World’s Jewish leaders send condolences to France

November 17, 2015 by J-Wire News Service
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Top Jewish community professionals from 40 countries world-wide have met in Lisbon  for a two-day conference organized by the World Jewish Congress (WJC) and sent a combined message of condolence to the France’s Prime Minister.


Delegates Australia’s Peter Wertheim is 6th from the right at back  Photo: Serge Weinbar

The second gathering of the WJC’s National Community Directors’ Forum was aimed at fostering cooperation between Jewish communities on issues of common concern, such as fighting hatred, strengthening the security of Jewish institutions and effective communications on social media.

World Jewish Congress CEO Robert Singer, who initiated the meeting, said: “The year 2016 will be a challenging year for Jewish communities everywhere, and everybody is aware of the gravity of their responsibilities. This meeting left no issues untouched, and subjects such as the worsening security situation for Jews in many countries were discussed.

“Exchanging best practices and providing Jewish leaders with the necessary tools are key missions of the World Jewish Congress, and I am glad that the group feels that a network is now in place and producing results,” Singer declared.

The participants signed a joint letter addressed to French Prime Minister Manuel Valls in which they express their condolences to the French people over the Paris terror attacks.

“These attacks represent one of the most sickening forms of human violence one can imagine. We are saddened and troubled by this grotesque violence, and we grieve with you. We must remain steadfast. Now more than ever, the people of the civilized world must stand together against this wave of terror and violence.

“Please know that we will do our part to stand alongside you and your countrymen. We are in this together, and we will overcome it together,” the letter concluded.

Australia was represented by Peter Wertheim, the executive director of The Executive Council of Australian Jewry.

Delegates send their individual messages:



3 Responses to “World’s Jewish leaders send condolences to France”
  1. Lindsay Jane Thorpe says:

    Actually, in the video recording, which is part of the message, the second Argentinian representative did mention (in Spanish) that the Jewish Community of Buenos Aires had had some experience of terrorism.

    • Paul Winter says:

      Thanks for that information Lindsay. Unfortunately my Spanish is limited to “Yo no hablo Español” (I don’t speak Spanish), but even so saying that the Buenos Aires Jewish community has experienced terror is not saying all that much. Referring to that terror by Iranians during the presidency of an Arab, might have made a point.

      The statement by the Hungarian guy was not much either. We were told that the Hungarian Jews expressed their condolences and the French flag was flown on the kehilla’s building.

  2. Paul Winter says:

    It is commendable that world Jewry sent its condolences to the wounded and grieving French nation. It was appropriate to call for the civilised world to stand together against jihadi barbarity.

    It would not have been inappropriate to note that Jews are particularly aware of blood-thirsty hate because of our experiences, particularly during the Shoah and in the years since then, especially in Israel. It could have mentioned that Jews have also been targeted recently. It could have pointed out that Europe’s fight to defend civilisation was the one Israel fights every day.

    And there is much more that the WJC could have done sensitively and respectfully. But it failed to do that. So typical of Jewish leaders who still beg for acceptance like they did in the ghetto.

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