Barry Kosmin, Trinity College research professor and director of the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture, recently participated in “Building Resilient Communities,” the second European Jewish Communities Summit, in Barcelona, Spain. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (AJJDC), in association with the European Council of Jewish Communities (ECJC) and the European Jewish Congress (EJC), hosted the summit November 13-14, 2016.

1113162019a_HDRWeb700Based on the success of the first conference in 2015, the second summit built upon the subject of “Community Resilience,” making it the central topic of the 2016 event. The goal of this conference, according to the ECJC, “is to further explore different aspects pertaining to community resilience, offering a space where community leaders and executives can discuss, exchange, and learn about critical issues affecting our organizations nowadays.”

Kosmin spoke alongside other scholars on the topic of “Social Research and Jewish Communities.” He presented his Findings of the Third Survey of European Jewish Leaders and spoke to the survey’s ability to help build community resilience. The survey asked Jewish leaders and opinion formers a variety of questions, collecting their views on the major challenges and issues that they believe are concerning European Jewish communities in 2015, as well as their expectations for how their communities would evolve over the next five to 10 years.

“Europe is going through political, economic, and security strains and Jewish communities are concerned about their impact,” Kosmin said. “So it was very illuminating to participate with community leaders from 30 European countries from Ireland to Latvia and Norway to Greece and to listen to high ranking official representatives from diverse official bodies including the EU Commission, the Czech Ministry of the Interior, and the Catalan National Police.”

Written by Eleanor Worsley ’17