This past Sunday, more than 370 participants from 31 countries descended on London for the 4th Pan-European Conference of Jewish Community Centers (JCCs), Jewish Communities, and Jewish Organisations. Designed to connect Jewish leaders from geographically and culturally diverse communities, the conference effectively helped build a common ground for the future of European Jewry.
JDC was among the sponsoring organizations, which included the European Association of Jewish Community Centers (EAJCC), the Fonds Social Juif Unifié (FSJU), Jewish Care, the London Jewish Cultural Centre, and the London Jewish Forum, among others.
Community professionals shared their expertise with one another, and there were lively discussions on the current state of European Jewry.
“We Jews are one, but we’re not the same,” said Alek Oscar, President of the Jewish Community of Sofia, Bulgaria—citing the famous U2 song—“we have a need for ongoing dialogue and above all, cooperation and connection.”
Beyond the conversation, the conference gave a practical forum for key community leaders to further strengthened ties between European Jewish communities by kicking off a series of Jewish networks for camps, as well as models for informal education and providing social welfare services.
“Jews in Europe need critical mass in order to move forward and that can only be achieved through cooperation among communities,” said Sam Bengio, President of the Jewish Community of Madrid, Spain.
Prominent keynote speakers included: Stephen Zimmerman (Chairman of Jewish Care), Alan Solow (Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations) and Alberto Senderey (Regional Director of JDC Europe).
At JDC, it’s all in a week’s work...
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