Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and businessman Mikhail Fridman attended the Conference of European Rabbis 2015 Internet Entrepreneur Prize Award Ceremony in London on January 10.
Distinguished Guests and Dignitaries
A gala dinner was held at the Hilton Metropole and attended by dignitaries from various countries, including the founder of the Delin Group Igor Linshits, Chief Rabbi of England Ephraim Mirvis, president of the World Jewish Congress Ronald Lauder, head of the Russia-China investment fund Doctor Hu Bing, Lord Peter Mandelson, as well as other distinguished guests.
The award was created three years ago and is inspired by the Jewish principle of ‘Tikkun Olam’, which literally means “world repair” but in a modern context is understood as steps toward social action and justice.
Cash prizes to digital & web ventures
The Conference of European Rabbis (CER) gives cash prizes to digital and web-based ventures that have potential to change the world and improve lives.
A mobile app that helps people track their mood and cope with anxiety and depression.
ALS Mobile Analyzer
An app to study people with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a rare disease.
Online portal for children to study Jewish history and tradition through interactive games.
Moscow Chief Rabbi & CER President, Pinchas Goldschmidt Opens Ceremony
Goldschmidt encouraged the audience to use the internet to positively impact the world around them. “Internet, as well as many other things that we encounter in life, can promote ideas of peace and kindness, not war,” the rabbi said.
“Terrorism has no causes and excuses. Whether it’s an attack on a synagogue in Paris, knives intifada in Israel, or ISIS actions against Christians in Syria – all this is terrorism. And there is no difference depending on whom it’s sent upon,” Goldschmidt said. Goldschmidt then introduced the special guest of the evening, Nicolas Sarkozy, whose grandfather Benedict Malla was Greek Jewish.
Former French President Sarkozy Speaks & Answers Questions
The former president of France first gave a speech, and then later, participants were invited to ask questions. Sarkozy said that projects such as CER Prize have a positive impact on the development of small business and young people. “It is very flattering that the award is designed not only to Jews but also to the young businessmen of other nationalities. It is a good example of how important it is to support young professionals,” he noted.
Sarkozy also said that he was categorically opposed to the boycott of Israeli products in Europe: “We may not agree with Israel in some matters and we may negotiate. But the boycott of Israeli products is counterproductive.”
“We must stand up to protect our Jewish communities. It is impossible not to. We did not fight the Nazis to force the Jews to run to Israel 70 years later,” said Sarkozy sharply.