Awards scheme to recognise Jewish heritage champions

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Awards scheme to recognise Jewish heritage champions

European Commission takes up proposal from The Foundation for Jewish Heritage to reward contribution of volunteers

Merthyr Tydfil Synagogue (Credit: Foundation for Jewish Heritage)
Merthyr Tydfil Synagogue (Credit: Foundation for Jewish Heritage)

The European Commission has announced that it will be supporting the creation of an awards scheme focused on Jewish cultural heritage.

The idea is the result of a proposal presented to the European Commission in October 2023 by the Foundation for Jewish Heritage, to recognise and celebrate volunteer heritage champions who have been making a significant contribution to Jewish cultural heritage preservation in Europe.

The European Commission statement was made in a communication to the European Parliament and the Council entitled, ‘No place for hate, a Europe united against hatred’. It was also highlighted in a recent speech made by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

Across the continent, there are many individuals who have been actively engaged in a whole range of activities to preserve historic synagogues, Jewish cemeteries and other Jewish monuments in places where often there is no local Jewish community as a result of the Holocaust.

The documentary team and members of the Foundation for Jewish Heritage at the Bodleian Library, Oxford. Pic: Foundation for Jewish Heritage

It is a mission to preserve the memory of a lost and often forgotten vibrant Jewish existence many centuries old. The awards scheme is to recognise those remarkable people who have dedicated themselves to this special mission, often over decades.

The European Commission is now determining how it will take forward the awards scheme which will be subject to an open call.

Dame Helen Hyde, chair of the Foundation for Jewish Heritage, said: “We are delighted that the European Commission has taken up the Foundation’s proposal to create this important awards scheme. It will help to raise the profile of Jewish heritage preservation and highlight the value of this work.”

Michael Mail, chief executive of the Foundation said: “This awards scheme will help bring the Jewish experience in Europe to the fore, and highlight the importance of preserving what is a substantial Jewish and European legacy. There are wonderful activists right across Europe who have committed many years to saving Jewish heritage sites in danger. They absolutely deserve to be acknowledged and celebrated.”

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: