Bent Melchior was born in Germany in 1929 to Danish parents and in 1933 his family moved back to Denmark. At the age of 14, Melchior escaped from the Nazis during the German occupation of Denmark and lived as a refugee in Sweden from 1943 – 1945. He later became Chief Rabbi of Denmark 1970 – 1996. Melchior became the first and only honorary member of the Danish Refugee Council 2008 and was an associate professor in Classical Hebrew literature at the University of Copenhagen from 1971 to 1984. Additionally Melchior has translated the Five Books of Moses to Danish in the period from 1977 – 1987 and acted as the President for B’nai B’rith Europe from 1993 – 1999. Melchior has written numerous articles and books on issues relating to religion, Judaism and refugees and continues to be an outspoken advocate for the rights and conditions of refugees in Denmark today. Melchior is chariman of the board of the recently foundet organisation “Brobyggerne” (Brigde Builders), which he founded with former member of Danish Parliament Özlem Cekic.
Updatet December 2020
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Explore the 2020 Copenhagen Fellowship's Open Events
This year the Copenhagen Fellowship 2020 focused on Denmark's relation to Greenland and the Faeroe Islands. Using a Human Rights lens we dove deep into the pressing realities of this often overlooked region and Denmark's role in shaping it. During the Fellowship, we hosted four open events where the Copenhagen public was invited to discuss related topics with our Fellows. All events tried to untangle the complex issues related to the Unity of the Realm, as well as understand what civic engagement and action means in 2020.