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French Jewish community leader Francis Kalifat, the president of the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF), has been awarded the Legion of Honor.

The award is the highest French order of merit, both civilian and military.

Kalifat has been working on behalf of the Jewish community for 47 years. For 38 years, he has been active with the CRIF, the umbrella organization of French Jewish communal institutions.

Kalifat joined the CRIF under the presidency of Théo Klein in 1984. He was quickly elected to the steering committee, then to the executive board. Elected treasurer in 2002, he actively contributed to the financial and strategic consolidation of the institution. He was then elected and re-elected vice president.

In May 2016, he became the eleventh president of the CRIF. In June 2019, he was re-elected to a second term.

“Every year, the French Republic honours its citizens who have committed themselves through the various titles and decorations of the Legion of Honour and the National Order of Merit,” the CRIF said in a statement. “For two centuries, it has been awarded in the name of the head of state to reward the most deserving citizens in all fields of activity.”

Kalifat has been given the rank of Knight of the Legion of Honour (Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur).