Portuguese Minister of State for the Economy and Digital Transition, Longtime Supporters of Oporto Community Address B’nai B’rith Portugal European Young Leaders Program
Ambassador Luis Barreiros Speaks on Anti-Semitism Definition
(Washington, D.C., June 25, 2021)—Jacob Safra and Sir Michael Kadoorie, longtime supporters of the Oporto, Portugal Jewish community; Pedro Siza Vieira, Portugal’s minister of state for the economy and digital transition; and Ambassador Luis Barreiros, Portugal’s chief delegate to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), were special speakers at B’nai B’rith Portugal’s European Young Leaders Program earlier this week.
The two-day seminar was held at Oporto’s new Holocaust museum—the first in Portugal—and addressed challenges facing global Jewry, including rising anti-Semitism and bolstering pro-Israel advocacy. B'nai B'rith International CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin and B'nai B'rith International President Charles O. Kaufman participated in the seminar at the invitation of the Oporto community.
“The Oporto community has a long and illustrious history and it has been experiencing a renaissance in recent years. B’nai B’rith’s history is shorter but also illustrious. Since its founding in the 19th century, it has evolved into one of the most influential Jewish organizations and has fought tirelessly for our people,” Safra said in a video message screened at the event.
Siza Vieira also addressed participants through a video message, speaking on the history and heritage of Sephardi Jews—Portuguese Jews—and their contributions to science, politics and culture around the world, and on participants’ contributions in the future.
“And I look into the next decade, that decade in which you will complete your studies, you will start your working life, you will create families, you will participate in the lives of your communities around the world. And I look at that with expectation and confidence,” Siza Vieira said.
Barreiros spoke to participants about the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism and its importance as a tool to identify and combat Jew hatred. "It is the best tool to fight the scourges of anti-Semitism, so let's use it," Barreiros said.
Kadoorie provided remarks that were read by Kaufman. “To win the constantly changing new challenges of the world it is necessary to find sources of inspiration. The temporal and spiritual leadership of the Jewish community of Oporto are energetic sources of inspiration,” Kadoorie wrote. “May the Jewish community of Oporto and B'nai B'rith International continue to adhere and prosper!”
B’nai B’rith International has advocated for global Jewry and championed the cause of human rights since 1843. B’nai B’rith is recognized as a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a staunch defender of the State of Israel, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens and a leader in disaster relief. With a presence around the world, we are the Global Voice of the Jewish Community. Visit bnaibrith.org.