PARIS (May. 5)
Jean Kahn, a leader of French Jewry, was elected president of the European Jewish Congress at its plenary session in Jerusalem on Sunday, and promptly announced an ambitious agenda.
Kahn, president of CRIF, the representative council of major French Jewish organizations, succeeded Lionel Kopelowitz, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, as EJC president.
The Paris-based congress, an affiliate of the World Jewish Congress, represents the Jewish communities of 26 European countries and Egypt.
Kahn told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that he hoped the European countries, which are uniting economically, will coordinate their legislation outlawing racism, anti-Semitism or any form of exclusion.
He said the Jewish communities represented by the European congress would collaborate with a greater Europe for human rights.
Kahn said the congress would join with nongovernmental organizations accredited to the United Nations to advance humanitarian work in the world generally and in Eastern Europe in particular.
The congress would also demonstrate its solidarity with Israel, Kahn said, especially in the absorption of Soviet Jews.
He said the congress is also concerned with the condition of Jewish communities deprived of their liberty in countries like Syria.
The organization also will contribute to the establishment of a Jewish cultural and religious identity in countries where the notion of “Jewish community” has yet to be recognized, such as the Soviet Union.