Muzicant Successor Wants to “Open” Jewish Community

Die Presse, February 22, 2012. Translation.
German original:

Oskar Deutsch wants to move the Jewish Community closer to non-Jewish society. A change of course towards the FPO is ruled out.

Oskar Deutsch, the successor of Ariel Muzicant as president of the Austrian Jewish Community (IKG) wants to increase efforts to open the Community for non-Jews. “We would like to present ourselves as part of Austrian society”, Mr. Deutsch said at a press conference on Wednesday, where the new board of directors was presented.

Regarding the relationship with the FPO, Deutsch indicated no change of course; the Community will continue to point out anti-Semitic remarks.

Show “Vibrant Jewish Life”

 “We want to open the door”, Mr. Deutsch said, suggesting a push in public relations in the future to approach non-Jewish society. This will include the use of social media like Facebook. Basically the Community wants to show that there exists a “vibrant Jewish life” in Vienna, pointing out the numerous schools, Synagogues, and the cultural program.

Deutsch called selection as new president and successor of Muzicant a “mark of confidence” with respect to his service as president over the years. “I am very confident that I will be able to justify this confidence in the future, he said, while recognizing Muzicant for decade-long service in the Community. Muzicant has mastered many challenges, including the reconstruction of real estate or the Jewish cemeteries, Mr. Deutsch explained.

“No Change of Opinion Regarding the FPO”

Asked about the relationship with the Austrian Freedom Party (FPO), Deutsch responded that he” holds the same opinion as Ariel Muzicant”. The Community in the future will continue to point out statements like the “new Jews” comment by FPO chairman Heinz Christian Strache, a pattern that had already started with Joerg Haider.

Also the newly elected vice presidents of the Community briefly introduced themselves: Judith Adler, for example, is the first woman on the board of the IKG. In addition, Chanan Babacsayv is the youngest member.  (APA)

About Oskar Deutsch
Deutsch was born in 1963 in Vienna. He was active in several Jewish organizations. In 1993 he became head of the board of the IKG and chairman of its fundraising commission.  The father of two kids is the full-time general manager of Alvorada Kaffeehandelsges. M.b.H.