From November 30 to December 1, Mayors and Heads of city administrations from 23 countries met in Athens for a summit dedicated to combating antisemitism. The event, in which mayors and heads of city administrations shared experiences and practices on countering hatred, bigotry and antisemitism in their respective cities, was organized by the Combat Anti-Semitism Movement
Among the participants of the event were the President of Greece Katerina Sakellaropoulou, the Mayor of Athens Kostas Bakoyannis, the Mayor of New York Eric Adams, the Special Representative of the Government for the Promotion of Memory, Combating Anti-Semitism and Xenophobia Alexandru Muraru, as well as other dignitaries from various countries of the world. Moldova’s capital Chisinau was represented at the conference by Mayor Ion Ceban.
As Mayor Bakoyannis noted, “Today we are witnessing an increase in anti-Semitism, so it is necessary to fight this scourge at the local level, but also to see how global these trends are and to learn from each other best practices to combat them“.
The Jewish Community of Moldova, represented at the summit by its director Aliona Grossu, was invited by the Center of Jewish Influence, managed by Robert Singer. According to Aliona Grossu, holding events of this level promotes an active exchange of experience of the authorities in counteracting antisemitism.
“The participation of Jewish communities and organizations helps to point out in a concrete way the urgent issues that Jewish communities face on a daily basis and that require an immediate reaction from the authorities in order to counteract the radicalization of society. City administrations must apply all available means and practices to protect and ensure the safety and development of an inclusive society that respects human rights and freedoms,” stressed Aliona Grossu.
The summit participants visited the memorial to the victims of the Holocaust where they paid tribute to all those who died and suffered during that tragic period of history and visited Beth Shalom Synagogue in Athens.
At the end of the summit, a joint declaration was signed in which the conference participants declared cooperation in all of these areas.
The Mayors’ Summit Against Anti-Semitism was held between 30 November-1 December for the second time. In 2021, the event was held online at the initiative of the mayor of Frankfurt. The event, hosted by Athens City Hall, was supported by the Combat Antisemitism Movement, the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), the Center for Jewish Impact, the Greek Jewish community and other partners.
Alongside the event, visitors also attended another landmark ceremony, the turning on of lights on Athens’ Christmas tree. This festive occasion was watched by more than 60 mayors from different cities across the world.