Prominent public figure, international philanthropist, entrepreneur and investor. He is committed to progress and has greatly contributed to revitalizing Jewish life in Europe and beyond.
Mr. Kantor is known for his extensive involvement in community life:
Since 2007 – President of the European Jewish Congress (EJC); 2004-2007 – Chairman of the EJC Board of Governors. The EJC is a leading Jewish secular umbrella organisation that co-ordinates 40 national Jewish communities in Europe, encompassing 2.5 million Jews. The EJC’s goal is to address the world’s most pressing issues: protecting human rights, fighting xenophobia and anti-Semitism, promoting interfaith dialogue, implementing cultural and educational programmes, and remembering the Holocaust and other tragedies that claimed millions of human lives throughout the world.
Since 2005 – President of the Russian Jewish Congress (RJC), a leading Russian secular organisation that represents the interests of the whole spectrum of modern Russian Jewry.
2005 – Initiated and organised the first “Let My People Live!” International Forum in Krakow, Poland, to mark 60 years since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Among the participants and guests at the Krakow Forum were representatives from 40 countries, including 24 official delegations, led by their heads of state and government.
Since 2005 – Founder and President of the World Holocaust Forum Foundation (WHF), established following the Krakow Forum. The Foundation’s goal is to support Holocaust remembrance activities for the sake of preserving the historical memory of nations all over the world and preventing future tragedies. The WHF convenes “Let My People Live!” International Forums on a regular basis.
2006 – The second “Let My People Live!” International Forum took place in Kiev, Ukraine, in September 2006 to mark 65 years since the Babi Yar tragedy. The Forum enjoyed great support from leading international institutions and organisations, such as the Council of Europe and its Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), as well as high-ranking politicians from many countries.
The Forum’s participants adopted a joint World Holocaust Forum Declaration, aimed at preserving the eternal memory of the Babi Yar tragedy and its lessons, as well as the memory of the millions of victims of World War II, the Holocaust and its legacy for generations to come. The document expressed joint support for the initiative to hold the next “Let My People Live!” International Forum in November of 2008 to commemorate 70 years since die Kristallnacht.
Since 2006 – Key founder and Chairman of the European Jewish Fund (EJF), which focuses on promoting Jewish life throughout Europe by supporting programmes to reinforce Jewish identity and Jewish pride, especially by re-connecting people with their rich and vital Jewish heritage. The Fund also focuses on addressing pressing concerns threatening Jewish life in Europe, such as assimilation, anti-Semitism and racism. The primary principle of the Fund is to maintain a round table where all members can speak openly and participate as equals.
2007 – Chairman of the Organising Committee of the International Conference on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe, which was convened in Luxembourg in May of 2007.The Conference hosted an unprecedented gathering of leading international experts on nuclear non-proliferation. Over 50 of the most authoritative experts from 14 countries took part in the Conference, including Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohamed ElBaradei.
The vital importance of pressing nuclear security issues, the growing danger of the existing non-proliferation system, which is drifting toward collapse, and the reality of the nuclear threat prompted the initiative to convene the Conference.
The final Declaration of the Conference on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe was presented in Moscow on December 18, 2007. This document was circulated to heads of state throughout the world, top-tier politicians and heads of major international organisations. The declaration contains proposals to prevent the collapse of the nuclear weapons non-proliferation regime and offers a set of practical steps to strengthen this regime, as a positive agenda for the future. The Luxemburg Conference was transformed into the permanent Luxembourg Forum.
2001 – Founded the International Museum of Avant-Garde Mastery. The Museum houses a diverse collection of works by outstanding Jewish artists of Russian origin who are internationally recognized for their genius. This project is an essential part of the concept called the Jewish Positioning System (JPS), created to promote a favourable public opinion of Jews based on positive examples, as well as underscoring their contributions to all realms of society. At the same time, the JPS programme is intended to strengthen the Jewish identity and prevent Jews from assimilating.
Initiator and supporter of a pan-European programme for effectively counteracting the escalation of xenophobia, anti-Semitism and neo-Nazism in Europe, and for fighting extremism and other threats to civilization. The programme brings together various spheres, including education, culture and religion, and is endorsed by many political leaders and prominent institutions, such as the Council of Europe and the European Union.
Business and Science
After graduation, Mr. Kantor headed a leading Soviet laboratory engaged in developing spacecraft. A reflector satellite was designed using his research and subsequently launched into Earth orbit to illuminate the planet’s surface with reflected sunlight.
1993 – Took the helm at Acron agrochemical company. Under Mr. Kantor’s supervision, Acron has become one of the world’s leading fertilizer producers and distributors. The Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs have recognized Acron as ‘Best Russian Enterprise’ nine times.
1996-2000 – Economic Adviser to the Chairman of the Federation Council (the Upper House of the Russian Parliament) of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation.
2000 – Contributed to founding the National Institute for Corporate Reform (NICR), a non-profit organisation uniting renowned politicians, business leaders and scholars to provide effective support for corporate reform in Russian industry. Kantor is currently President of the NICR.
Graduated from the Moscow Aviation Institute (1976)
PhD (Spacecraft Automatic Control Systems, 1981)
Honorary Doctorate from Tel-Aviv University (2004)
Government awards of several countries
Order of Friendship (Russia, 1998)
Order of Merit (Poland, 2005)
Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise (Ukraine, 2006) Born on September 8, 1953, in Moscow, Russia. Has a son and a daughter.