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Lufthansa Becomes First Airline to Adopt IHRA Definition of Anti-Semitism

September 20, 2022

by: JNS

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Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal on a video call with Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr, who pledged to fight anti-Semitism within the company.

Tuesday, 20 September 2022 | German flag carrier Lufthansa announced last week that it will adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance [IHRA] Working Definition of Anti-Semitism.

Lufthansa also announced a joint initiative with the American Jewish Committee [AJC], detailed in a Memorandum of Understanding signed by both parties, in which AJC staff experts will train the airline’s employees on how to identify and respond to anti-Semitism.

The announcements were made at an event in Washington, D.C., attended by Deborah Lipstadt, the US special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism; Felix Klein, the federal government commissioner for Jewish life in Germany and the fight against anti-Semitism; German Ambassador Emily Haber; and Israeli Ambassador Michael Herzog.

“We are grateful for Lufthansa’s strong commitment to address anti-Semitism and bias within the workplace,” said Holly Huffnagle, AJC’s US director of combating anti-Semitism. “As global anti-Semitism rises, the private sector increasingly has a role to play, and Lufthansa aims to be a corporate leader in the fight against anti-Jewish prejudice. We are honored to partner with them in this endeavor.”

Lufthansa said in late July that the airline would hire a senior manager to focus on preventing anti-Semitism after more than 100 Jewish passengers were banned from traveling on one of its flights from New York to Budapest on May 4.

The IHRA Working Definition of Anti-Semitism has been adopted by 24 European countries, including Germany.

“Fundamental to standing against anti-Semitism is understanding what it is and how it manifests, both in overt forms and through unconscious bias. The IHRA definition recognizes all of this—that is its distinct strength,” said Lufthansa Group Executive Board Member Christina Foerster.

Posted on September 20, 2022

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on September 18, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today.)

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Chabad Berlin/jns.org

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