The EJA was pleased to conclude the first half of our delegation to Auschwitz. Prominent presenters facilitated thought-provoking conversations regarding the concerning rise in antisemitism, communal encounters, and improved security measures. The assThe EJA will start the second half of our delegation to Auschwitz.embly held importance as we united to tackle this unsettling pattern. Key moments included a debate between Elon Musk and Ben Shapiro
Esteemed speakers and influential stakeholders convened to explore these crucial issues.
This upcoming segment will focus on a visit to the Auschwitz Concentration Camp, where a guided tour will be conducted. A memorial ceremony and the recitation of the Kaddish prayer will be integral parts of this event, emphasising the EJA’s commitment to reflection and remembrance of the tragedy involved during the holocaust.
Elon Musk lays wreath at Auschwitz after private tour with Ben Shapiro and European rabbi
BY SHIRA LI BARTOV JANUARY 22, 2024 9:16 AM JTA
KRAKOW (JTA) — Elon Musk went on a private tour of Auschwitz ahead of a day of engagement with European Jewish leaders.
A delegation from the European Jewish Association conference in Krakow, where Musk is a featured speaker, is scheduled to visit the Nazi concentration camp on Tuesday. But the tech magnate — who has received criticism for allowing and abetting antisemitism on X, formerly Twitter, the social media platform he owns — instead visited on Monday “due to schedule concerns,” conference participants were told.
Musk traveled with Ben Shapiro, the Jewish right-wing pundit; EJA Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin, who is affiliated with the Chabad Hasidic movement; and Gidon Lev, an 88-year-old Holocaust survivor who was imprisoned at a different concentration camp as a child. Musk also brought along one of his young sons and carried him on his shoulders through the camp, including under the infamous “Arbeit Macht Frei” (“Work Makes One Free”) sign at the camp’s entrance, according to pictures distributed by EJA.
Musk laid a wreath and took part in a memorial ceremony, according to the Jewish group. A video shows him getting a tour from an Auschwitz guide and standing during a memorial prayer. Musk did not immediately elaborate on the visit on X, though he did share a picture of himself and Shapiro there.
The visit comes four months after Musk tentatively agreed to visit Auschwitz during a live chat on X with Margolin, who exhorted him “to walk there, to feel it, to understand it,” and other right-leaning Jewish leaders that was hosted by Shapiro, who has a large following on X.
At first Musk rejected the invitation, saying, “I’m very well aware of the Holocaust and Auschwitz and Dachau and whatnot, and all the things that happened that were terrible. So this is not certainly new information for me. So I don’t need to visit Auschwitz to understand. I get it.”
But after Margolin pressed the issue, Musk responded, “I will seriously consider it,” before later adding that he could swing by after a visit to a factory he owns in Berlin. “Consider it a tentative yes,” he subsequently said.
That was before Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel and Israel’s resulting war in Gaza, which has triggered a new wave of anti-Israel and antisemitic sentiment on social media, including X. Musk visited a ravaged kibbutz in southern Israel with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in late November, saying that he found the experience “jarring” and left convinced that Israel should continue its war in Gaza. But he also drew fire — and the ire of more advertisers — for calling an antisemitic post “the actual truth.”
Musk is scheduled to take part in a live conversation about online antisemitism with Shapiro on Monday night at the conference, titled “NEVER AGAIN: Lip Service or Deep Commitment?”
It’s a challenging time for Jewish communities in Europe. Anti-Semitism is on the rise as populism and the politics of the lowest common denominator are gaining traction. Our communities often need round the clock protection and our practices and customs such as keeping Kosher are under pressure from increasing political interference.
The European Jewish Association was set up to deal with these and many other challenges.
Acting on your behalf, we are the leading, biggest and widest reaching Associations of Jewish organizations and communities in Europe.
Our associates represent hundreds of communities and thousands of Jews across the continent. We believe that there is strength and influence in numbers.
Our mission is simple:
- To strengthen Jewish Identity and expand Jewish activities in Europe.
- To defend Jewish interests in Europe.
We love being Jewish. We love the contribution we have made to the betterment of the world. We don’t believe in a ‘behind closed doors’ Judaism, but instead one that reaches out across religious and cultural divides. A Judaism that engages, that influences, that matters.
We also seek to instill some pride and joy in people on their Jewish journey, from old hands to first timers and everyone in between.
In short, we exist for you.
Wherever you are in Europe and whoever you are; if you are a community or an individual we invite you to find out more about us, our work and why we do it.
Above all we invite you to join us and be part of the leading Jewish voice in Europe.
What we do
Based in the beating democratic and political heart of the European Union – Brussels, we have built lasting and meaningful contacts with the key decision makers and opinion formers in the Council, Commission, Parliament and various permanent representations and embassies. We also work closely with the Mission of Israel to the EU, standing up for Israel, promoting the world’s only Jewish State and creating political initiatives that run against Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)
We count Commissioners, special envoys, MEPs and ambassadors as our friends, colleagues and people who we can call on for help and support.
We also lobby on behalf of Jewish communities from Portugal to Ukraine and everywhere in between, whether that’s defending the rights of Jewish Students to observe Jewish holidays, fighting against bans on Shechita (Jewish ritual slaughter), promoting and supporting Jewish holidays and traditions, securing and safeguarding Jewish communities, schools, synagogues, Mikvot, and representing communities on Committees, at conferences and high level consultations within the European Institutions.
We also undertake events, celebrations and information sessions in the European Institutions. From Euro-Chanukah, Holocaust Memorial day, to cross community initiatives, we put Jews front and centre in any European conversation affecting minority groups and minority interests.
You can find out in much more detail about our work in the various sections of this website.
Thank you for dropping by and we look forward to welcoming you back soon.