You know his name, you know his face, but what do you really know about Francis Kalifat, the current President of Crif?
Born in Oran, Algeria, in 1952, Francis Kalifat lives a hurry departure from Algeria, on the backdrop of civil war and an eventful arrival in Paris in 1962 with his mother and brothers. His father, a police officer awaiting his transfer, will join them a few months later and they will go to live in Trappes (Paris suburb). A few years later, his sister was born, his family moved to Versailles (Paris suburb). Francis Kalifat then joins the Faculty of Law of Sceaux (Paris suburb).
As a teenager, he joined the Zionist youth movements. He acquired a taste for activism, solid political thinking and a good sense of leadership. As a practicing and tolerant Jew, he had great respect for the plurality of identities. Passionate about the history of the Jewish people and deeply concerned by meetings with Holocaust survivors, he got involved in the fight against antisemitism and the Holocaust remembrance duty. At 22, he embarked on a professional career as a business manager and successfully developed his company.
He became President of the Federation of Zionist Organizations of France (FOSF) and joined Crif under the chairmanship of Théo Klein in 1984. He was quickly elected to the steering committee, then to the executive office where he would sit continuously. Elected treasurer in 2002, he will actively contribute to the financial and strategic consolidation of the institution. He is then elected Deputy President and will be continuously re-elected to these positions.
During the last mandate of Roger Cukierman, he notably contributed to the influence of the regional sections of Crif, and more particularly supported projects of living together, dialogue with Muslims and the digital communication department of Crif, spearhead of the combating hate on the Internet.
On May 29, 2016 he became the 11th President of Crif. After three years of presidency, he was re-elected for a second term on June 23, 2019.
How is Crif President elected?
The President of Crif is elected by all the delegates of the 73 associations that form the General Assembly of Crif. These represent an almost complete spectrum of the Jewish community in France.
Election candidates must first of all have their candidacy validated by the Election Commission. Candidates can then embark on their campaign and, on polling day, deliver their candidacy speeches. The members of the General Assembly then vote by secret ballot and elect the President of Crif.
5 things about Francis Kalifat
The main aspect of my personality - I am someone who listens and is attentive
My main quality - I am a fair person
My main flaw - I have very high expectations from people
My favorite authors - Albert Camus and Victor Hugo
My motto - It's exactly because it's difficult that it's possible