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EVENTS Paths for the Future of Jewish Europe

SONY DSCBy Francesca Matalon

The future of Jewish life, education, youth, welfare, culture, and relations with Israel. These are some of the many themes that were discussed during the Fifth Meeting of Presidents of Jewish Communities and Organizations held in Milan from the 21st to the 25th of November. The summit was organized by the European Council of Jewish Communities and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee in collaboration with the Union of Italian Jewish Communities (UCEI) and the Jewish Community of Milan. The conference was “a platform to share knowledge and experience from all the Jewish communities in Europe”, as underlined by Simone Mortara, secretary of the board of the ECJC and member of the board of the Jewish community of Milan. The presidents had the unique opportunity to discuss relevant topics during three days of panels, conferences with key speakers, and assemblies.

“Europe is going through a crucial phase of its existence. It is more important than ever that we share our experiences as community presidents and leaders. We know that each country is living different situations but in Europe the countries are very interconnected”, Renzo Gattegna, UCEI president, declared at the opening ceremony of the meeting.

Also the Shabbat dinner and each coffee break offered very ideal occasions to exchange points of view and develop connections. Mario Izcovich, Director of Pan European Programs of JDC Europe said, “This weekend has been important not only for the relevance of the topics but also because it has been an informal meeting place for the leaders of Jewish institutions to connect and share visions and input.”