The aim of the project “Bridges of Tolerance”, launched in 2013, is to disseminate information about the contribution of the Jewish minority group to the local culture, to fight the growing antisemitism in Europe through education, to encourage a public debate about the efficiency of the existing tools and modes of implementation of Hate Crime through the existing legislation and to bring about an inter-faith dialogue between Jews and Christians on the basic values of our Judeo-Christian civilization.

In the Aula of the Romanian Academy took place the sixth edition of the “Bridges of Tolerance” project, on 19 June 2019. Initiated by B’nai B’rith Europe,by the late president, Erika van Gelder (zl), the purpose of this project, dedicated to the Central and Eastern European states, was to present for the majority populations the achievements of the Jewish communities from the country concerned, their contribution to its development.

As far as Romania is concerned, the project proved to be a great success. Supposed to have five editions, in our country at the request of the Romanian Presidency, there was another edition. But the frames of the “Tolerance Bridges” were extended year by year, overcoming the original goal.  If in the first editions the Jewish community was at the center of attention, the organizers: BBRomania, The Romanian Jewish Federation and other institutions, slowly attracted other minorities, so this last edition was about “The Contribution of National Minorities to Romania’s Economic Development” “We can say that this is a Romanian product that reflects the role played by all national minorities in the development of the state,” said Dr. Aurel Vainer, President of RJF, at the opening of the symposium. 

The co-participation, in time, of other minorities is also a “symbolic expression of respect for diversity,” Jose Iacobescu, president of B’nai B’rith Romania, stressed. The event was also welcomed by prof. univ. Dr. Sergiu Nistor, Presidential Advisor, Acad. Dr. Ioan Aurel Pop, President of the Romanian Academy, by E.S. David Saranga, Ambassador of the State of Israel, Laczikó Enikő, State Secretary of the Department for Interethnic Relations, representatives of the German, Armenian and Greek Minorities.

The speakers – both the moderators of the two scientific sessions and the authors of the communications – representing nine minorities, sought to give a complete picture of the history and contribution of the Jews, Germans, Hungarians, Greeks, Armenians, Czechs and Slovaks, Lippovan Russians, Tatars and Turks to the economic and social progress of Romania, underlining that due to their history on Romania’s territory, their loyalty to the adoptive motherland, their contribution, they can be considered as founding members of Great Romania.