ECCAR joined Mayors Summit against Antisemitism in the City of Dortmund

Dortmund – Germany

ECCAR joined Mayors Summit against Antisemitism in the City of Dortmund

ECCAR vice-president Danijel Cubelic from the city of Heidelberg (Germany)  and ECCAR coordinator Jana Christ followed the invitation of the Lord Mayor of Dortmund, Thomas Westphal, to join this year’s European Mayors Summit against Antisemitism to share about the engagement of ECCAR’s member cities in the field of antisemitism. The summit was held under the banner “Fostering Cultural Diversity”.

From 29 November to 1 December the summit gathered mayors and municipal representatives from 60 cities and 20 countries across Europe, united in their dedication to address the pressing issue of antisemitism. Cities have become hubs of religious, ethnic and cultural diversity. Places where the everyday meeting of differences originates creativity, engagement, competition, joy and conflict at the same time. The terrorist attack by Hamas and the following wave of antisemitic attacks in many ECCAR cities have made us feel what this actually means for cities in recent weeks and months. As ECCAR we are very grateful that this summit brought together political representatives of cities, especially in these times, to discuss how we can take action to protect and to foster Jewish life in our cities and to fight antisemitism in all its forms.

Local Alliances against Antisemitism

On the panel “Local Alliances against Antisemitism - ECCAR Cities Taking Action” Danijel Cubelic and Jana Christ shared the preliminary results of the ECCAR Good Practice Collection on Antisemitism and fostering Jewish life, presented concrete examples from the local work of the city of Heidelberg, reported from the capacity building through local training sessions with CEJI | A Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe and presented the joint policy recommendations for local authorities  from ECCAR and CEJI.

Good Practice Collection

Together with CEJI | A Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe and funded by the European Commission the ECCAR Working Group collected practices from 46 cities all across Europe in tackling antisemitism at a local level to understand the chances and challenges local authorities are facing. For example among all cities that completed the survey, only eight mentioned having a department or a contact person who solely focuses on antisemitism and fostering Jewish life which indicates that there is still a lack of coordinated approaches in many city administrations. At the same time  institutionalization has turned out to be one of the most relevant for the local fight against antisemitism. Any response to antisemitism and measures to foster Jewish life on a local level is more likely to be effective and sustainable if it is developed or implemented as part of a specialised institutionalization measure by the city authorities. 

About the ECCAR Working Group on Antisemitism: 

The ECCAR working group on antisemitism was initiated by the City of Dortmund in September 2021. Local authorities play a key role in implementing anti-discrimination policies and making cities safe and welcome to all dwellers, without distinction. In relation to minority communities, that implies specific efforts to address racism, antisemitism, discrimination and hate crimes members of such communities are at risk of, as well as efforts to promote equality and cultural diversity. To support its member cities toward Jewish communities the ECCAR established a Working Group under the lead of the city of Dortmund on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life at the local level to address the complex demands placed on municipalities in dealing with antisemitism.

One of the main aims of the Working Group is to examine the different local situations from an international perspective and to discuss best practice methods in order to further advance and professionalize the work already carried out to combat antisemitism. To this end, the working group initiated the mapping of existing practices and collection of examples of effective initiatives focusing on measures addressing antisemitic intolerance, hatred and discrimination, as well as fostering Jewish life on a local level. For further information about ECCAR’s work in the field of antisemitism and fostering Jewish life contact