Covid-19 pandemic changes the world.Sunday - November 22 - 10:30 CET
Today some 8 months after the breakout of the pandemic, it is common understanding that even when the health threats will be efficiently addressed via a vaccine, some repercussions of the crisis will be long lasting while other aspects will remain for good, marking serious changes to our lives.
Surveys show that some habits adopted during and because of the pandemic, will be part of the new normality. For example, traveling for business will be reduced considerably since technology has proven that virtual meetings are easily arranged and can be just as effective and efficient.
Personal traveling will also remain affected, people will consider other priorities before they decide to travel and not just the destination and the leisure. E-meetings, webinars, virtual boardrooms, education, remote working, etc., have all enhanced their substance and will be normal life habits
even when the pandemic ends. Socializing, physical gatherings, events, religious attendances will be impacted too.
The pandemic has and will continue to affect Jewish life everywhere. No matter whether a large or a small Community, challenges facing Jewish life are quite similar:
How can we stay resilient throughout the current crisis, and at the same time, what are we planning to do to recover and secure Jewish life and Community cohesion after the crisis?
What changes do we, leaders of the Community foresee, and to what degree are we working to prepare the ground for implementing these changes?
How do we plan to operate with reduced financial resources?
What is our call of action for fundraising and regular income at these times of
Is my Community sustainable? from a financial and operating model perspective?
How do we re-imagine membership commitments, youth activities, social events, bonding within our Communities post covid?
What did we learn during the pandemic regarding our Synagogues and religious life? Where is the border line raised between strict religious rules and limitations on the one hand and the “modernity” to reach out religiously to our members on the other?
Do we see the post covid Communities carrying the threat of changes or exploring opportunities for improving the mission of our Communities?
Are we sufficiently literate technologically and equipped for addressing a different operating model?
What do we foresee and do regarding cornerstone activities of our Communities like welfare, schools?
President, Jewish Community of Athens, Greece
Alvertos was born in 1969. He holds a BSc in Computer Information Systems from the American Deree College of Greece, a BA in Economics from University of Athens, and an MBA in Finance from City University Business School, London.
Alvertos is a Finance Manager in a multinational company in Greece.
Alvertos has a long volunteer record on Athens Jewish issues. He was elected as president of the Athens Jewish Youth in 1988 and had also served as member initially and then president of the Lauder Athens Jewish Community School Committee for the period 2007-2016. He is also active in Maccabi Athens table-tennis team.
Since 2019, Alvertos has been elected and serves as President of the Board of the Jewish Community of Athens
Alvertos is a father of two children Zakinos (22) and Moses (18).
President, Jewish Community of Rome, Italy
Ruth Dureghello was born in Rome on 5 of July 1967. She graduated from law school in the University of Rome La Sapienza and then she dedicated to business activities. Ruth Dureghello is married and she has two children. In 2008 she runs for the first time for election in the Jewish Community of Rome in the electoral roll "Per Israele", "For Israel", that was led by Riccardo Pacifici. She becomes alderman for the school of the Jewish Community, by handling formation and growth for seven years. In 2015 she led the electoral roll "Per Israele" as a presidential candidate. She got the 44,08% of the vote and on the Council's advice she becomes the first female president of the Jewish Community of Rome. As a president she receives, togheter with the Chief Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni, Pope Francis for the historical meeting in the Synagogue on the 17 of January 2016. In the same year, in the election for the renewal of the Council of the Union of the Jewish Communities in Italy.
Chairman, Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic
Olomouc, Czech Republic
Petr Papoušek was born in Olomouc, Czech Republic in 1977. During his university studies at the Faculty of Economics he spent one academic year at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel. After graduating M.A. in the fields of macroeconomics he was accepted in Stockholm at the European Institute for Jewish Studies - Paideia. Since 2004 he works for Jewish Community in Olomouc and is elected as President.
From 2012 he serves as President of the Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic, reelected in 2016. He is vice president of World Jewish Congress - Executive Board representing small Jewish communities (reelected April 2017) and member of European Jewish Congress executive board.
He is married with two children.
President, Shalom Bulgaria
Assoc. Prof Alexander is the President of the Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria “Shalom”. Prior to that, he served two terms as Chairman of the Sofia, Bulgaria, Jewish community, becoming in 2007 the youngest leader in the history of the community. He was also President of the European Association of Jewish Community Centers and Deputy Chairman of the European Council of Jewish Communities.
Assoc. Prof. Oscar was born on November 11th, 1978, in Sofia. He graduated magna cum laude from the Medical University in Sofia in 2003 and has since finished two residency programs – in Neurology and in Ophthalmology, as well as a Master Degree in Healthcare Management. Currently he is head of the Ophthalmology Clinic at Alexandrovska University Hospital and of the ophthalmology department at the Medical University in Sofia.
In 2017 he was awarded by the mayor of Sofia with the "Badge of Sofia", for his active public and social activity and medical dedication.
In 2019 Assoc. Prof. Oscar was awarded with the State Order of Civil Merit First Degree, for merits in the development of civil society, the protection of human rights and freedoms and the strengthening of democratic institutions in Bulgaria.
On October 19th, 2020 he was awarded the title “Doctor of the Year 2020” by the Bulgarian Medical Union.
He developed welfare programs in benefit of the Bulgarian Jewish community members as well as the general Bulgarian society. One of his most praised charity initiatives – the “Do Good”, started back in 2012, where over 30,000 children have been examined for free over the past 7 years and more than 1,000 glasses have been donated.
Assoc.Prof. Oscar is also the basis of the joint initiative between the Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria “Shalom”, the Bulgarian Medical Association and the Bulgarian Society for Ophthalmology - “Together we will make it” which took place during the coronavirus lockdown. Thanks to their joint efforts and great desire, nearly 500 families of medical practitioners and their relatives in quarantine from across the country have been supported.
He is married to Karina Oscar, a marketing executive. Together, they have two children, Avi and Noa.
Mila Stojanovic is Executive director of the European Union of Jewish Students, the umbrella organization of national Jewish student unions across Europe, that supports its members and represent them in international institutions and organizations.
Mila’s professional involvement in the Jewish community started as a leader at the Center for Informal Jewish Education in Belgrade and the JDC–Lauder Szarvas International Jewish Youth Camp.
For 3 years, Mila was the Education coordinator of Haver Srbija, a nonprofit seeking to create a more tolerant and open society. She was volunteering with several community programs and is on the organizational team of the Limmud Ex-Yu.
Mila holds Bachelor and Master’s degrees from the Faculty of Teacher Education in Belgrade, Serbia.
Moderated by Minos Moissis, ECJC Executive Member
Minos was born in 1962 and raised in Larissa, Greece in a traditional Sephardic family and received Jewish education in the Community school. He holds a BSc in Mathematics and a MSc in Actuarial Science.
Minos has a 30+year career in Financial Services including top management and C-suite positions in Banking and Insurance. He currently leads a boutique advisory firm dealing with strategy, M&As and corporate transformations and is the Government’s appointed Board member in the national entity managing public assets.
Minos has a long record as a volunteer in Jewish life. He was the elected President of the Jewish Community of Athens for two consecutive terms (2013-2019) and has served his Community from a variety of positions. He was the founder of the Greek Jewish Youth in the 80’s and keeps very active in all matters regarding extrovert strategies of the Jewish Community and the fight against antisemitism. He is a member of the Executive Board of ECJC since 2016.