Wednesday afternoon kicked off the 2023 European Mayors Summit Against Antisemitism in Dortmund, Germany. The event is organised by the Combat Antisemitism Movement, in partnership with the city of Dortmund. AEPJ, for the first time, is a partner in this event, which this year has focused on fostering cultural diversity. Representing AEPJ were François Moyse, President; Uri Bar Ner, Board member; Victor Sorenssen, Director; and Luca Baraldi, consultant.
This highly-anticipated event brought together municipal leaders from more than 60 cities and 20 countries to address the concerning rise in antisemitism in Europe, particularly following the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7th.
Distinguished mayors and other high-level municipal representatives from a broad array of cities, including Paris, Odessa, Tallinn, Tirana, and many others, joined the event.
The welcome reception was held at the historic industrial monument “Kokerei Hansa,” a former coking plant offering panoramic views of Dortmund. The opening dinner was headlined by addresses from Lord Mayor of Dortmund Thomas Westphal, Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz, Chairman of the Board of the Jewish Community of Dortmund Zwi Rappaport, Deputy Mayor of Paris Marie-Christine Lemardeley, Chairman of the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) Advisory Board Natan Sharansky, CAM CEO Sacha Roytman, and Head of the Office of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia for Economy, Science, Education, Youth and Culture in Israel Dr. Gil Yaron.
Carsten Cramer, Sales and Marketing Manager of Borussia Dortmund, the city’s football club, with the 2023 Award for Outstanding Contributions in Combating Antisemitism in Sports. Borussia has done astounding work to fight extremism, antisemitism, and hate, including adopting and implementing the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism and organizing Holocaust education initiatives. This distinguished recognition shines a spotlight on the club’s unwavering commitment to fostering a culture of solidarity, respect, and tolerance within the realm of sports.
This morning the AEPJ organised a workshop for mayors and municipal representatives focusing on the role of Jewish heritage and culture as an opportunity for communities and cities to use Jewish heritage to become an entry point for public understandings of the past but also, the continuities and evolution of Jewishness as still articulated in the present, empowering the jewish community itself. Understanding that, Valuing and having a deeper understanding of Jewish cultural heritage would contribute to intercultural dialogue, promoting inclusiveness and social cohesion. It is possible to turn heritage and culture into a driver force for social development and cultural diplomacy.
It was fantastic to be able to actively participate in this Summit, where we made new and interesting connections. We would like to thank the organisers of CAM and the city of Dortmund for their excellent work.