Jean Kahn, a leading figure in the European Jewish community and the first chairman of FRA’s predecessor organisation, the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia, has died at the age of 84.
“Jean was not only a great Frenchman and Jewish community leader, but above all an adamant defender of human rights,” said FRA Director Morten Kjaerum. “It was in great part his determination that led to the establishment of the EUMC, which helped to put the fight against discrimination on the European agenda.”Jean Kahn was born on 17 May 1929, escaping Nazi-occupied France to Spain with his family in late 1943. He graduated in law from the University of Strasbourg, and in 1989 became president of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France (CRIF). He later served as president of the European Jewish Congress and as a vice-president of the World Jewish Congress.FRA’s work on antisemitism and Holocaust education is key to the Agency’s research. It includes an annual update on antisemitism in all EU Member States and a handbook on the role of Holocaust memorial sites and museums in human rights education. FRA will publish the results of its survey Discrimination and hate crime against Jews in the EU: experiences and perceptions of antisemitism on 9 November.