Roman Abramovich donates $5m to Jewish Agency to fight anti-Semitism

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The Russian billionaire’s donation is the largest ever received by the body, which helps Jewish communities across the world, according to a spokesperson.

Isaac Herzog, chairman of JAFI, said Abramovich’s generous donation came as “Jews are once again unsafe on the streets of Europe.”

“I applaud Roman Abramovich for taking strong initiative to combat anti-Semitism and am grateful for his contribution to the Jewish Agency’s efforts to ensure Jews are safe in their communities around the world,” Herzog said in a statement.

Abramovich, who is Jewish, has played a leading role in Chelsea’s “Say No to anti-Semitism” campaign and recently attended the club’s charity match against New England Revolution.
About 25,000 people attended the game, which was organized soon after last October’s attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh that killed 11 people. The synagogue is one of 15 organizations that will receive money from the game.

Since launching its campaign against anti-Semitism in January 2018, Chelsea has taken supporters to Auschwitz to educate them on the horrors of the Holocaust, invited survivors to speak to the squad, and has helped raise money for a new Holocaust exhibition at London’s Imperial War Museum.

Last year, a CNN survey of seven European countries conducted in Germany, Great Britain, Sweden, France, Poland, Hungary, and Austria exposed the prevalence of anti-Semitism on the continent.

According to the poll, more than a quarter of Europeans surveyed believe Jews have too much influence in business and finance. Nearly one in four said Jews have too much influence in conflict and wars across the world.

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Meanwhile, a third of Europeans polled said they knew just a little or nothing at all about the Holocaust, the mass murder of some six million Jews in lands controlled by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime in the 1930s and 1940s.

An annual report published in May by the Anti-Defamation League found that anti-Semitic incidents in the US remained near historic levels in 2018 after surging the previous year.

According to the latest figures from the ADL, 2018 was the third-highest year on record for assault, harassment and vandalism against Jews since it began tracking such incidents in 1979.

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