World Jewish Congress: Making a Real Difference in the Real World

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<ul><li><p>IN THE REAL WORLD</p><p>MAKING A REAL DIFFERENCE</p><p>WORLD JEWISH CONGRESS</p></li><li><p>I 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.</p><p>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.</p><p>I wish there was no reason for an organization like the World Jewish Congress to exist.</p><p>But that isnt the way the real world works. It isnt the way the world has ever worked.</p><p>Ronald S. Lauder President World Jewish Congress</p></li><li><p>11</p><p>SUPPORTING ISRAEL AND JEWISH COMMUNITIES. </p><p>COMBATTING ANTI-SEMITISM AND TERRORISM. </p><p>ENSURING HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE AND EDUCATION.</p><p>PROMOTING HUMAN RIGHTS AND INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE. </p><p>AROUND THE WORLD, destructive forces threaten Jewish communities and </p><p>place civilized societies in great peril. Around the world, opportunities abound, </p><p>hopeful and promising, to strengthen alliances and build human bridges of </p><p>mutual respect and understanding.</p><p>Since its founding in Geneva in 1936, the World Jewish Congress has identified </p><p>the trends, exposed the issues, combatted the threats, responded to the chal-</p><p>lenges and seized the opportunities. WJC defends Israel from defamation and </p><p>rallies to protect beleaguered Jewish communities everywhere.</p><p>Working hand-in-hand with our regional affiliatesEuro-Asian Jewish Con-</p><p>gress, European Jewish Congress, Latin American Jewish Congress, WJC Israel </p><p>and WJC North Americaand our international partners and member orga-</p><p>nizations in more than 100 countries on six continentsWJC has become the </p><p>leading activist, serving the global Jewish community as no other organization </p><p>can.</p><p>Our vigilant and front-line defense of the Jewish people remains our sacred </p><p>mandate and moral passion. We harness our global strengththe respect and </p><p>credibility we have earned with government leaders, the trust we have merited </p><p>from Jewish communities, and the warm bonds we have forged with the leaders </p><p>of other world religionsto further the Jewish cause.</p><p>Unmatched on the international stage and unrivaled in its vast diplomatic and </p><p>communal outreach, WJC unites world Jewry under one umbrella for a com-</p><p>mon purpose. We provide a platform where the voice of global Jewish commu-</p><p>nities can be heard.</p></li><li><p>THE AGENDA OF THE WORLD JEWISH CONGRESS is broad-based as we </p><p>work tirelessly to monitor, expose and fight anti-Semitism in all its insidious </p><p>forms. We speak out in the corridors of power to prevent Iran from achiev-</p><p>ing nuclear capability and shine a spotlight on other radical and destabilizing </p><p>nations.</p><p>The recent conflict between Israel and Hamas spilled quickly over into Europe, </p><p>where protestors masked their anti-Semitic agenda as opposition to Israels </p><p>policy. Jewish communities have witnessed yet another chilling and lethal dis-</p><p>play of anti-Semitism. </p><p>Fueled by anti-Zionism, intolerance, extremism and xenophobia, Jews in many </p><p>parts of the world fear for their personal safety, their communal institutions </p><p>and their religious customs.</p><p>Far right-wing parties and those who align themselves with ideological or his-</p><p>torical trends reminiscent of Nazism have made significant gains in Europe-</p><p>an parliamentary elections. The toxic combination of extreme anti-Semitism, </p><p>aggressive national chauvinism and anti-capitalist rhetoric that infused the </p><p>Nazi party has proved enduring. </p><p>Additionally, the prospects for a nuclear Iran loom ever larger and pose an </p><p>imminent danger not only as a sponsor of terrorism but as a major threat to </p><p>international peace and stability.</p><p> Our communities, in Europe and beyond, have the right </p><p> to expect that their governments </p><p> will provide for their safety, </p><p> for the security of Jewish sites, </p><p> and allow Jewish life to flourish. WJC President Ronald S. Lauder</p><p>COMBATTING ANTI-SEMITISM AND TERRORISM</p><p>2</p></li><li><p>IN RECENT YEARS, there has been a dramatic increase in anti-Semitic and anti-Israel </p><p>manifestations in both the mainstream media and social media. Radical Muslim groups </p><p>and individuals supportive of terror-oriented Middle Eastern movements have become </p><p>increasingly vocal in ways that merge anti-Israel rhetoric and demonstrations with </p><p>explicit anti-Semitism. At the same time, there has been a surge in the growth and visi-</p><p>bility of neo-Nazi and other extreme-right political movements, many of which engage in </p><p>similarly offensive anti-Semitic behavior.</p><p>In this context, the endorsement of the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanc-</p><p>tions) movement by popular public figures, intellectuals, actors and the like has giv-</p><p>en BDS substantial traction while Western media coverage of the Middle East is often </p><p>biased against Israel. </p><p>In an effort to wage a successful battle in the all-important arena of public opinion, WJC </p><p>has undertaken a far-reaching and sophisticated international public relations campaign </p><p>to counteract all forms and manifestations of anti-Semitism and work to bring about a </p><p>fundamental change in popular attitudes toward Jews, Jewish communities and institu-</p><p>tions, and the State of Israel.</p><p>Shield of Abraham</p><p>WJC TAKES center stage at a landmark rally in Berlin against anti-Semitism, </p><p>featuring major presentations by WJC President Ronald S. Lauder and </p><p>German Chancellor Angela Merkel.3</p><p>WJC is a driving force on the international stage, protesting anti-Semitism, </p><p>demanding swift legal action against perpetrators and urging governments to </p><p>improve security for Jewish institutions and communities and ban violent anti-</p><p>Jewish demonstrations. </p><p>At the United Nations, WJC remains a key player in diplomatic efforts, both in </p><p>New York and Geneva. Each year, in conjunction with the opening of the UN </p><p>General Assembly, WJC leaders meet with presidents, prime ministers and for-</p><p>eign ministers from dozens of nations to advocate on behalf of Jewish commu-</p><p>nities worldwide, to highlight Irans illicit efforts to achieve nuclear weapons </p><p>and to discuss regional issues of mutual concern. </p><p>Throughout the year, WJC engages in high-level diplomacy with the U.S. admin-</p><p>istration, as well as with the European Union and its member states, urging </p><p>them to deal with growing attacks against Jews, to combat the resurgence of </p><p>political parties with neo-Nazi leanings, and to outline common steps including </p><p>intelligence sharing, cooperation between enforcement authorities and stron-</p><p>ger legislative and security measures.</p><p> Our communities, in Europe and beyond, have the right </p><p> to expect that their governments </p><p> will provide for their safety, </p><p> for the security of Jewish sites, </p><p> and allow Jewish life to flourish. WJC President Ronald S. Lauder</p></li><li><p>SUPPORTING ISRAEL AND JEWISH COMMUNITIES</p><p>MORE THAN 130 young, sophisticated Jewish professionals from 30 countries, aged </p><p>2740, participate in public diplomacy on behalf of the Jewish people and Israel. These </p><p>Jewish diplomats, known as JDs, engage with governments, religious organizations and </p><p>other regional and international bodies such as UNESCO, the Council of Europe, the </p><p>OAS and the OSCE. This unique global leadership development initiative helps to build, </p><p>strengthen and empower the next generation of Jewish leaders to work effectively for </p><p>positive change around the world.</p><p>The JDCorps plans to expand its global activities and increase the number of active JDs, </p><p>with the goal of building strong political leaders with the capacity to act, react and coor-</p><p>dinate activities in their local political environments.</p><p>WJC Jewish Diplomatic Corps (JDCorps) </p><p> There is a profound aspiration within an immense majority of Jews </p><p> in Israel and the diaspora who aspire to see </p><p> 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, </p><p> but it needs to happen. David de Rothschild, WJC Governing Board Chairman</p><p>4</p></li><li><p>The Israel Council on Foreign Relations (ICFR)THE ISRAEL COUNCIL on Foreign Relations (ICFR) is a non-partisan forum for the study </p><p>and debate of foreign policy operating under the auspices of the World Jewish Con-</p><p>gress. The Council aspires to stimulate awareness of international affairs, particularly </p><p>regarding Israel, Jewish issues and the Middle East. The ICFR concentrates on three main </p><p>activities:</p><p> Symposia and public and closed-door lectures with Israeli and visiting foreign schol-</p><p>ars, statesmen and other dignitaries;</p><p> Publication of The Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs (IJFA), which appears three times a </p><p>year; and</p><p> The Israeli-European Young Diplomats Forum, which brings together young EU </p><p>and Israeli diplomats for monthly meetings on topics of mutual interest and for </p><p>networking.</p><p>WJC REMAINS COMMITTED to ensuring that Israels age-old quest to live </p><p>in peace and security and assume its rightful place among democratic nations </p><p>can finally be realized. Working indefatigably to counter the global campaign to </p><p>delegitimize Israel, WJCs diplomacy, political advocacy, public educational ini-</p><p>tiatives and media efforts are critically important and are gratefully acknowl-</p><p>edged by the Israeli government and the Israeli people. </p><p>WJC has also taken a leading role in denouncing and working to counter aca-</p><p>demic boycotts against Israel and combat the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment </p><p>and Sanctions (BDS) movement.</p><p>WJC calls for governments to apply the same standards to Israel as they do to </p><p>other countries; for fair and equal treatment of Israel in the United Nations, the </p><p>European Union and other international bodies, and for the UN to live up to its </p><p>own Charter.</p><p>HUNDREDS OF WJC representatives from over 70 countries travel to Hungary, Greece </p><p>and Belgium to express solidarity with their Jewish communities as they face a resurgence </p><p>of neo-Nazism often coupled with violent and deadly anti-Semitic attacks. A WJC global </p><p>delegation arrives in Israel to show support during Operation Protective Edge.5</p><p>SUPPORTING ISRAEL AND JEWISH COMMUNITIES</p></li><li><p>6PROMOTING HUMAN RIGHTS AND INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE</p><p>Just as I will not be silent in the face of the growing threat of anti-Semitism in Europe </p><p>and in the Middle East, I will not be indifferent to </p><p>Christian suffering. Historically, Jews have all too often been the persecuted minority. Now, sadly, we share a kind of suffering: </p><p>Christians are dying because of their beliefs, </p><p>because they are defenseless and because the </p><p>world is indifferent to their suffering. The Jewish people understand all too well what </p><p>can happen when the world is silent.</p><p> WJC President Ronald S. Lauder</p><p>THE WORLD JEWISH CONGRESS, 2013 2015 Chair of the International Jewish Com-</p><p>mittee on Interreligious Consultations (IJCIC), organized the biennial International Liai-</p><p>son Committee (ILC) meeting with the Vatican in Madrid, Spain. Twenty five international </p><p>Jewish leaders and twenty five representatives of the Vatican, among them 3 cardinals </p><p>as well as members of the Spanish Bishops Conference, met to discuss current challeng-</p><p>es facing faith communities. An ILC Emerging Leaders conference in Berlin, featuring 50 </p><p>young Catholic and Jewish leaders, brought together the next generation of religious </p><p>community leaders to take the dialogue into the future and strengthen the relationship. </p><p>Meetings are held with the leadership of the World Council of Churches to address issues </p><p>of common concern including freedom of religious expression, racism and anti-Semitism.</p><p>WJC Leads IJCIC</p><p>6</p></li><li><p>7SINCE ITS FOUNDING, WJC has been at the forefront of interfaith relations, </p><p>conducting ongoing dialogue with the Catholic Church and maintaining excep-</p><p>tional and close relations with the Vatican on all levels, including frequent pri-</p><p>vate meetings with Pope Francis for open and honest discussions on issues of </p><p>utmost concern to the global Jewish community. </p><p>Working closely with the Israel Allies Foundation and the Knesset Christian </p><p>Allies Caucus, a non-partisan group, WJC also mobilizes support for Israel by </p><p>opening formal and direct lines of communication between Israeli lawmakers </p><p>and Christian leaders, organizations and political representatives around the </p><p>world.</p><p>Further, WJC has expanded its outreach to Christian leaders in America and </p><p>around the world and strengthened ties with the Catholic Church and the </p><p>national leadership of the Evangelical community. WJC continues to provide </p><p>organizational support for the International Jewish Committee on Interreli-</p><p>gious Consultations (IJCIC). Working together on issues of mutual concern, </p><p>such dialogue has helped to pave the way for constructive and cooperative </p><p>responses to racism, discrimination, terrorism and other challenges shared by </p><p>faith communities.</p><p>WJC EVOKES the rousing support of thousands of Evangelical </p><p>Christians attending the annual Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem.7</p><p>PROMOTING HUMAN RIGHTS AND INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE</p></li><li><p>8Auschwitz 70THE WORLD JEWISH CONGRESS AND the USC Shoah FoundationInstitute for Visual </p><p>History and Education support the official observance of the 70th anniversary of the libera-</p><p>tion of Auschwitz with Auschwitz: The Past is Present, a global communication and education </p><p>program. As part of the program, WJC and the USC Shoah Foundation will bring 100 sur-</p><p>vivors of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest of the German Nazi death camps, to participate </p><p>in the official commemorative events on January 27, 2015, under the auspices of the Aus-</p><p>chwitz-Birkenau State Museum and the International Auschwitz Council.</p><p> We must make sure, through a determined effort, that the </p><p>Jewish-German relationship stays special </p><p> in the most positive meaning of the word, </p><p> that Jewish life continues to blossom in Germany </p><p> and that Israel and Germany remain friends and allies.</p><p> Chella Safra, WJC Treasurer</p><p>8</p></li><li><p>9ENSURING HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE AND EDUCATION</p><p>HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE AND RESTITUTION of European Jewish </p><p>assets seized during the Holocaust are, first and foremost, issues of justice, </p><p>morality and human dignity. Today, seven decades after the end of World War </p><p>II, several countries still refuse to make just restitution to the victims, survivors </p><p>and heirs of the Shoah. Holocaust denial is becoming more common and accept-</p><p>ed around the world.</p><p>As a founding member of the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO), </p><p>currently chaired by WJC President Ronald S. Lauder, WJC has led the battle to </p><p>help those who survived the Nazi death camps and to honor those who did not. </p><p>Under Mr. Lauders leadership, the WJRO intensively lobbies governments to </p><p>implement laws providing for the return of looted Jewish communal and per-</p><p>sonal properties.</p><p>Over the years, WJC has played a key role in securing billions of dollars in pay-</p><p>ments to survivors and their heirs from Germany, over a dozen European gov-</p><p>ernments, Swiss banks, insurance companies and others. Most recently, WJC </p><p>has...</p></li></ul>


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