Manifesto for European Jewish Life 2024

6 May 2024

This year, since Hamas’s massacre on Israel’s southern border on 7th October and Israel’s subsequent war against Hamas, Jewish communities across Europe have seen an alarming increase in antisemitic incidents. An atmosphere of hostility and the threat of physical violence hangs over not only synagogues, community centres, and public Jewish gatherings but also over individual Jews as they go about their daily lives. Safety and security are now at the forefront of our manifesto, along with the need to tackle religious extremism and hate speech, and to strengthen educational programmes, all to combat this increase in antisemitism. Such a focus is vital not only for protecting Europe’s Jewish citizens but to maintaining our values as a democratic society.

However, safeguarding active Jewish rights also remains critical to ensure Jews can continue to live and thrive. The Conference of European Rabbis (CER) has always been driven not only by this obligation to fight hate and antisemitism, pressing now more than ever, but to protect and build Jewish life, promoting a flourishing Jewish identity and community in the European Union. Again, this too is a vital aspect of preserving Europe’s democratic values. This has permeated our organisation’s work since our establishment almost seventy years ago and will continue, actively building in the face of intolerance.

Chief Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt
President of the Conference of European Rabbis (CER)
March 2024

Summary of Structure

This manifesto is divided into two sections:

Part One: Combatting Antisemitism
The first section articulates our commitments to keeping Jews safe and combatting antisemitism. This is our call for the EU to take concrete action to protect Jewish people across the continent.

Part Two: Protecting Active Jewish Religious Rights
Strategies against antisemitism are vital to protect Jewish life from external threats, yet to even have Jewish life and communities in the first place, Jewish active religious rights must be allowed to be practised.

Thus, this second section proposes that governments must respect active Jewish religious practices, crucial to maintaining Jewish life, and fully understand the possible consequences of banning them, hindering Jewish life. It advances that the EU is uniquely placed to strive to enact stronger legislative safeguards for these religious rights.


Editorial remarks

Source: Conference of European Rabbis (CER).