With the issue of increasing anti-Semitism experienced by Europe’s Jews front and center, Ellen Van Praag, Chair of Ressort Mediene communities in the Netherlands, advised that Jews should “act, act, act. Be yourself. Be strong. And be positive.”
Speaking to Arutz Sheva from the European Jewish Association’s (EJA) Community Leaders Conference in Brussels, Van Praag said that one of the major challenges the community in the Netherlands has faced in the last year is dealing with the impact of the coronavirus, which was felt “very severely because all the demonstrations showed quite severe anti-Semitism.”
“It’s mixed with covid-19, and it’s unreal to see an anti-covid demonstration with swastikas and all kinds of signs saying ‘Jews are bad’ and everything,” Van Praag said.
She also spoke about the challenges the Dutch Jewish community is facing in 2021.
“The amount of Jews still living in Holland is quite small,” she said, giving the Jewish population at around 40,000 people.
She added: “It’s very complicated to maintain a Jewish structure. The number of people that are committed to the communities is pretty small.”
Van Praag described the EJA conference as “invigorating.”
“It’s really something you take home with you, think about about it and you try to communicate it to the members of my group of community that are working to try to maintain their Jewish life. This is a very positive feeling I always take back from Brussels.”