewish leaders from across Europe to discuss antisemitism, freedom of religion, and the fostering of Jewish life on the continent.

Opening the conference, EJA Chair Rabbi Menachem Margolin declared, “We are all here because we care.”

Another featured speaker was European Parliament Vice President Nicola Beer, who heads the legislative body’s Working Group on Antisemitism. In her remarks, MEP Beer emphasized that protecting and nurturing European Jewish communities was a top priority for both her working group and the European Parliament as a whole.

One area of focus at the conference was the ongoing war in Ukraine and how Jewish organizations can provide practical aid to Ukrainian Jews and other refugees. Rabbi Raphael Rotman — Vice President of Federation of Jewish Communities of Ukraine — provided insights into the horrifying situation facing the Jews of Ukraine, recalling perilous evacuations under Russian fire.

“Families are being separated, wives from husbands, children from fathers,” he said.

Hungarian Interior Minister Sándor Pintér was recognized at the conference for his dedication to fighting antisemitism.

A new report ranking the quality of life for Jews in 12 different European countries was also presented.

Furthermore, a vote was held on recommendations to be forwarded by the EJA to national parliaments, including calls for a “zero-tolerance policy toward antisemitism” and the adoption of the full International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism.

The conference also included a memorial service – with a candle-lighting ceremony and the reciting of the Kaddish prayer — on the banks of the Danube River to honor the tens of thousands of Jews who were murdered there by Nazi collaborators during the Holocaust.

The EJA memorial service for Holocaust victims, on the banks of the Danube River, in Budapest, Hungary. Photo: Oriana Krüger.