Russian Moshe Kantor was reelected Wednesday president of the European Jewish Congress (EJC) for a 4-year term during a general assembly of the pan-European organization in Brussels.
The 55-year-old Kantor, got 55 votes among the 84 members of the assembly representing Jewish communities in 40 countries across Europe.
His French rival candidate, Roger Cukierman, a former president of CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewish organizations, got 28 votes.
The ballot was secret.
In his speech preceding the vote, Kantor cited his four goals for the EJC in the next years: fighting anti-Semitism and racism in Europe, dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat, strengthening Jewish life and Jewish communities in Europe and supporting the State of Israel.
Kantor was elected a first time in June 2007 when he succeeded Frenchman Pierre Besnainou.
It was then the first time that a representative from an Eastern European country was elected to head the EJC. The precedent presidents were either from France, Germany, Britain or Italy.
A prominent public figure, philanthropist and industrialist, Viatchelslav Moshe Kantor is founder and president of the World Holocaust Forum Foundation, an international organization dedicated to preserving the memory of the Holocaust.
Earlier this year he launched with former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation, a new body aimed at instilling more tolerance across Europe, and organized at the EU Parliament a series of events commemorating the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Nazi anti-Jewish pogroms in Germany, in order to place the fight against racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and intolerance on the European agenda.
He is also president of the Russian Jewish Congress.
Based in Paris, the European Jewish Congress was founded in 1986 as the European branch of the World Jewish Congress (WJC).