The President of the European Jewish Congress, Moshe Kantor, was awarded France’s highest decoration by French President Francois Hollande.
The Officier of the Legion of Honour, which was bestowed on Kantor at the Elysee Palace in Paris, was established by Napoleon Bonaparte. For two centuries, it has been presented on behalf of the Head of State to reward the most deserving citizens in all fields of activity.
Kantor was awarded for leading the fight against anti-Semitism, racism, intolerance and xenophobia, promoting interfaith relations and a more tolerant Europe in his roles at the European Jewish Congress.
President Hollande called Dr. Kantor “a man of peace, a man of culture, a friend, and a friend of France.”
“You are an inspiring person in the Jewish world, a great figure of the Jewish People in Europe, heading a major institution, the European Jewish Congress, which today represents 42 communities,” President Hollande said before bestowing the award.
“You and the EJC are promoting Jewish culture, interfaith dialogue and tolerance, fighting Antisemitism and racism and preserving the memory of the Holocaust. Because all of these reasons, all of these values – your fight against Antisemitism and for peace, and for your love of France – we honor you here today.”
Kantor said he see this award as ‘’a testament to the French Government’s commitment to French and European Jewry.”
‘’It has been a very challenging year for Jews in France, but I know that the French government is making great efforts to protect our communities and return them to a semblance of normalcy,’’ he said.
He added: “I hope that the French Government will support and even lead the appointment of a European Union special envoy as well as the creation of a task force on anti-Semitism at the European level as done so well in France.”