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Sandro Rosell
FC Barcelona President
Sunday, September 24, 2017

World Jewish Congress publishes new book chronicling its 80-year-long history

A new book chronicling the history of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), the umbrella organization of Jewish communities across the globe, has been released to the public and is now available for purchase on Amazon. The World Jewish Congress, 1936-2016 details the dramatic diplomatic efforts and achievements of this preeminent international Jewish organization, from its founding in Geneva 80 years ago through the present.

In his foreword, World Jewish Congress (WJC) President Ronald S. Lauder writes that “this book reminds us not only what the WJC did in the past, but why the Jewish people need this vital organization now more than ever and will continue to need it in the future.”

Among the episodes chronicled in the anthology are the WJC’s multifaceted rescue efforts during the years of the Holocaust; its pioneering role in crafting the groundbreaking Jewish-Catholic dialogue that fundamentally and profoundly changed the relationship between the Jewish people and the Vatican; its role in providing invaluable assistance to the prosecutors at the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg; its high-level diplomatic negotiations that enabled Jews from Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria to emigrate to Israel, France, and elsewhere during the 1950s and 1960s; its exposure of Kurt Waldheim’s Nazi past; and its leadership of the international efforts to force Swiss banks to disgorge more than one billion dollars they had wrongfully withheld from Jewish Holocaust victims and their heirs.

The book also details the World Jewish Congress’ critical hand in fighting the UN’s resolution that equated Zionism and racism; its focus in preserving the historical integrity of the site of the Auschwitz death camp; its efforts on behalf of Soviet Jewry; its attitude toward Jews living in post-Holocaust Germany; and its work to bring the perpetrators of terrorist bombings in Buenos Aires to justice. In the book’s concluding chapters, WJC CEO Robert R. Singer describes the activities of the World Jewish Congress today, and Ambassador Lauder lays out his vision of the Jewish future.

Contributors include historians Michael Brenner, Jonathan A. Bush, Suzanne Rutland, Zohar Segev, and Gregory J. Wallance; Monsignor Pier Francesco Fumagalli, vice prefect of the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan; Natan Lerner, professor of law emeritus at IDC Herzliya; Gregg J. Rickman, who led the US Senate Banking Committee’s examination of Swiss banks and their treatment of Holocaust-era assets during and after World War II; Eli M. Rosenbaum, longtime head of the US Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations; and Evelyn Sommer, chairperson of the WJC’s North American Section.

The World Jewish Congress, 1936-2016 (ISBN 978-0-9969361-1-8; $36) is edited by WJC General Counsel Menachem Z. Rosensaft.

About the World Jewish Congress

The World Jewish Congress (WJC) is the international organization representing Jewish communities in 100 countries to governments, parliaments and international organizations.