German chancellor Angela Merkel has been awarded the Lord Jakobovits Prize for European Jewry by the Conference of European Rabbis.
At a ceremony in Brussels on Wednesday Ms Merkel was honoured for her support of the German Jewish community and her outspoken denunciation of anti s emitism throughout Europe.
CER president, Chief Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt said: "Chancellor Merkel is a worthy recipient in recognition of her continuing efforts of inter-communal harmony across Europe, her friendship towards the Jewish community and outstanding contributions to the promotion of tolerance and understanding."
Receiving the award , Ms Merkel said: “We must learn to talk to one another and not to about one another... Freedom needs to be defended anew every day. I am deeply moved to have received this prize and I see it as an encouragement as there is much work still to be done across Europe.”
She also stressed the importance of Holocaust education. "The fight against anti-semitism is a paramount duty of a free democratic state."
Ms Merkel has been recognised for her efforts to protect the religious practice of circumcision which has been under threat in Germany.