A Jewish native of Vienna, 28-year-old Ilja Sichrovsky is at the vanguard of a movement to improve relations between Jews and Muslims. As founder and secretary of the Muslim Jewish Conference (mjconference.org), he recently brought several dozen young members of both communities together at the University of Vienna for six days of dialogue and leadership-training activities.
Sichrovsky is the son of Peter Sichrovsky, an Austrian journalist and author who wrote groundbreaking books in the 1980s about young Jews in Austria, and about the children of Holocaust survivors and of Nazis. He later was elected to the European Parliament, as a member of the rightwing Freedom Party.
The Jewish Week spoke with Ilja Sichrovsky recently at the Manhattan office of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, which supports his work.