Serge Cwajgenbaum
Serge CwajgenbaumEJC

The European Jewish Congress mourns the passing on Sunday of its beloved founder and Secretary-General Serge Cwajgenbaum z”l.

Serge Cwajgenbaum joined the World Jewish Congress in 1974. In 1979, he was elected Secretary General of the French Section of the WJC and in 1982, the General Director of the European Branch of the WJC.

Since 1986, when the European Jewish Congress was established, Serge Cwajgenbaum has retained the position of Secretary General. In 1994 the French Government awarded Mr Cwajgenbaum the medal of Chevalier dans l'Ordre National de la Légion d'Honneur.

In 2008, the French government announced that Mr. Cwajgenbaum was promoted to the rank of Officer of the Legion of Honour, France's highest decoration, in recognition of his merits, expertise, and experience in "promoting tolerance and respect for the rights and freedoms of all races and faiths," as well as of his contribution to strengthening the Jewish communities throughout.

President of the European Jewish Congress Dr. Moshe Kantor paid tribute to Mr. Cwajgenbaum:

“From the moment I met him twenty years ago, I was inspired by Serge’s energy, his vision and his passion. Meeting him was one of the crucial moments that led me to get involved as a Jewish lay leader.

"Serge served European Jewry with distinction for more than 40 years, bringing together Jewish communities separated by the tragedies of history, and building a united Jewish community under the European Jewish Congress, which was so dear him.

"Very few people embody the EJC’s mission of protecting Jewish life, fostering Jewish unity and helping communities flourish as Serge did, and to be able to continue with this task is for me an enormous privilege and a distinct honour.

"Across Europe, Jewish communities mourn and cherish Serge’s memory. His moral character and devotion to Jewish life were an inspiration to many.

"We are heartbroken to have lost such a dear friend and mentor, but at the same time honoured to have known and worked closely with a true mensch such as Serge.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Serge’s dear wife, children and grandchildren, to whom we send our deep respect and condolences and we deeply share your grief and loss. May the L-rd comfort you among all the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem. Yechi Zichro Baruch,” said Kantor.