International philanthropist, businessman and prominent public figure Moshe Kantor has served as President of the European Jewish Congress (EJC) since 2007. A proud Jew and visionary, he is committed to the worldwide fight against anti-Semitism, racism and neo-Nazism, as well as safeguarding the freedom, security and prosperity of the Jewish people, contributing greatly to revitalising Jewish life in Europe and beyond.
Having initially been elected as EJC President in June 2007, Moshe Kantor was subsequently re-elected to the position in 2008, 2012 and 2016. The largest secular organisation representing the interests of European Jewry, the EJC is an influential, international public association representing some 2.5 million Jews across the European continent in 42 national Jewish communities.
Especially noted for building his strategies on learning from the lessons of the past, Moshe Kantor is particular committed to Holocaust Education. To enshrine in memory the tragic events of the 20th century, he founded and headed the World Holocaust Forum (WHF) and the European Jewish Fund.
As Chair of the WHF, Kantor initiated and organised an international event in Krakow on 27th January 2005 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi concentration camp. His work as founder and Chairman of the EJF focuses on promoting Jewish life throughout Europe by supporting programmes aimed at reinforcing Jewish identity and pride by re-connecting young people with their rich and vital Jewish heritage.
Moshe Kantor also serves as Deputy Chairman of Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, and in 2013 he was elected Chairman of the Policy Council of the World Jewish Congress.
Beyond his presidency of the EJC, Moshe Kantor is internationally recognised for his extensive involvement in community life, having previously served as President of the Russian Jewish Congress.
In 2007, Moshe Kantor founded and was elected to serve as President of the International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe, an international non-governmental organisation uniting world-renowned leading experts on nuclear non-proliferation, materials and delivery vehicles.
The Luxembourg Forum’s activities are aimed at facilitating the process of arms limitation and reduction of nuclear weapons and counteracting growing threats to the nuclear non-proliferation regime, as well as promoting international peace and security through new approaches, and proposing practical solutions to critical non-proliferation and arms control issues to decision-makers. The Forum is guided by two principal bodies – the Supervisory Board, which includes Ambassador Hans Blix, Former Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and Former UK Minister of Defence Des Browne, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, and President Moshe Kantor – and an International Advisory Board consisting of more than 40 leading global experts.
In 2008, Moshe Kantor founded the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR), where he serves as the President. The ECTR is a non-governmental organisation comprising former heads of European states, Nobel Peace Prize laureates and other renowned individuals committed to promoting principles of tolerance and mutual understanding between cultures.
In this vein, he also co-authored and co-organized a series of concurrent events in Brussels, Prague and Kaliningrad in November 2008, as part of the European Week of Tolerance, to fight against human rights violation, xenophobia, racism, anti-Semitism, and other forms of extremism, by bringing together European leaders and major NGOs alike to reiterate their commitment to promote tolerance throughout Europe.
Moshe Kantor was born in Moscow in 1953 and spent his early years there, obtaining his degree from the Moscow Aviation Institute in 1976. In 1981, he was awarded a PhD in Science, specialising in Spacecraft Automatic Control Systems. A prominent businessman, he heads the publicly-traded Acron Group, one of the leading mineral fertiliser producers and distributors in the world.
Moshe Kantor’s philanthropic and scientific contributions have been recognised in the form of numerous government awards, including the Order of Friendship, Russia (1998), the Order of Merit, Poland (2005), the order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise, Ukraine (2006), the Order of Leopold, Belgium (2009), Chevalier of the National Order of the Legion of Honour, France (2012), the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (2013), the Grand Cross of the National Order for Merit, Romania (2014), Officer of the National Order of the Legion of Honour, France (2015) and the Order of Honour, Russia (2016).
Other awards include an honorary doctorate from Tel Aviv University (2004), a “Deserved of Tolerance” medal from the Ecumenical Foundation Tolerance (2011), and the European Jewish leadership Award (2012).
A committed patron of the arts, Moshe Kantor serves as the President of the Museum of Avant-Garde Mastery (MAGMA), the Moscow-based home of the world’s largest and most important collection of 20th century Russian avant-garde art, which he was instrumental in founding in 2001, collating works from such artists as Marc Chagall, Chaim Soutine and Mark Rothko.