While the coronavirus pandemic continues around the world, the president of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, Dr. Michael Mirilashvili addressed the Jewish communities and organizations of the Euro-Asian region:
The coronavirus pandemic shocked the entire world, changing reality for everyone all over the globe in such a short stint of time. Before our own eyes, illusions we once had have been destroyed, and new priorities now need to be put in place. We are all facing complex challenges in an ever-changing situation.
However, the threat of the coronavirus did not paralyze the operations of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress (EAJC). On the contrary, the emergency provided the organization with an added impulse to mobilize and bring about more cohesion among our people. During this challenging time, it is important to enhance our collective will and spirit to withstand even the most powerful forces of nature.
The EAJC leadership team consists of prominent philanthropists and public figures, many of whom are familiar with the activities of the Jewish communities and organizations in the Euro-Asian region.
Thanks to the tireless support and cooperation of these outstanding people, the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress has become one of the largest international Jewish organizations that continues to promote unity of the Jewish people, the preservation of Jewish traditions and the prosperity of Jewish communal life in the Euro-Asian region.
The EAJC leadership is constantly in touch with regional Jewish leaders, and we know how COVID-19 has affected the Jewish communities in each of the 26 countries of the Euro-Asian region. We also understand that the world is only starting to understand and identify the long-term effects of the pandemic.
Notwithstanding the constantly changing circumstances facing us in the short-term, EAJC leaders have been fully engaged in strategic decision-making for the long-term. In particular, we rely on the results of the newly extended study, “Jews of post-Soviet Euro-Asia” that was initiated by the EAJC and conducted by the Institute for Euro-Asian Jewish Studies (IEAEI). The enlightening data obtained from this large-scale survey regarding the status of Jewish life in the Euro-Asian countries as well as the prospects for its continued development, helped EAJC leaders determine the main priorities of the congress.
Helping the weak and needy
Social projects in the Euro-Asian region have faced considerable financial and organizational difficulties associated with the spread of the pandemic. However, many have stepped up their efforts to support vulnerable people during this difficult time. Traditionally, EAJC leaders have provided emergency assistance to address the most pressing of problems.
Supporting Communal Priorities and Activities
Among the most significant findings from the study, “Jews of post-Soviet Euro-Asia” are the insights into the role of the Jewish community as being a source of Jewish identity and a powerful tool for the preservation and development of Jewish life in the region. At the moment, the congressional leadership is striving, with dedication and flexibility, to respond in a timely manner to the problems and challenges facing the Jewish communities. The world is dealing with a pandemic, and we all need to mobilize so that the communal life in the region does not fade away.
Most recently, we have heard of instances in different parts of the Euro-Asian region of the ugly face of anti-semitism popping up again. The EAJC continues to monitor and report such incidents to the public. We are constantly urging heads of state in the Euro-Asian region to take a firm stand and combat this shameful phenomenon. Our mission is to prevent any further growth of antisemitism in the region.
Making Jewish Life More Virtual
The Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, like many other organizations operating with the support of the EAJC, intends to bring operations on the Internet to the next level. We have launched an “EAJC Online: section on our new website, which offers films, educational courses, lectures, articles as well as a variety of informative materials from the Institute of Euro-Asian Jewish Studies. In cooperation with the Shamir Publishing House, we have launched an online library that provides free access to the rare pieces of classic Jewish literature.
Now, more than ever, we need visionary decisions based on clear priorities and increased awareness of the given situation currently facing us all. Faith, cohesion, creativity, and modern technology will help us to resolve difficulties and to turn them into opportunities. I am deeply convinced that together we can face any challenges and overcome the global crisis, becoming even stronger.