The European Jewish Fund Leadership Program at Paideia

The European Jewish Fund Leadership Program at Paideia aims at infusing European Jewish community life with deep-rooted knowledge and to assure that this knowledge is multiplied through concrete project work.

It merges instruction of Jewish heritage, text, culture and language with hands-on tools to convert this knowledge into concrete projects and programs.

The program consists of the following mutually reinforcing components:

  • The intensive Paideia One-Year Program, an immersion in Jewish text with instruction by leading researchers from the major Israeli universities, Hebrew Ulpan, community life, Jewish tradition and life cycle. The program includes a three-week trip to Israel, with studies at Yad Vashem and the National Library, as well as visits and encounters, all serving to create lasting bonds with the land of Israel.
  • A methodological approach to acquiring and understanding Jewish thought and leadership for continued learning after graduation, through enabling critical thinking and methodology focusing on interpretation and Hevruta.
  • Providing the ability to spread knowledge through leadership and community development training and comprehensive project development skills, in the Project-Incubator and in specific courses in the One-Year Program.

The European Jewish Fund

The European Jewish Fund was founded in February 2006 at the initiative of Moshe Kantor, chairman of the European Jewish Congress, with the specific goal of strengthening Jewish life in Europe.

The EJF focuses on young people and their connection to Judaism and their communities by supporting programs aimed at building Jewish identity and Jewish pride, especially by re-connecting young people with their rich and vital Jewish past.

The chairman of the EJF, Dr Moshe Kantor explains the program in the following way: “The European Jewish Fund (EJF) was created to support and bolster three central aspects of Jewish life in Europe, the need to strengthen Jewish leadership and identity and especially Jewish pride. The leadership in many communities is ageing, and we don’t see many of our youth with a desire to become communally involved. The next generation is growing distanced from the European Jewish community and they appear less proud of their Jewish origins. I firmly believe that the two are connected and that the Paideia program, supported by the EJF, succeeds in addressing these goals. The program trains young adults about not only what it means to be a Jew in Europe, but also to become proud Jews. Furthermore, it helps youth become involved in Jewish communal life and become future leaders of their community. European Jewry is currently facing enormous challenges. Dangers ranging from the rapid rise in anti-Semitism to the problem of assimilation are affecting the European Jewish community and we need today more than ever young blood to revive our communities.  The EJF sees PAIDEIA as a flag ship program to achieve this goal.”