The Executive Committee of the World Jewish Congress, under the leadership of WJC President Ronald S. Lauder, will gather in Munich on 28-29 October for its biannual meeting.
As part of this meeting, WJC President Lauder and Dr. Charlotte Knobloch, President of the Jewish Community of Munich & Upper Bavaria & WJC Commissioner for Holocaust Memory, will honor German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday October 28 in Munich with the WJC’s annual Theodor Herzl Award, which recognizes outstanding individuals who work to promote Herzl’s ideals for a safer, more tolerant world for the Jewish people.
The Executive Committee meeting will also coincide with the second WJC International Meeting of Special Envoys and Coordinators on Combating Antisemitism, a forum first launched in Bucharest in June 2018. High-level participants at this meeting include European Commission Coordinator on Combating Antisemitism Katharina von Schnurbein, Commissioner for Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight Against Antisemitism Felix Klein, and US Special Envoy on Combating Antisemitism Elan Carr, among others.
These meetings will take place against a critical backdrop of rising antisemitism, in both Germany and the rest of the world, three weeks following the deadly Yom Kippur shooting in Halle, which claimed two lives. They also take place, significantly, on the one year-anniversary of the deadly antisemitic attack in Pittsburgh and six months following the attack in Poway.
Previous recipients of the Theodor Herzl Award include the Rothschild family, former Secretary of State General Colin L. Powell, former US Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Israeli President Shimon Peres, Elie and Marion Wiesel, former secretaries of state Henry A. Kissinger and George P. Shultz, and, posthumously, Ronald Reagan and Axel Springer.