Cukierman, former CRIF chief, returning to lead French Jewry group

(JTA) — Roger Cukierman, the former president of French Jewry’s umbrella organization CRIF, was elected again to lead the group.

Cukierman, 76, was elected on Sunday to head the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France, the representative body of French Jewry, with 61 percent in the second round of General Assembly voting.

He served as the CRIF president from 2001 to 2007 before being succeeded by Richard Prasquier, who has served for the past six years.

Cukierman defeated Arie Bensemhoun, president of the Jewish community of Toulouse, who finished with 39 percent of the vote.

Following his election, Cukierman said he would work “under the sign of a relentless, constant and determined fight against anti-Semitism and the respect of memory,” according to The Parisian.

“I want a CRIF stronger, strictly independent and open to the civil society as a whole,” he also said.

Cukierman, who is of Polish extraction, holds a doctorate in economics and is currently a vice president of the World Jewish Congress. He has served in a number of other community posts.

Dr. Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, in a statement congratulating Cukierman said he “represents a wealth of knowledge and experience which will be necessary for French Jewry in the years ahead.”

CRIF is the umbrella organization for 72 Jewish groups in France. Approximately 500,000 Jews live in France.

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