French doctor, Russian businessman vie for EJC presidency

BRUSSELS (JTA) — Representatives of European Jewish communities will decide whether to re-elect Moshe Kantor as president of the European Jewish Congress or vote for Richard Prasquier from France.

The vote by 85 representatives of European Jewish communities is scheduled to be held on Wednesday in Brussels and will determine who will preside over the umbrella organization for the next four years. 

Richard Prasquier, a cardiologist and president of the umbrella organizations of French Jewish communities, CRIF, told JTA that change was needed to “deepen the contact with EJC and Jewish communities” in view of the rise of anti-Semitism and the world economic crisis.

Kantor, a Russian space engineer and businessman who resides in London, told JTA that his five-year tenure has produced “achievements on the diplomatic front in European institutions and in E.U. member states” for Jewish communities.

Founded in 1986, EJC began as an offshoot of the World Jewish Congress, and has since evolved into an organization with two offices, in Paris and Brussels. It now represents 42 Jewish communities from Turkey to Portugal.

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