On June 9, 2024, 2.000 delegates from 50 Jewish communities gathered to participate in the AJC World Congress in Washington, DC. The Israelite Community of Athens was represented by the General Secretary, Mrs. Delia Alkhanati, and the President of the Jewish Youth of Greece, Mr. Solon Kampelis, participated.

In a celebratory atmosphere of solidarity but also in a dark chapter of Jewish history, we heard excellent speakers with AJC CEO Mr. Ted Deutch as the keynote speaker. The Conference began with a prayer for the victims of the war after October 7. This was followed by the testimony of the parents of an American-Israeli hostage Omer Neutra, whose fate along with the fate of 120 other hostages is in the hands of the terrorist organization Hamas.

Shocking was the presence of the couple Zvi and Dorit Reder, a volunteer ambulance driver and a nurse of Magen David Adom, who while learning that their son was murdered by terrorists, continued to save lives non-stop with courage and self-sacrifice. Heroes of Israel!

We then heard a message from the President of Israel, Mr. Isaac Herzog, who emphasized the catalytic role of the AJC both in supporting Israel and in relations with the Diaspora.

A panel of speakers, including the President of the Jewish Community of Chile, Ms. Ariela Agosin, told us about the huge rise in anti-Semitism in her country and how difficult it is to deal with because of the large Muslim presence. Accordingly, the French-born President of the European Union of Jewish Students, Mrs. Emma Hallali, who coordinated the organization of SUMMER U - which will take place next month in Greece with 400 participants from all over Europe - expressed her dismay at the anti-Semitic attacks received by Jews students in a multitude of Universities worldwide, but also its determination to mobilize and regroup young people to deal with this emerging threat.

Voices of truth in favor of Israel on social media were represented by Ms. Aviva Klompas, who mainly through twitter highlights the truth behind the events that are systematically distorted, while constantly fighting the anti-Israel positions at the United Nations and the well-known to all of us actor and comedian Mr. Michael Rapaport, who scorches current events in an intense and provocative way, in his attempt to prove the obvious despite the constant threats he receives on his life!

Brandeis University Advisor Mr. Barak Sella explained the important role of Diaspora Jews in supporting the State of Israel. We are responsible for each other and our actions have a direct impact on our fellow human beings wherever they are located. It is a two-way relationship based on common principles and common values ​​that are not separated based on the borders of a state. Finally, the speaker emphasized that the existence of the state of Israel is equally necessary for everyone.

The President of the World Association of Jewish Students, Ms. Gianna Naftalieva, of Russian origin and a graduate of Reichman University in Herzliya, continuing the reasoning of Mr. Sella, said that correspondingly at the student level, special planning should be done, focusing on education and support students in the Diaspora to know and understand the situation in the Middle East.

Also, three active women spoke with passion and dynamism, Ms. Rachel Fish, co-founder with Ms. Aviva Klompas of the non-profit organization "Boundless Israel", which works with leaders of the Diaspora Communities in order to guide them collectively through education to fight hatred, intolerance and anti-Semitism, Ms. Mijal Bitton from Argentina, Rosh Kehilla Downtown Minyan in New York and Ms. Naama Klar, Director of the ANU Diaspora Museum and Koret International School.

The Sharon Green Award for Jewish Student Advocacy at Universities was accepted by Ms. Noa Fay, Columbia student for Hillel International and Ms. Hanna Veiler on behalf of the German Student Union.

The President of the University of Michigan, Mr. Santa Ono, thanked the two students who, as he stated, "with their work inspire him to take even more active action and be more present where needed." He also stated that he will build bridges with the Technion and the Weitzman Institute through the AJC.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus, Mr. Konstantinos Kombos, spoke of Cyprus' unparalleled and multi-level support to the State of Israel and pledged to contribute to the fight against the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) anti-Semitism movement that undermines and supports commercial policies and cultural cooperation with Israel.

We were told about the impact of technology in dealing with anti-Semitism by Mr. Ben Good, who coordinates Facebook's central policy through Meta by taking down thousands of baseless and untrue anti-Semitic posts before they see the light of day, and Mr. Shimon Shmooley, who he is a member of the Google team and introduced us to the “Gemini” Program through which we can cross-examine true information for any news article.

Ms. Nurit Canetti, President of the Israel Journalists Association, presented the complexity and dimensions that are revealed beyond the headlines and headlines in the media, as well as the relevant legal framework. Mr. Jake Sullivan, National Security Adviser of the United States, in a discussion with Mr. Ted Deutch, talked about the tireless efforts made by Mr. Joe Biden's administration to support Israel, such as the cease-fire proposal which was overwhelmingly voted by the members of the UN Security Council with 14 votes in favor and 1 against. There was also a debate about the upcoming elections of November 2024, with Mrs. Morgan Ortagus and Mrs. Halie Soifer, who argued for and against Mr. Joe Biden and Mr. Donald Trump.

The African-American congressman, Mr. Ritchie Torres, a strong supporter of Israel, "stressed that you don't have to be Jewish to be against anti-Semitism, just like you don't have to be black or gay to support them"! He also said that when you let go of the need to be loved then the path of a true leader begins. Finally, he said that hope is Israel's national anthem and with that in mind let's all say together that "we will dance again"!

At the conference we heard the fascinating testimony of a Druze woman, Ms. Nasreen Yousef, about her heroic attitude towards the terrorists, who by pretending to be on their side also obtained information about other terrorists which she passed on to the soldiers of the Israeli army.

Also honored was Mr. Ofir Libshtein, one of the first and tragic losses on October 7, a politician with vision and enormous humanitarian action from different positions of responsibility. He believed in progress and human cooperation. He was Mayor of the Greater Sha'ar Ha Negev District and was killed by terrorists defending the Kfar Aza Kibbutz. This was followed by the murder of Nichan's eighteen-year-old son. The funeral was delivered by the President of Israel, Mr. Isaac Herzog.

AJC CEO Ted Deutch, after announcing two new AJC partnerships with Krief to fight anti-Semitism, create a new Middle East and preserve the unity of the Jewish people, pledged to do everything possible to the creation of a center for the education and defense of the rights of Jewish students. They will work with university presidents, boards of trustees, faculty and other agencies to eliminate anti-Semitism on college campuses.

-With information from website of I.K. Athens