The conference examined the enduring reality of anti-Semitism and decisive activities which can be undertaken to struggle against this longstanding worldwide prejudice.
Under the auspices of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), which is currently under Ukrainian Chairmanship, the conference explored topics including “Beilis as History,” the current state of anti-Semitism in the region vis-à-vis action by OSCE member states and included a review of international mechanisms and national practices.
A special session convened at the Parliament of Ukraine focused on the role of religious and political leaders in the fight against anti-Semitism.
Hosted by Ukrainian Member of Parliament and President of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee Oleksandr Feldman and the Government of Ukraine, conference sessions were held at the Fairmont Grand Hotel and the Ukrainian Parliament. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Leonid Kozhara is currently serving as Chairperson-in-Office of the OSCE.
“The last century can be viewed through the prisms of both destruction and rebirth. While genocide and persecution defined the first half of the 20th century, the achievements of world Jewry in the wake of the Holocaust serve as the ultimate displays of our common triumph over hatred,” said MP Feldman.
“I feel encouraged and hopeful that this important gathering on the 100th anniversary of the Beilis Trial helped to promote collective understanding of the scourge of anti-Semitism and the drive to defy this persistent global plague. We must embrace tolerance, dialogue and action in the ongoing mission to confront the dark forces of bigotry and prejudice,” Feldman added.
The two-day program was dedicated to numerous facets focused on the intersection between government, religion, history and culture in the ongoing battle against anti-Semitism.
The international conference welcomed the participation of many leading global public figures including Israeli Ambassador to Ukraine Reuven Din El, German Ambassador to Ukraine Christof Weil, Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine Oleksandr Vilkul, Foreign Ministry of Israel Director for Combating Anti-Semitism Gideon Behar, Israeli Member of Knesset Rina Frenkel, Dr. Shimon Samuels of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Chief Rabbi Moshe Reuven Asman and Beilis grandson Jay Beilis, among numerous attendees.
The conference was the highlight event in a series of global initiatives organized in recent years by the Ukrainian Jewish Committee and Oleksandr Feldman. Prior events include interfaith forums, overlooked aspects of the Holocaust and international lawmakers united against anti-Semitism.