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Nearly half of French Jews tell their children not to say they are Jewish

TJI Pick
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Published: 7 October 2022

Last updated: 5 March 2024

A new report on Diaspora Jewry identifies concerns about antisemitism, Jewish education and the rapid growth of the ultra-Orthodox community.

Nearly half of French Jews tell their children not to reveal their religion when in public, an alarming new report has said.

The report, “Annual Assessment: The Situation and Dynamics of the Jewish People,” by the Jerusalem-based Jewish People Policy Institute, documents an increase in antisemitism across Europe and the US from both Left and Right due to shifts in national politics and geopolitical events.

In France, it says antisemitism comes from the "extreme Left fringe" that has surged in recent years. This antisemitism "often conceals itself behind the mask of human rights and egalitarianism."

"The Jewish state is frequently described by activists in these movements as the last bastion of colonialism, an evil entity that should be dismantled. This is often accompanied by age-old antisemitic tropes, creating a hostile environment for Jews.”

Research cited by the report found 45% of French parents ask their children not to say they are Jewish and 55% of them ask them not to wear distinctive signs.

“It is clear that the risk associated with wearing these distinctive signs is well-understood by French Jews, some of whom even believe that wearing a kippa is tantamount to “provoking” an attack,” researchers said.

The research found that 20% of French Jews have been physically assaulted, 37% feel insecure, and 46% have considered leaving France.

Other issues identified by the report include:

  • Developing a better relationship between the US Democratic Party and Israel, particularly to gain support for Israel on the Iran nuclear issue
  • Prioritising significant Jewish education projects – financially, socially and institutionally
  • Using the philanthropy habits of the Disaspora community to develop a philanthropy culture in Israel
  • An expected increase in the number of migrants to Israel who see themselves as Jewish but are not recognised as Jews by the rabbinate
  • Continued rapid growth of the ultra-Orthodox community exacerbating societal tensions inside and outside Israel.

Nearly half of French Jews tell their children not to reveal religion in public (Jewish Chronicle)

Full report: The Situation and Dynamics of the Jewish People (The Jewish People Policy Institute)

An analysis of antisemitism in France - 2022 Edition (Fondation pour L’Innovation Politique)

Photo: Chanukah menorah next to the Eiffel Tower (Chabad.org)

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