Week-end in Athens, Greece
B’nai B’rith Europe co-organized with BBYP a weekend in Greece for Young professionals on May 17-19 2019. Participants from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, UK and Switzerland had the opportunity to meet with Greek government officials and with representatives of the Jewish community in Athens to discuss the future of Jewish Life in Europe.
Victor Batis, president of the Greek Lodge Philon, Serge Dahan President of B’nai B’rith Europe and Mrs Rita Gabbai, Vice President of the Greek Lodge Philon warmly welcomed the group of European young professionals.
The participants met with Efstathios C. Lianos Liantis, Special Secretary of Religious and Cultural Diplomacy, Greece’s first envoy on the issue of anti-Semitism, founding member of the Holocaust Museum of Greece, and the head of the Greek delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). Questions such as the history of Jews in Greece, the current situation of jewish life and antisemitism in Greece were discussed, allowing participants to express their concerns about a safe future for jews in Greece and in Europe.
President of B’nai B’rith Europe Serge Dahan presented at this occasion the work of B’nai B’rith Europe and the main actions to defend the interest of the Jewish communities in Europe, combating antisemitism, anti zionism, defending the image of the State of Israel and promoting Jewish history and culture.
The group met with Mr Minos Moissis, former president of the Jewish community, Georges Kallis Angel, President of Jewish youth of Athens, Rabbi Gabriel Negrin, Rabbi of Jewish community of Athens, among other representatives of the Jewish community in Athens.
Young professionals from Europe connected with the young members of the greek Lodge and with the Jewish community in Athens at the occasion of various meals, cocktails and a party.
The week-end included guided tours of Athens main sites, a visit of the ancient synagogue, the holocaust memorial and of the office Greek Lodge Philon.
B’nai B’rith Europe thanks Victor Batis, President of the Greek Lodge Philon for and the Jewish community of Greece for the hospitality, Leon Mizan, BBE youth member, Valerie Tesler from BBYP for the coordination and for their share in the great success of this week-end.
Week-end in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
B’nai B’rith Europe and B’nai B’rith Young Professionals (BBYP) UK took a group of over 40 people to Luxembourg from Friday 28th until Sunday 30th April 2017.
This was B’nai B’rith UK (BBUK) and B’nai B’rith Europe’s first joint ‘Young Adult Forum’ for several years.
The group included 19 young professionals from the UK, and approximately 15 local people from Luxembourg. There were 17 European participants from countries including Italy, Belgium, France, Austria, Germany and one from Russia.
B’nai B’rith was represented by Daniel Citone (President BBE), Valerie Tesler (Director for B’nai B’rith Young Professionals-UK), Jeremy Havardi (Director of the London Bureau for International Affairs), Benjamin Naegele (Director of European Affairs for BBI), Eric Engelmayer (BBI Senior Vice-President), and Anouk Abrahams (Director BBE).
The group enjoyed Shabbat meals in Luxembourg’s synagogue/Jewish Community Centre and heard from the Chief Rabbi of Luxembourg, Rabbi Naccache and from French human rights artist and academic, Guila Clara Kessous.
They also attended a workshop with Benjamin Nägele, Director of E.U. Affairs for B’nai B’rith International and Jeremy Havardi, Director of BBUK’s LBIA (London Bureau of International Relations). Benjamin talked about his work promoting EU-Israel relations and advocating for Jewish causes at European institutions in Brussels, while Jeremy talked about his meetings with various Embassies and Ambassadors in London.
On Saturday afternoon, the group enjoyed a guided tour of Luxembourg in the sunshine, which included the history of the city’s Jews before the war. In the evening, they partied at one of the city’s best clubs.
On Sunday, participants travelled to Vianden castle for a guided tour, before catching a chair lift to admire the views.
The weekend finished in Remich with a relaxing boat ride on the Moselle in the sunshine.
“Everyone had a fantastic time this weekend, it was such a great group of people”, said Lolita Ebril from St Petersburg. “Everything was really well organised to ensure we had the best time.”
“This was an excellent weekend – well organised; interesting people from the UK, France, Belgium, Austria and Germany,” said Johnnie Walker from the UK. “The food was great and the itinerary was very interesting.”