The Council was founded in 2003 by ten Jewish organisations, which were operating or renewed their operation after the restoration of independence of the Republic of Latvia at the beginning of the 1990s. Those organisations united in order to achieve their common goals – development of religious, social and communal life of Jews, promotion of development of education, culture and sports, provision of centralised support to the lower income population, preservation of cultural and historical heritage, restitution and management of the real estate which until the 1940 belonged to the Jewish organisations of Latvia, promoting integration and development of the civil society, as well as representation of the interests of the Jews of Latvia on national and international level.
The Council of Jewish Communities of Latvia has a charity organisation status.
The Council of Jewish Communities of Latvia consists of thirteen communities from nine different cities of Latvia.
Founders of the Council:
- Riga Jewish Community
- Riga Jewish Religious Community
- Daugavpils Jewish Community
- Jekabpils Jewish Community
- Jelgava Jewish Community
- Liepaja Jewish Religious Community
- Ludza Jewish Religious Community
- Rezekne Jewish Religious Community
- Jurmala Jewish Community
- Ventspils, Kuldiga and Talsi Jewish Community
In 2004, three other religious communities have joined the Council:
- “Chabad-Lubavitch” Jewish religious community
- Daugavpils Jewish Religious Community
- “Shamir” Jewish religious community. In 2010, “Shamir” community announced its resignation from the Council.
In 2011, Ventspils Jewish community “Hevre Hahomim” has joined the Council.
Currently, the Council of Jewish Communities consists of 13 communities from 9 different cities, and together with more than 20 Jewish organisations of Latvia, who closely cooperate with the Council, it represents more than 8000 Jews of Latvia.
The Council of Jewish Communities of Latvia considers the perpetuation of the memory of the Holocaust victims as one of its main objectives. In recent years, monuments were created and memorial signs were installed in more than 50 places of mass extermination of Jews throughout the country. The Jewish Rescuer Rememberance Fund, created with the support of the Council, has installed a monument to Zanis Lipke in Riga, 25 Gogola Street, and monuments to other Second World War rescuers of Jews. Installation works of the new monuments and memorial signs continue.
By means of its structure – the Trustees Committee – the Council of Jewish Communities of Latvia supports a variety of cultural and educational programmes, as well as activity of various Jewish organisations, such as synagogues, schools, performance groups, etc. Number of social programs of the Council is aimed at helping lower-income seniors and children.
The Council of Jewish Communities of Latvia believes it is important to participate in the process of integration actively. The aim of various projects supported by the Council is to familiarize the society with the history and culture of Jews in Latvia, to publish books and organize exhibitions, to organise days of Jewish culture and other events.
Position of Chairman of the Board of the Council of Jewish Communities of Latvia is held by Arkady Suharenko. His deputies are Benjamin Kajem, David Kagan, Dmitry Krupnikov, Gennady Trifsik.
Skolas 6, Riga, LV-1010, Latvia