Tagged French Jews

Emerging from lockdown, French Jews take stock of community’s ‘enormous losses’

Rabbi Michael Azoulay, second from right, reading the Torah with congregants at the synagogue of Neuilly-sur-Seine, a Paris suburb, Dec. 11, 2017. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

(JTA) — Regulars at the synagogue in the Paris suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine call its main hallway “the traffic jam.” The term, often uttered with an eye roll, refers to the bottleneck that forms several times a day outside the offices of the popular synagogue, housed in a 1930s Bauhaus… Read more »

In handling of Holocaust survivor’s slaying, French Jews see a ‘lesson learned’

Jews participating in a memorial march in Paris for Mireille Knoll, March 28, 2018. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

(JTA) — Last April, Traore Kobili threw his Jewish neighbor to her death from her third-story home in Paris while calling her a demon and shouting about Allah. French authorities waited 170 days before they declared the killing of Sarah Halimi an anti-Semitic hate crime — and that was… Read more »

ANALYSIS Emmanuel Macron wins French election, but Marine Le Pen wins legitimacy

Emmanuel Macron addressing supporters at the Louvre in Paris after winning the French presidential election, May 7, 2017. (David Ramos/Getty Images)

  (JTA) — Emmanuel Macron, the 39-year-old  former investment banker and political centrist, handily defeated the far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen in France’s presidential election. Exit polls showed Macron winning Sunday’s vote by a margin of 65 percent to 34 percent. Although her bid to lead the country failed, Le Pen’s divisive campaign against Macron achieved some of… Read more »

French Jews imagine life under President Marine Le Pen

French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen speaks in Henin-Beaumont, France, Dec. 6, 2015. (Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images)

PARIS (JTA) — Like many Jews in France, Ludwig Fineltain is hoping against hope that Marine Le Pen will not be elected president of the country five weeks from now. At the moment, the head of the far-right National Front party is leading in the polls with 26 percent… Read more »

How Paris public schools became no-go zones for Jews

Children peer out from a doorway as armed soldiers patrol outside their school in the Jewish quarter of the Marais district in Paris, France, Jan. 13, 2015. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  PARIS (JTA) — Twenty-five years after he graduated from a public high school in the French capital, Stephane Tayar recalls favorably his time in one of the world’s most thorough education systems. As for many other French Jews his age, the state-subsidized upbringing has worked out well for Tayar,… Read more »

French Jews react to first screening of buzzy, irreverent comedy on anti-Semitism

Director Yvan Attal, right, with Charlotte Gainsbourg and Dany Boon during the filming of "The Jews" in Paris. (Courtesy of Wild Bunch Productions)

PARIS (JTA) — When the French-Jewish film director Yvan Attal titled his much-hyped comedy about anti-Semitism “They Are Everywhere,” he did so in reference to how some anti-Semites feel about Jews and vice versa. But the French-language title applies in another way, too: Though the film has yet to… Read more »

At home in London, French Jews dread vote on leaving the EU

A menorah is lit in London's Trafalgar Square to mark the beginning of Hanukkah, Dec. 20, 2011. (Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images)

LONDON (JTA) — Less than two years after he moved his family from Paris to London, David Herz is already feeling at home in the United Kingdom. The co-founder of a communications agency, Herz is among thousands of French Jews who moved across the channel in recent years. He says… Read more »

For embattled French Jews, mixed feelings about call to move to Israel

The crowd outside the kosher supermarket Hyper Cacher in Paris as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pays his respects to the victims of last week's terrorist attacks, Jan. 12, 2015. (Aurelian Meunier/Getty Images)

(JTA) – French Jews are feeling embattled. Arsonists have targeted their synagogues, terrorists have attacked their schools and shops, and with only a few exceptions, French society has not united behind them to stop the assaults and harassment. The solution, according to Israel’s prime minister, is simple: Move to… Read more »

Among some Jews, little faith in French authorities

Joyce Halimi, left, and her husband, Julien, at a vigil for victims of the deadly attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris, Jan. 10, 2015. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

PARIS (JTA) — When he heard that four Jews had died in an attack on a kosher supermarket near his home, 16-year-old Natan Kalifa was overcome with grief, anger and a feeling of exclusion from French society. He even contemplated staging an act of violence — possibly against Islamists… Read more »

French Jews feel ‘huge amount of fear’

People watch on TV in a cafe as police mobilize at the hostage situation at Port de Vincennes on Jan. 9, 2015 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

PARIS (JTA) – The two sieges that transfixed France and much of the world on Friday epitomize the problem Islamic radicalism poses in the heart of Europe: It’s a danger to civilized society generally, but especially to Jews. Now it’s time for the authorities to wake up to the problem and… Read more »

French Jews say Prime Minister Manuel Valls has their back

Manuel Valls, then the interior minister of France, arriving at a state dinner with his wife, Anne Gravoin, Sept. 3, 2013. (Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Even among those who anticipated it, the intensity of anti-Semitic violence that hit France in 2002 was shocking. That year — the height of the second Palestinian intifada — synagogues and schools were torched, previously rare anti-Semitic beatings occurred in Paris and elsewhere, and a new generation… Read more »

The French Jews who anticipated the Nazi onslaught

Raymond-Raoul Lambert, seen in his Strasbourg office in the 1930s, founded the Committee for Assistance to Refugees. (Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum)

(JTA) — His hearing isn’t what it used to be, but Georges Loinger still remembers Adolf Hitler’s voice emanating from the radio at his Strasbourg home. Growing up in the heavily Germanic Alsace region of eastern France, Loinger and his family tuned in regularly to broadcasts of Hitler’s speeches.… Read more »

Film suggests Toulouse killer was disturbed, not hateful

In the documentary, "The Mereh Affair -- The Itinerary of a Killer," Mohammed Mereh is shown skiing four weeks prior to his killing spree in Toulouse in March 2011. (France 3/You Tube)

(JTA) — Four weeks before he murdered seven people in Toulouse, a cheerful Mohammed Merah was filmed laughing and showing off his skiing skills to friends at a popular Alpine resort. The footage, televised on March 6, formed the opening sequence in a controversial documentary about the 23-year-old, French-born… Read more »

In France, Marseille Jews look to Paris and worry that their calm may be fleeting

Elie Berrebi, director of the Jewish Consistory of Marseille, at the city's Great Synagogue, Oct. 14, 2012. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

MARSEILLE, France (JTA) — At a time when Jewish institutions across France resemble military fortresses for their security, entering the great synagogue and main Jewish center of this picturesque city on the Mediterranean coast is as easy as pushing open the front door. The only obstacles on a recent… Read more »