The Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry was inaugurated at Tel Aviv University Monday and will study existing legislation on anti-Semitism in Europe and will draft an ‘ideal law’ for combating the growing phenomenon.
The inauguration was addressed by President of the European Jewish Congress Dr. Moshe Kantor, for whom the center is being named, and was attended by the European ambassadors to Israel, Tel Aviv University Board of Governors, the leadership of the European Jewish Congress and representatives of the World Jewish Congress.
Representatives at the Tel Aviv University explained that Dr. Kantor feels that there is a pressing need for a center to study European Jewry in Israel, where none currently exists. “Although Europe is currently third in actual numbers behind Israel and the United States in terms of Jewish demography, it remains an integral and vital center for the Jewish past, present and future,” Kantor said. “We hope to preserve the memory of Jewish Europe’s past, while studying present trends and preparing for the future by creating legislation against anti-Semitism and revitalizing centers of European Jewry.”
The center, the first of its kind, will form a framework for interdisciplinary research of the aspects and characteristics of Jewish communities in Europe after the Holocaust. Despite the importance of these communities to the Jewish, Israeli and European life, such a center that encompasses the academic work and enables a comprehensive view on this subject does not exist at any Israeli university.
“The story of the Jewish People cannot be told without Europe, yet today very little attention is paid to European Jewry,” Kantor said. “Everything, whether good or bad, concerning the Jewish People and Israel still has strong connections to our continent.”