MJLF Rabbi Delphine Horvilleur was chosen by the international foundation Global Hope Coalition as one of five 2018 “Heroes Against Extremism and Intolerance”. The award was made by Ronald Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress, on 28 September, in the presence of heads of state and government present in New York for the United Nations General Assembly. Delphine Horvilleur was the first rabbi to receive this global award. Serge and Beate Klarsfeld were honoured in this way when these awards were first granted in 2016.
In presenting the award to Rabbi Delphine, Ronald Lauder spoke of her as a leading voice against hate, racism and antisemitism in Europe and a benevolent guide in troubled times. In her acceptance speech, Rabbi Delphine described herself as engaged in inter-religious dialogue and a religious leader fighting for women’s rights within Jewish Tradition. She drew inspiration, she said, from those who dare to be both “guardians of tradition” and “ tradition breakers”, those who know that true fidelity to their heritage requires enough chutzpah to question its certainties. … exactly what fanatics and fundamentalists refuse to accept.
Rabbi Delphine also paid tribute to two French women she described as her heroes. Elsa Cayat, a psychoanalyst who wrote for the satirical French newspaper Charlie Hebdo about how prejudice can be overcome and who faced her killers in Charlie’s editorial board room on 7 January 2015. Elsa left a message of daily commitment to freedom and a duty to listen to the rebellious child’s voice within each of us. Marceline Loridan, film director and Holocaust survivor, had passed away only a week before. She too remained rebellious and juvenile to the end, teaching upcoming generations what it means to remember and to choose life, to know that what happens to us does not say everything about us because there are always other possibilities to grasp or to create. Rabbi Delphine had given the funeral oration for both these extraordinary women who, she said, had helped make her the woman she was and the rabbi she had become. No-one, Delphine said, could claim to be courageous or to invest in change without acknowledging what they owe to those who have taught them what it means to choose life.
The award ceremony was the second annual event for the Global Hope Coalition launched in 2016 to convene prominent influencers around a common goal: finding and highlighting local activists fighting extremism, preaching tolerance and dedicated to fostering diverse and inclusive societies.
For further information: http://globalhopecoalition.org/2018-events/