Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor

Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor

(born September 8, 1953 in Moscow) is a Jewish leader, philanthropist and businessman. He is currently serving as President of the European Jewish Congress.

Life and career

Education

Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor was born in Moscow and spent his early years there, obtaining his degree from the Moscow Aviation Institute in 1976. In 1981 he was awarded a PhD in Sciences with a specialization in Spacecraft Automatic Control Systems.

Business Activity

Kantor heads the publicly traded Acron Group, one of the leading mineral fertiliser producers and distributors in the world. He purchased the first asset of the Acron Group, a state-owned nitric acid-based fertiliser plant in Russia (formerly named Azot), in 1993.

Family

Kantor is married to Anna Kantor and has four sons and a daughter.

Career

Kantor, who is president of the European Jewish Congress (EJC), is well known worldwide for his fight against anti-Semitism, racism and neo-Nazism and has greatly contributed to revitalising Jewish life in Europe and beyond.

Public activity

European Jewish Congress
European Jewish Congress
European Jewish Congress

JEWISH LEADERSHIP

Moshe Kantor has been the president of the European Jewish Congress (EJC) since 2007. He was re-elected to the position in 2008 and again in 2012 and 2016. The EJC, the largest secular organisation representing the interests of European Jewry, is an influential, international public association representing some 2.5 million Jews across the European continent in 42 national Jewish communities.

Kantor is particularly involved in Holocaust education. To enshrine in memory the tragic events of the 20th century, he founded and headed the World Holocaust Forum (WHF) and the European Jewish Fund.

As Chair of the World Holocaust Forum Foundation Kantor initiated and organized the commemoration events in Krakow, on January 27, 2005, to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. The “Let My People Live!” World Forum was attended by more than 40 heads of state and official delegations.

Kantor’s involvement in promoting Jewish life also extends to being the 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 young people with their rich and vital Jewish heritage. He also serves as Deputy Chairman of Yad Vashem and in 2013 was elected Chairman of the Policy Council of the World Jewish Congress.

International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe
International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe
International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe

NUCLEAR NON-PROLIFERATION

In 2007, Kantor founded and was elected president of the International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe, an international non-governmental organisation uniting leading world-renowned experts on nuclear non-proliferation, materials and delivery vehicles.

The Luxembourg Forum’s activities are aimed at discussing nuclear security and non-proliferation issues, as well as elaborating proposals and recommendations to politicians and diplomats regarding the reinforcement of nuclear security. It works to prevent trivialization of the nuclear threat in the modern world and aims to provide trustworthy information on the current situation in states and regions of concern (the Middle East, the Korean Peninsula and South Asia).
European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation
European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation
European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation

TOLERANCE AND RECONCILIATION

Kantor is actively engaged in promoting tolerance and reconciliation in Europe. In 2008, he founded the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR). The ECTR is a non-governmental organisation composed of former heads of European states, Nobel Peace Prize laureates and other world renowned individuals famous for their achievements in promoting tolerance.

The ECTR was established to fight xenophobia, extremism and anti-Semitism, monitor European countries’ adherence to principles of tolerance, develop practical initiatives, and make recommendations for promoting mutual understanding between cultures. The ECTR has encouraged state surveillance of citizens deemed "intolerant".

Honours and awards

Awards

  • 2016
    Order of Honour, Russia
  • 2015
    Officer of the National Order of the Legion of Honour, France
  • 2014
    Grand Cross of the National Order For Merit, Romania
  • 2013
    The Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, Italy
  • 2012
    Chevalier of the National Order of the Legionof Honour, France
  • 2009
    Order of Leopold, Belgium
  • 2006
    Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise, Ukraine
  • 2005
    Order of Merit, Poland
  • 1998
    Order of Friendship, Russia

HONORS

In addition, he received an honorary doctorate from Tel-Aviv University (2004); “Deserved for Tolerance” medal from the Ecumenical Foundation Tolerance (2011); and the European Jewish Leadership Award (2012).

Art

Kantor serves as the president of the Museum of Avant-Garde Mastery (MAGMA), founded in 2001 in Moscow on his initiative. The Museum contains the world’s largest and most important collection of 20th Century Russian avant-garde art. The movement flourished in the former Soviet Union from approximately 1890 to 1930 and united such artists as Marc Chagall, Chaim Soutine and Mark Rothko.