Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor
Prominent public figure, international philanthropist, entrepreneur and investor. He is committed to progress and has greatly contributed to revitalising Jewish life in Europe and beyond.
2005 – May 2009 - President of the Russian Jewish Congress (RJC), a leading Russian secular organisation that represents the interests of the whole spectrum of modern Russian Jewry.
Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor is known for his extensive involvement in community life:
Since 2007 - President of the European Jewish Congress (EJC), re-elected in December 2008 and in November 2012; 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 2008 – co-Chairman of the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR), a non-governmental organisation established to monitor European countries’ adherence to the principles of tolerance, develop practical initiatives and make recommendations for promoting mutual understanding between cultures.
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.
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 third “Let My People Live!” International Forum was held in Krakow, Poland, on January 27, 2010, to mark the day 65 years ago when the Red Army liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. The Forum was attended by nearly 100 deputies from the European Parliament led by Jerzy Buzek, other representatives of European institutions and official delegations from all over the world. Auschwitz-Burkenau liberators Ivan Martynushkin and Yakov Vinnichenko were the Forum’s guests of honour.
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.
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.
Since 2007 - President of the International Luxembourg Conference on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe, the largest non-government expert institution of its kind uniting leading, world-renowned experts on non-proliferation of nuclear arms, materials and delivery vehicles. The Forum was established pursuant to the decision of the International Conference on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe held in Luxembourg on May 24-25, 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.
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 civilisation. 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.
Co-author and co-organizer of the European Week of Tolerance - a series of events held in November 2008 in Brussels, Prague, and Kaliningrad to fight against human rights violation, xenophobia, racism, anti-Semitism, and other forms of extremism. This initiative brought together European leaders and major NGOs who reiterated their commitment to promote tolerance throughout Europe.
In May 2010 the Tel Aviv University hosted inauguration ceremony of the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry, namesake of EJC President and University's Hon.Dr. Moshe Kantor. TAU President Yossi Klafter presented the Donor Certificate to Dr. Kantor and said that "the establishment of the Kantor Research Center on European Jewry is a constructive step towards reinforcing Jewish pride and identity." "The new center will support and coordinate between research projects on campus relating to European Jewry," he added.
In August 2010 Moshe Kantor has been nominated the Member of the Directorate of the Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority "Yad Vashem" (official memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust).
On the occasion of the International Day for Tolerance, Viatcheslav Kantor was awarded the Medal “Deserved for Tolerance” by the Ecumenical Foundation Tolerance in Warsaw on the 16th of November 2011. The Foundation was established in 1993 at the initiative of a group of intellectuals and social activists of different faiths and nationalities. Every year since 1998 which marks the establishment by UNESCO of the International Day for Tolerance, the Foundation awards Medals of Merit for Tolerance. This medal is awarded to politicians, clergy people, artists, scientists and leaders who have strived towards increased tolerance in our society. It is worth mentioning that the Ecumenical Foundation of Tolerance awarded in previous years the Medal of Merit for Tolerance to, among others, Aleksander Kwasniewski, former President of Poland and co-chairman of ECTR, President of Israel Shimon Perez, President of the USA Barack Obama, Simone Veil, Amos Oz and Bernard Kouchner.
In 2011 Viatcheslav Kantor published the Manifesto on Secure Tolerance written by him. The project describes the concepts of global security and tolerance. The Manifesto has been published in seven languages, including English, Russian, French, Spanish, Chinese, Hebrew and Arabic.
On January 24th 2012 in Brussels, Belgium, Viatcheslav Kantor has been awarded the Chevalier Dans L’Ordre National de la Legion d’honneur by the President of France. The award is the highest level of the French National Order of the Legion of Honour, established by Napoleon Bonaparte. Amongst past recipients of the award are the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, and US President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Dr. Kantor received the award, presented by Ambassador Philippe Etienne, Permanent Representative of the French Republic to the European Union, for working towards the rights of minorities, promoting interfaith relations, leading the fight against racism and anti-Semitism and pushing for a more tolerant Europe in his roles at the European Jewish Congress.
On June 14, 2012 Kantor received the European Jewish Leadership Award at the European Council of Jewish Communities Presidents Meeting, held in Barcelona.
In May 2013 he has been elected Chairman of the Policy Council of the World Jewish Congress.
In 2013 The Jerusalem Post named Viatcheslav Kantor one of the most influential Jews of the world. In the list of 50 most significant Jews Kantor came up 15 places from the last year and took the 19th position in the newspaper’s rating. He surpassed leader of the Labour Party (UK) Ed Miliband, writer and the Nobel Prize winner Eli Wiesel, Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel Natan Sharansky, American investor Matthew Bronfman, President of the World Jewish Congress Ronald Lauder and mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat. It is worth noting that in this rating Kantor is only 3 positions below Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (number 1 in the 2011 rating) and 2 positions below mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg.
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 of 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)
- Order of Leopold (Belgium, 2009)
- Medal "Deserved for Tolerance" (non-government) (Poland, 2011)
- National Order of the Legion of Honour (France, 2012);
- Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (Italy, 2013);
- Grand Cross of the National Order for Merit (Romania, 2014).
Born on September 8, 1953, in Moscow, Russia.
Has 3 sons and a daughter.