François Moyse, AEPJ’s president, was interviewed by Actualité Juive magazine on the occasion of the European Days of Jewish Culture 2022. You can download the interview in French in PDF or read the English translation below.Read the interview in French
Lawyer, community activist (he was president of the Consistoire du Luxembourg and director of B’nai B’rith Europe) and passionate about Jewish heritage, François Moyse presides over the European Association for Jewish Heritage (jewisheritage.org) based in Luxembourg, which runs the European Days of Jewish Culture in partnership with groups in some twenty countries.
The European adventure of the Days of Jewish Culture and Heritage started in Alsace at the end of the 1990s with “open days” and has since expanded considerably. What is your assessment?
François Moyse: The results are extremely positive. Everywhere, by showing people around, the walls speak and Jewish heritage takes its place in local history. This is very positive for Jewish heritage and it conveys values that go far beyond the stones. The Days are a valuable tool for historical and religious education that allows an understanding of the other. There has never been an antisemitic incident. On the contrary, local actors show a lot of interest, including in the rural world.
What is the specificity of the 2022 edition?
F.M.: We have placed this edition around the theme of renewal by inviting groups throughout Europe to propose conferences or artistic events that integrate this idea of renewal. The opening event, the return of the Sefer Torah on Sunday 4 September in Schirmeck (was an important moment. This Sefer Torah, saved thanks to the courage of a non-Jew and found after a long journey, is an incredible and meaningful story.
What are your main lines of work for the future?
F.M.: We will work more and more with the European Union (through the Commission) and not only with the Council of Europe. For the EU, supporting what we do is a way to fight against antisemitism. Moreover, we are going to multiply the projects that extend throughout the year; for example, we cooperate with the European Route of Jewish Heritage for Web Applications. We are really becoming a pan-European NGO that radiates beyond the days.
Interview by Nathan Katz