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New reform alliance set to shake the foundations of French Jewish life

TJI Pick
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Published: 10 October 2019

Last updated: 4 March 2024

An alternative voice could upset the balance of power that has existed in France since Napoleon

SOMETHING NEW IS STIRRING in the French Jewish community. Currently dominated by Orthodox or rather “traditional” Jewish men, the established institutions may be challenged by a new religious force calling itself Judaisme en Mouvement (JEM) to be formed on 1st January 2020. The two largest reform communities in Paris have decided to come together and to invite Jews everywhere in France to join them.

The Liberal Jewish Movement of France (MJLF) and the Liberal Israelite Union of France (ULIF) are joining forces again after 42 years of separation provoked by doctrinal differences that have since been washed away.

Two determined Presidents, Gad Weil (MJLF) and Jean-Francois Bensahel (ULIF-Copernic), launched the merger process 18 months ago. On 23 September the project was formally adopted by an overwhelming membership vote in both communities.

Pronounced “j’aime” (meaning “I love”) JEM represents some 2,000 member families with nearly 7,000 people attending Yom Kippour services.

JEM boasts five Rabbis, including Delphine Horvilleur who was recently invited by Israel’s President Rivlin to join a select international group of 30 rabbis and intellectuals to discuss the future of World Jewry.

FULL STORY A new force emerges to France to challenge Orthodoxy (Jewish Chronicle)

Photo: Rabbi Delphine Horvilleur (Haaretz)

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