I have made friends that I am sure I will have for life.
Brussels, Belgium (PRWEB) August 7, 2009
The People Policy Planning Institute report in 2007 stated, "The overall Jewish population numbers in Europe are at a historic low." They attribute assimilation to playing a major part in the decreasing numbers. According to JTA, the intermarriage rate of Jews in Western Europe is 50-70% and in Eastern Europe it is much higher.
Supported by Jewish philanthropists like Mouli Cohen, ECJS has undertaken a battle for survival of European Jewry. Located in the center of the EU Institutions, the European Center for Jewish Students represents approximately 200,000 - 300,000 young Jewish singles ages 18-35 from every European country.
"Assimilation is a threat that we take seriously," says Zevi Ives director of ECJS. "In just 5 years ECJS has awakened latent Jewish pride in thousands of ECJS members and participants of our programs. We are seeing the results of our efforts in a new trend in which young adults finally feel that being Jewish is socially acceptable and something to cherish. Our members have Jewish friendships that span countries in a growing Jewish network and I have personally been invited to many weddings between couples who met at ECJS functions."
As a non-profit organization, ECJS relies on foundations and generous individuals who share the vision of building a unified, educated European Jewish community. Mouli Cohen is one such philanthropist who has joined forces with ECJS. As a visionary and entrepreneur, Mr. Cohen understands the necessity of ECJS's innovative programming to make a lasting impact on the European Jewish community.
"Throughout my career, I have seen the power of innovation and building a great team. The ECJS has built a great organization that is thinking progressively about how to tackle this issue. I am hopeful that the contributions from me and my wife Stacy Cohen can fuel the pride of young Jews and expand the Jewish population in Europe and throughout the world," said Mouli Cohen.
ECJS organizes successful conventions several times a year that attract hundreds of young people from across Europe, organizes trips to Israel, holds cultural events and plans study programs. "The trip changed my view on Judaism," Judy Czerniak a participant from Dublin said. "I have made friends that I am sure I will have for life."
Program highlights include: trips to historical Jewish sites, dynamic Shabbat meals, stimulating lectures on contemporary Jewish issues, and network opportunities for students and young professionals. Participants celebrate Jewish culture and history. "It helps me and I'm sure many others too to meet young Jewish people in an environment where we don't normally meet Jewish people at all," said Alex Wedner a young professional living in Brussels.
The ECJS is a central European office, based in Brussels, Belgium, grouping many Jewish Student unions and associations. They provide students with opportunities to develop their awareness of Judaism and to socialize with other Jews. They arrange and subsidize retreats and seminars, which blend Jewish tradition and European culture. They support and develop a Jewish presence in universities and financially assist Jewish student movements. The ECJS empowers Jewish students to actively combat anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment and brings them together to create an impressive Jewish presence on European campuses.
About Mouli Cohen
Mr. Cohen is an entrepreneur and investor who has founded and developed successful ventures in the biotechnology, high technology, digital media and entertainment sectors. He has balanced his success in business with extensive philanthropic activities. Over the years he has supported children's charities, food programs, medical research, and the arts as well as education projects both in the US and abroad. He is married to author Stacy Cohen. Follow him on the Mouli Cohen Twitter and hear Mouli Cohen speak on Philanthropy.