World Jewish Congress: Making a Real Difference in the Real World
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Post on 06-Apr-2016
IN THE REAL WORLDMAKING A REAL DIFFERENCEWORLD JEWISH CONGRESSI WISH THAT JEWS WERE SAFE all over the world, that they could live their lives and raise their children and walk to synagogue without fear.I wish there was no anti-Semitism and that everyone appre-ciated the tremendous achievements that Jews have con-tributed to the world for 5,000 years.I wish there was no reason for an organization like the World Jewish Congress to exist.But that isnt the way the real world works. It isnt the way the world has ever worked.Ronald S. Lauder President World Jewish Congress11SUPPORTING ISRAEL AND JEWISH COMMUNITIES. COMBATTING ANTI-SEMITISM AND TERRORISM. ENSURING HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE AND EDUCATION.PROMOTING HUMAN RIGHTS AND INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE. AROUND THE WORLD, destructive forces threaten Jewish communities and place civilized societies in great peril. Around the world, opportunities abound, hopeful and promising, to strengthen alliances and build human bridges of mutual respect and understanding.Since its founding in Geneva in 1936, the World Jewish Congress has identified the trends, exposed the issues, combatted the threats, responded to the chal-lenges and seized the opportunities. WJC defends Israel from defamation and rallies to protect beleaguered Jewish communities everywhere.Working hand-in-hand with our regional affiliatesEuro-Asian Jewish Con-gress, European Jewish Congress, Latin American Jewish Congress, WJC Israel and WJC North Americaand our international partners and member orga-nizations in more than 100 countries on six continentsWJC has become the leading activist, serving the global Jewish community as no other organization can.Our vigilant and front-line defense of the Jewish people remains our sacred mandate and moral passion. We harness our global strengththe respect and credibility we have earned with government leaders, the trust we have merited from Jewish communities, and the warm bonds we have forged with the leaders of other world religionsto further the Jewish cause.Unmatched on the international stage and unrivaled in its vast diplomatic and communal outreach, WJC unites world Jewry under one umbrella for a com-mon purpose. We provide a platform where the voice of global Jewish commu-nities can be heard.THE AGENDA OF THE WORLD JEWISH CONGRESS is broad-based as we work tirelessly to monitor, expose and fight anti-Semitism in all its insidious forms. We speak out in the corridors of power to prevent Iran from achiev-ing nuclear capability and shine a spotlight on other radical and destabilizing nations.The recent conflict between Israel and Hamas spilled quickly over into Europe, where protestors masked their anti-Semitic agenda as opposition to Israels policy. Jewish communities have witnessed yet another chilling and lethal dis-play of anti-Semitism. Fueled by anti-Zionism, intolerance, extremism and xenophobia, Jews in many parts of the world fear for their personal safety, their communal institutions and their religious customs.Far right-wing parties and those who align themselves with ideological or his-torical trends reminiscent of Nazism have made significant gains in Europe-an parliamentary elections. The toxic combination of extreme anti-Semitism, aggressive national chauvinism and anti-capitalist rhetoric that infused the Nazi party has proved enduring. Additionally, the prospects for a nuclear Iran loom ever larger and pose an imminent danger not only as a sponsor of terrorism but as a major threat to international peace and stability. Our communities, in Europe and beyond, have the right to expect that their governments will provide for their safety, for the security of Jewish sites, and allow Jewish life to flourish. WJC President Ronald S. LauderCOMBATTING ANTI-SEMITISM AND TERRORISM2IN RECENT YEARS, there has been a dramatic increase in anti-Semitic and anti-Israel manifestations in both the mainstream media and social media. Radical Muslim groups and individuals supportive of terror-oriented Middle Eastern movements have become increasingly vocal in ways that merge anti-Israel rhetoric and demonstrations with explicit anti-Semitism. At the same time, there has been a surge in the growth and visi-bility of neo-Nazi and other extreme-right political movements, many of which engage in similarly offensive anti-Semitic behavior.In this context, the endorsement of the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanc-tions) movement by popular public figures, intellectuals, actors and the like has giv-en BDS substantial traction while Western media coverage of the Middle East is often biased against Israel. In an effort to wage a successful battle in the all-important arena of public opinion, WJC has undertaken a far-reaching and sophisticated international public relations campaign to counteract all forms and manifestations of anti-Semitism and work to bring about a fundamental change in popular attitudes toward Jews, Jewish communities and institu-tions, and the State of Israel.Shield of AbrahamWJC TAKES center stage at a landmark rally in Berlin against anti-Semitism, featuring major presentations by WJC President Ronald S. Lauder and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.3WJC is a driving force on the international stage, protesting anti-Semitism, demanding swift legal action against perpetrators and urging governments to improve security for Jewish institutions and communities and ban violent anti-Jewish demonstrations. At the United Nations, WJC remains a key player in diplomatic efforts, both in New York and Geneva. Each year, in conjunction with the opening of the UN General Assembly, WJC leaders meet with presidents, prime ministers and for-eign ministers from dozens of nations to advocate on behalf of Jewish commu-nities worldwide, to highlight Irans illicit efforts to achieve nuclear weapons and to discuss regional issues of mutual concern. Throughout the year, WJC engages in high-level diplomacy with the U.S. admin-istration, as well as with the European Union and its member states, urging them to deal with growing attacks against Jews, to combat the resurgence of political parties with neo-Nazi leanings, and to outline common steps including intelligence sharing, cooperation between enforcement authorities and stron-ger legislative and security measures. Our communities, in Europe and beyond, have the right to expect that their governments will provide for their safety, for the security of Jewish sites, and allow Jewish life to flourish. WJC President Ronald S. LauderSUPPORTING ISRAEL AND JEWISH COMMUNITIESMORE THAN 130 young, sophisticated Jewish professionals from 30 countries, aged 2740, participate in public diplomacy on behalf of the Jewish people and Israel. These Jewish diplomats, known as JDs, engage with governments, religious organizations and other regional and international bodies such as UNESCO, the Council of Europe, the OAS and the OSCE. This unique global leadership development initiative helps to build, strengthen and empower the next generation of Jewish leaders to work effectively for positive change around the world.The JDCorps plans to expand its global activities and increase the number of active JDs, with the goal of building strong political leaders with the capacity to act, react and coor-dinate activities in their local political environments.WJC Jewish Diplomatic Corps (JDCorps) There is a profound aspiration within an immense majority of Jews in Israel and the diaspora who aspire to see a lasting peace between Israel and its neighbors. War will not lead to peace, but diplomacy will. We know it will be long and arduous, but it needs to happen. David de Rothschild, WJC Governing Board Chairman4The Israel Council on Foreign Relations (ICFR)THE ISRAEL COUNCIL on Foreign Relations (ICFR) is a non-partisan forum for the study and debate of foreign policy operating under the auspices of the World Jewish Con-gress. The Council aspires to stimulate awareness of international affairs, particularly regarding Israel, Jewish issues and the Middle East. The ICFR concentrates on three main activities: Symposia and public and closed-door lectures with Israeli and visiting foreign schol-ars, statesmen and other dignitaries; Publication of The Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs (IJFA), which appears three times a year; and The Israeli-European Young Diplomats Forum, which brings together young EU and Israeli diplomats for monthly meetings on topics of mutual interest and for networking.WJC REMAINS COMMITTED to ensuring that Israels age-old quest to live in peace and security and assume its rightful place among democratic nations can finally be realized. Working indefatigably to counter the global campaign to delegitimize Israel, WJCs diplomacy, political advocacy, public educational ini-tiatives and media efforts are critically important and are gratefully acknowl-edged by the Israeli government and the Israeli people. WJC has also taken a leading role in denouncing and working to counter aca-demic boycotts against Israel and combat the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.WJC calls for governments to apply the same standards to Israel as they do to other countries; for fair and equal treatment of Israel in the United Nations, the European Union and other international bodies, and for the UN to live up to its own Charter.HUNDREDS OF WJC representatives from over 70 countries travel to Hungary, Greece and Belgium to express solidarity with their Jewish communities as they face a resurgence of neo-Nazism often coupled with violent and deadly anti-Semitic attacks. A WJC global delegation arrives in Israel to show support during Operation Protective Edge.5SUPPORTING ISRAEL AND JEWISH COMMUNITIES6PROMOTING HUMAN RIGHTS AND INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUEJust as I will not be silent in the face of the growing threat of anti-Semitism in Europe and in the Middle East, I will not be indifferent to Christian suffering. Historically, Jews have all too often been the persecuted minority. Now, sadly, we share a kind of suffering: Christians are dying because of their beliefs, because they are defenseless and because the world is indifferent to their suffering. The Jewish people understand all too well what can happen when the world is silent. WJC President Ronald S. LauderTHE WORLD JEWISH CONGRESS, 2013 2015 Chair of the International Jewish Com-mittee on Interreligious Consultations (IJCIC), organized the biennial International Liai-son Committee (ILC) meeting with the Vatican in Madrid, Spain. Twenty five international Jewish leaders and twenty five representatives of the Vatican, among them 3 cardinals as well as members of the Spanish Bishops Conference, met to discuss current challeng-es facing faith communities. An ILC Emerging Leaders conference in Berlin, featuring 50 young Catholic and Jewish leaders, brought together the next generation of religious community leaders to take the dialogue into the future and strengthen the relationship. Meetings are held with the leadership of the World Council of Churches to address issues of common concern including freedom of religious expression, racism and anti-Semitism.WJC Leads IJCIC67SINCE ITS FOUNDING, WJC has been at the forefront of interfaith relations, conducting ongoing dialogue with the Catholic Church and maintaining excep-tional and close relations with the Vatican on all levels, including frequent pri-vate meetings with Pope Francis for open and honest discussions on issues of utmost concern to the global Jewish community. Working closely with the Israel Allies Foundation and the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus, a non-partisan group, WJC also mobilizes support for Israel by opening formal and direct lines of communication between Israeli lawmakers and Christian leaders, organizations and political representatives around the world.Further, WJC has expanded its outreach to Christian leaders in America and around the world and strengthened ties with the Catholic Church and the national leadership of the Evangelical community. WJC continues to provide organizational support for the International Jewish Committee on Interreli-gious Consultations (IJCIC). Working together on issues of mutual concern, such dialogue has helped to pave the way for constructive and cooperative responses to racism, discrimination, terrorism and other challenges shared by faith communities.WJC EVOKES the rousing support of thousands of Evangelical Christians attending the annual Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem.7PROMOTING HUMAN RIGHTS AND INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE8Auschwitz 70THE WORLD JEWISH CONGRESS AND the USC Shoah FoundationInstitute for Visual History and Education support the official observance of the 70th anniversary of the libera-tion of Auschwitz with Auschwitz: The Past is Present, a global communication and education program. As part of the program, WJC and the USC Shoah Foundation will bring 100 sur-vivors of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest of the German Nazi death camps, to participate in the official commemorative events on January 27, 2015, under the auspices of the Aus-chwitz-Birkenau State Museum and the International Auschwitz Council. We must make sure, through a determined effort, that the Jewish-German relationship stays special in the most positive meaning of the word, that Jewish life continues to blossom in Germany and that Israel and Germany remain friends and allies. Chella Safra, WJC Treasurer89ENSURING HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE AND EDUCATIONHOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE AND RESTITUTION of European Jewish assets seized during the Holocaust are, first and foremost, issues of justice, morality and human dignity. Today, seven decades after the end of World War II, several countries still refuse to make just restitution to the victims, survivors and heirs of the Shoah. Holocaust denial is becoming more common and accept-ed around the world.As a founding member of the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO), currently chaired by WJC President Ronald S. Lauder, WJC has led the battle to help those who survived the Nazi death camps and to honor those who did not. Under Mr. Lauders leadership, the WJRO intensively lobbies governments to implement laws providing for the return of looted Jewish communal and per-sonal properties.Over the years, WJC has played a key role in securing billions of dollars in pay-ments to survivors and their heirs from Germany, over a dozen European gov-ernments, Swiss banks, insurance companies and others. Most recently, WJC has been instrumental in the German governments decision to accelerate the investigation and return of Nazi looted art to their rightful owners or heirs.Using the international political stage and the media to confront Holocaust denial, WJC initiates cutting-edge educational programs to build human bridg-es of respect and understanding, foster tolerance and promote interethnic and interfaith cooperation among the younger generation worldwide. WJC works to keep Holocaust memory alive around the world. In cooperation with the USC Shoah Foundation, WJC is coordinating and participating in the memorial ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Aus-chwitz and will support similar events at other former Nazi camps. WJC also continues to speak out against those who deny their own complicity in the genocide, revise their history or refuse responsibility for the annihilation of European Jewry during the Shoah.WJC IS A DRIVING FORCE in bringing the issue of Nazi looted art onto the political agenda in Germany. 910ADDITIONAL WJC PROGRAMMATIC INITIATIVES10INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF JEWISH PARLIAMENTARIANS (ICJP)The International Council of Jewish Parliamentarians (ICJP), an initiative of the World Jewish Congress, is designed to bring together Jewish parliamentarians and government ministers from around the world to meet and discuss issues of common concern. Founded in 1988 following a series of biannual meetings of Jewish parliamentarians in Israel, the ICJP established a global network of rela-tionships among Jewish elected officials in order to enable greater knowledge and understanding of the challenges facing Jewish communities in Israel and the diaspora.In bringing together Jewish elected officials, the ICJP aims to promote dialogue, the principles of democracy, the cause of human rights and the rule of law, and to combat racism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, terrorism and Holocaust denial. The ICJP supports Israel and the cause of peace in the Middle East.Congressman Eliot L. Engel is the Chairman of ICJP. Canadian MP Professor Irwin Cotler, former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, is Vice Chairman.11ADDITIONAL WJC PROGRAMMATIC INITIATIVESWORLD JEWISH CONGRESS YIDDISH CENTER The revival of the Yiddish language is instrumental in regenerating Jewish life in Europe after the tragedy of the Holocaust. It can also be a tool for the consolida-tion of Jewish communities throughout the diaspora and for many Jews around the world who recognize the importance of keeping the language, culture and heritage of their ancestors alive. Vilnius, Lithuania (formerly Vilna) has been chosen as the location for the World Jewish Congress Yiddish Center, with the intention of revitalizing European Jew-ish culture. For centuries, the city was traditionally considered as the major cen-ter of Jewish culture in Europe.Leading academics, teachers and experts from around the world and from cen-ters such as Bar Ilan University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, New York University, Oxford University and the YIVO Institute of Jewish Research will be invited to teach at the Center, together with renowned academicians from insti-tutions in Poland, Lithuania and Russia.GLOBAL COALITION FOR ISRAEL (GC4I) Established in 2010, GC4I brings together Israeli government ministries and leading international Jewish organizations into working task forces to identify best practices for confronting the political warfare being waged against the Jew-ish state, specifically the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS).11 12JEWISH PROFESSIONALS NETWORK (JPN)Jewish Professionals Network (JPN) is a global network for capable young Jew-ish communal professionals who are acutely aware of the challenges and oppor-tunities facing the Jewish world. Its mission is to create an action-oriented platform in which Jewish professionals from around the world can build mean-ingful relationships and learn from experienced leaders. They share their own knowledge and best practices with the aim of generating solutions to common challenges, as well as offering unique opportunities to help each young profes-sional learn and grow.The vision of JPN is to utilize the strength of the World Jewish Congress to build a next generation that inspires, empowers and motivates young Jews.1213HOLOCAUST EDUCATION THROUGH THE ARTSCo-sponsored by WJC with the United Nations Department of Public Informa-tion and the Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations, this innovative program features presentations by accomplished artists in dance, literature, film and music to help grasp the universal lessons of the Holocaust and educate new generations about the dangers of bigotry and hatred.ISRAELS DETRACTORS have spent decades propagating a one-sided history of the Mid-dle East refugee problem. WJC has brought world-wide attention to the long-ignored plight of 850,000 Jewish refugees from Muslim countries who were expelled or forced to flee in the aftermath of the establishment of Israel, forfeiting their homes, assets and institutions.WJC, with Israels Ministry of Foreign Affairs, co-sponsored two pioneering conferenc-esat United Nations headquarters in New York and in Jerusalemand has spearhead-ed ongoing advocacy efforts in the U.S. Congress to highlight this historical inequity and seek remedies to address the hardship endured by expelled Jews.Justice for Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries1314WJC TAKING ACTIONIN GENEVA, WJC appears before the Human Rights Council, the UN High Com-missioner For Refugees and other international organizations as a non-govern-mental organization to highlight issues of concern. A MULTI-FACETED WJC campaign yields positive results as the European Union votes unanimously to blacklist the military wing of Hezbollah as a terror group.THE GREEK GOVERNMENT cracks down on neo-Nazi extremists, following repeat-ed appeals by WJC. In addition, the Greek Parliament delivers a vote to legal-ly defund the far-right Golden Dawn party and passes a law that penalizes Holocaust denial and other forms of hate speech.PRESSURE FROM WJC leads Hungarys government to drop their nomination of Peter Szentmihalyi Szabo as ambassador to Rome. Mr. Szabo has strong ties to the far-right media and has made numerous anti-Semitic comments.WJC PUBLISHES and globally disseminates The Rise of Neo-Nazism in the Party Political System, pulling back the curtain on the alarming growth of parties with neo-Nazi leanings across the globe and the seeming acceptance of these parties by their governments.WJC SUCCESSFULLY leads the charge to protect kosher slaughter and circumcision in European countries.WJC TAKES the American Studies Association to task for its boycott of Israel. As part of WJCs Global Campus Initiative, 100 Jewish university students gath-er in Jerusalem to learn how to counter such attempts to delegitimize Israel on campus.WJC SPEAKS OUT against the printing and sale of hate books, such as Mein Kampf, on leading online retail platforms.MEETINGS ORGANIZED by WJC lead to the opening of a new investigation into the connection between Iran and the bombing of Argentinas Jewish community center back in 1994.UNDERSTANDING THE IMPORTANCE of strengthening Sino-Judeo relations, WJC leaders travel to Beijing and establish a special task force with the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office to further political, economic and cultural cooperation.1415JOIN USHELP MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE IN THE REAL WORLDYou can be proud to be a part of WJC.SINCE OUR FOUNDING IN 1936, the World Jewish Congress has been the diplomatic arm of the Jewish people. History continues to dictate our agenda. In todays world, the threats to our global Jewish community are increasingly dangerous and complex. Only those organizations with the necessary leadership, access and clout will be able to shape public opinion and effect positive change.WJC IS ON THE GROUND AND IN THE FRONT LINES on those issues that matter most to world Jewry: safeguarding Jewish security; combatting anti-Semitism, extremism and terror; supporting Israel; advocating on issues of human rights; promoting and enhancing interfaith relations; preserving the memory of the Holocaust and seeking justice for victims and their heirs. WJC REMAINS TRUE TO ITS MOTTO: All Jews are Responsible for One Another.YOUR SUPPORT STRENGTHENS and empowers us. Only together can we ensure that Jews everywhere are safe and that their rights are respected.15WJC PRESIDENT Ronald S. LauderCHAIRMAN OF THE GOVERNING BOARDDavid de RothschildTREASURERChella SafraPOLICY COUNCILMoshe Kantor CHAIRMANMervyn Smith CO-CHAIRMANREGIONAL CHAIRS Julius Meinl PRESIDENT, EURO-ASIAN JEWISH CONGRESSMoshe Kantor PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN JEWISH CONGRESSJack Terpins PRESIDENT, LATIN AMERICAN JEWISH CONGRESSShai Hermesh CHAIRPERSON, WJC-ISRAELEvelyn Sommer CHAIRPERSON, WJC-NORTH AMERICAVICE-PRESIDENT Eduardo ElsztainSTEERING COMMITTEEOF THE WORLD JEWISH CONGRESSTHE WORLD JEWISH CONGRESS gratefully recognizes the essential contri-butions of our international leadershipthe democratically elected heads of their respective Jewish communities in more than 100 countries around the world. Our strength and success are only possible through their unyielding dedication and determined efforts throughout the year.163THOSE WHO HATE JEWS have probably never gone away; they have always been here. But they are becoming more outspoken again. They dare to say and do things that would never have been tolerated a decade ago.None of this is acceptable, and it is high time that world leaders stand up against expressions of anti-Semitism and take action. The World Jewish Congress is the leading global activist on the scene today, speaking truth to power and calling on governments to take strong measures to protect and defend our Jewish communities. Robert Singer CEO and Executive Vice President World Jewish Congress4worldjewishcongress.org212.894.4770Founded in 1936 in Geneva, the World Jewish Congress is the representative body of Jewish communities and organizations in more than 100 countries across six continents.Working as the permanent address on behalf of world Jewry with foreign governments and international agencies, the World Jewish Congress: safeguards Jewish security combats anti-Semitism, bigotry and extremism supports Israel and advancesMiddle East peace advocates on issues of human rights promotes and enhances interfaith relationsWORLD JEWISH CONGRESS
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