ICJW's 14th European Regional Conference takes place from April 2
9 – May 1, 2012
at the new Jewish Center in Berlin, with the
title: "Breaking Walls – Sustaining Jewish Life in a Changing Europe".
The Conference marks the centenary of the establishment of the International Council of Jewish Womenin 1912, when the leaders of Jewish women’s organizations from the
United States, Britain, and Germany met and voted to establish a worldwide
organization of Jewish women, with Bertha Pappenheim from Germany as its first
president. Today the international organization has 37 affiliates around
the world and will celebrate its centenary with a Conference in Germany.
The Conference will address the tremendous
impact that the political and social upheavals since 1990 have had on
contemporary European Jewish life, and analyze the different challenges that
have resulted. Sessions will discuss immigration, integration and the revival
of Jewish life and Jewish structures from a gender perspective. It will also
examine the significance of Jewish education for sustaining Jewish identity,
and human and civil rights in an increasingly pluralistic society.
meeting will help Europe's Jewish women’s organizations to plan their
strategies more effectively, and to strengthen communication and cooperation
between them. Attending will be delegates from women's organizations in 14 European countries and Israel, as well as representatives from the United States, Canada, Australia, Uruguay and South Africa.
The Conference's hosting affiliate is the Jüdischer Frauenbund (JFB), which was
founded in 1904 by Bertha Pappenheim. She was a campaigner against the white
slave trade, known today as trafficking, which remains a hot campaign issue for
the ICJW. Their other priority campaigns are the advancement of the status of women,
including the problem of agunot, improving interfaith and intercultural relations
between women around the world, and sustainable development and the
ICJW President Sharon Gustafson is excited to be meeting
with European affiliates in Germany to mark the organization's centenary:
"The world of 2012 is surely different from the world that our founders
knew in 1912, but many of the issues we campaign for remain the same. As we
enter our second century of community activity, we continue to seek ways to
help other people in the Jewish community and beyond in the spirit of Tikkun
Olam - making the world a better place for everyone."