Key Jewish and Swedish leaders celebrate local Jewish community ahead of Global Forum on Anti-Semitism
World Jewish Congress President and Swedish Prime Minister join Malmö synagogue and share next steps in anti-hate, Amb. Ronald Lauder: “We can do everything in our power to prevent this virus from spreading”
Posted: October 12, 2021 at 3:22 p.m. EDT|Update: 2 hours ago
MALMÖ, Sweden, 12 October 2021 / PRNewswire / – Ahead of a historic world conference, key Jewish and Swedish leaders gathered today at the Malmö Synagogue to celebrate the history and life of the local Jewish community, especially its resilience during a period of d increased anti-Semitism in the region.
The synagogue event, organized by the World Jewish Congress, together with the Official Council of Swedish Jewish Communities and Malmö Jewish Community, took place on the eve of the Malmö International Forum on October 13 on Holocaust Remembrance and the fight against anti-Semitism.
The international forum, in which the heads of state or government from around 50 countries will participate, will focus on identifying and implementing concrete measures to combat anti-Semitism and other forms of hatred and to promote advance education and remembrance of the Holocaust.
CMJ President Ronald S. Lauder, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and Jewish community leaders shared their views at Tuesday’s synagogue meeting on the rich history of Jews in Sweden and next steps in addressing current expressions of hatred against Jews at local and national levels.
In his remarks to the synagogue, Amb. Lauder said:
“I have been dealing with anti-Semitism since I got involved in the Jewish world. It is most of my adult life. I have witnessed it, I have spoken to too many victims of anti-Semitism. I was also the target, myself. I have seen people lose their lives… because they were Jews.
He added: “All schoolchildren need to learn more about the Holocaust and understand how it happened and where the hatred ultimately leads.” He then pleaded for a national holiday on January 27, on the liberation day of Auschwitz in 1945, for schools around the world to teach about the Holocaust.
“There is still so much to do. I am not naive; I realize that the hatred of the Jews has been with us for 2000 years and will never go away completely. But we can do everything in our power to stop this virus from spreading. We congratulate the Swedish Prime Minister and the government for taking the first steps. And thank you for your help to the Jewish community here in protecting its synagogues, its school and its people, ”Amb said Lauder.
Amb. Lauder also said: “I am aware that a fair and reasonable settlement must be found with the Palestinian people. I searched for a two state solution for years and never gave up on this idea. Two states for two is the only way this long conflict can finally come to a just conclusion. “
In recent years, anti-Semitism has occurred regularly in Malmö, from Sweden third largest city, especially in its schools, and has attracted international attention. from Sweden key leaders pledged to devote resources to initiatives to strengthen democracy in schools and other educational settings. At the end of March 2022, the country will assume the presidency of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and has pledged to open the Swedish Holocaust Museum by July 2022.
“This week we come together here in Malmö to remember the darkest chapter in history, the darkest chapter of humanity,” Löfven said. “It didn’t happen on Swedish soil; however, when the Jews started to leave Germany after 1933, most countries, Sweden included, were reluctant to accept more than a handful of Jewish refugees. “
He also said: “Every Shabbat candle lit, every song in Yiddish or Ladino and every Swedish Jew who wears a kippah or a Star of David with pride is a stance against hatred.”
Dr. Nachman shai, that of Israel Minister of Diaspora Affairs, told the audience that Israel stood behind the Malmö Jewish community.
“It is the right of every individual Jew to live a full and proud Jewish life wherever they see fit,” he said. “In addition, you should have the opportunity to proudly and actively maintain relationships with Israel … Without being questioned.
Anne Katina, President of the Malmö Jewish Community, moderated the ceremony while discussing the vibrant history of Jewish life in Malmö. The community will celebrate its 150th anniversary next month.
“Jewish life in Sweden is more than anti-Semitism, “Katina said, adding that a Jewish learning center will open in the synagogue” with the aim of increasing knowledge of Jewish culture, religion, history, the Holocaust and anti-Semitism. ” She joined Aron Verständig, Chairman of the Official Council of Swedish Jewish Communities, in thanking the local community for their support and dedication to education.
After the closing of the October 13 forum, Amb. Lauder and Prime Minister Löfven will join a Holocaust survivor representing the Jewish community of Malmö to reflect on the debates and continue the conversation on how to end anti-Semitism. Media wishing to attend this event must already be accredited to attend the Malmö Forum.
Following Wednesday’s conference, the WJC’s international meeting of Special Envoys and Coordinators to Combat Antisemitism (SECCA) will meet to exchange views, share best practices and policies, and assess progress in the common fight against anti-Semitism. The SECCA forum includes officials responsible for combating anti-Semitism, with participants from dozens of countries and organizations such as the European Commission, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, the Security Organization and cooperation in Europe, and the United Nations.
About the World Jewish Congress
The World Jewish Congress (WJC) is the international organization that represents Jewish communities in 100 countries to governments, parliaments and international organizations. www.wjc.org
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