The rich and resilient heritage of European Jewry has left an indelible mark on Europe’s history, arts, sciences, and philosophy. As we navigate the complexities of the present, preserving and promoting European Jewish heritages becomes an imperative task, not only to honor the contributions of past generations but also to nourish the seeds of inclusivity, understanding, and harmony for generations to come. Embracing the tapestry of European Jewish heritage fosters a stronger sense of shared history, encouraging intercultural dialogue, fostering mutual respect, and fortifying the foundation of a united Europe.
EUJS notes that:
- The EU Strategy on Combating Antisemitism and Fostering Jewish Life (2021-2030) highlights that safeguarding Jewish Heritage is a priority in fostering Jewish life in Europe.
1.1. It also states that “The extermination of Jewish communities during the holocaust changed the face of Europe and left many buildings, cemeteries and other Jewish heritage sites unattended or unused. This ‘orphaned heritage’ is now often in poor condition or in danger of deterioration” (Section 2.3).
- Many European (such as the AEPJ and ESJF) and national organizations (NGOs and museums) are working towards the promotion and preservation of Jewish Heritage through initiatives including the European Days of Jewish Heritage and the European Routes of Jewish Heritage.
2.1. In recent years, some national unions also took part in preserving Jewish heritage such as ČUŽM, UGEI, and UEJB with cemetery cleanings.
EUJS believes that:
- Jewish cultural heritage is an integral part of European culture.
1.1. Jewish cultural heritage includes but is not limited to synagogues (of all kinds), cemeteries, funerary ritual buildings, mikvehs (ritual baths), and other places of cultural or religious significance.
- These sites need to be put forward to highlight the longstanding presence of Jews on the European continent.
- Most sites are in need of preservation.
EUJS resolves to:
- Encourage and facilitate the organization of heritage-related activities with its member unions.
1.1. Act as a bridge between European associations and the activists on the ground to foster initiatives.
1.2. Provide educational material on Jewish heritage to national unions through connections with experts and partner organizations.
- Use its social media platforms to actively promote Jewish Heritage and the national union’s actions related to the subject.
- Integrate the discovery of local Jewish heritage into all EUJS in-person events.
- Advocate, in a coordinated movement with national organizations, for funding towards Jewish monuments in accordance with the EU Strategy on Combating Antisemitism and Fostering Jewish Life (2021-2030).