In the face of increasing attacks on Jews globally, the largest-ever gathering of municipal leaders to fight antisemitism took place from November 30th to December 1st at a conference in Athens, Greece, with 53 municipal leaders from 23 countries around the world participating.
The 2022 Mayors Summit Against Antisemitism (MSAA), was led by the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) and hosted by The Honorable Kostas Bakoyannis, Mayor of Athens & Chair of 2022 MSAA and the City of Athens, the birthplace of democracy and Greece as the oldest European Jewish community. The President of Greece H.E. Katerina Sakellaropoulou will also participate in this historic event.
The event was co-hosted by the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) and the Center for Jewish Impact in partnership with the Jewish Federations of North America. Other participating organizations include The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) from Canada, The Jewish Community of Athens, KIS – The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece and the Union of Italian Jewish Communities (UCEI).
For the first-time, the MSAA convened mayors from around the world, in-person, to share their challenges and solutions to counter hatred, bigotry, and antisemitism within their cities, in order to safeguard a shared and inclusive democratic future.
Some of the mayors, deputy mayors and municipal representatives from cities around the world, including from New York City, Vienna, Paris, Dortmund, Malmo, Albuquerque, Richmond, Ft. Lauderdale, Dresden, Jackson, Mississippi, Graz, Thessaloniki, Bialystok, amongst others.
"Athens is the birthplace of democracy, and the significant rise of hate and antisemitism we are witnessing around the world is a threat to our cherished democratic values,” Mayor Bakoyannis said. “That is why this event is so important and timely. We see an insidious spread of antisemitism, so there is a need to fight this scourge at the local level as well as to see how these trends are global, and learn best practices from each other towards combating them.”
The 2022 MSAA follows on from last year’s online event, the first ever Mayors Summit Against Antisemitism, which was hosted by the City of Frankfurt am Main, and brought together municipal leaders from 32 cities across 21 countries to eradicate antisemitism and religious prejudice from their communities. That summit saw the launch of an ever-increasing network of mayors from across the globe united and dedicated to fighting bigotry and intolerance, and to share policies about how best to combat antisemitism. The event amassed more than 60,000 viewers, and representatives from over 400 municipalities globally.
“Mayors and other local and regional decision-makers are the closest officials to the ground in towns and cities around the world,” said CEO of CAM Sacha Roytman Dratwa. “They have the best understanding of the challenges and the solutions to combat all forms of hate, including antisemitism. They are the ones charged with issues that take place on their streets and neighborhoods, so they are closest to the pulse of their communities. This is why we strongly believe that mayors and other municipal leaders are best placed to track, to understand and to help combat antisemitism, and share strategies and policies with their colleagues from both near and far.”
The summit highlighted the breadth of the problem of rising antisemitism, present strategic, as well as creative solutions, and offered a free exchange of ideas and city-to-city partnerships between this conference of the world’s leading municipal figures. The summit established professional frameworks for best practices, laying a foundation for transformative globalized yet local impact in modernity’s struggle against re-awakened forms of the world’s oldest hatred.
“We are delighted that this initiative is spreading around the world and more and more mayors are joining this challenge and want to help us combat and eradicate antisemitism in their localities,” said Robert Singer, Chairman of the Center for Jewish Impact and Member of the CAM Board of Governors. “Local leaders can and should be on the frontlines of combating antisemitism, so they are irreplaceable in any strategy to fight this scourge.”
The Combat Antisemitism Movement is a global coalition engaging more than 360,000 people and 640 engaged organizations from a diverse array of religious, political, and cultural backgrounds in the common mission of fighting the world's oldest hatred. CAM act collaboratively to build a better future, free of bigotry, for Jews and all humanity.