Paris’ 350 000 Jews put their lives on hold

  • Paris4
Nobody knows how many, if any, Jewish residents of, and/or visitors to Paris, were among the over 500 killed or seriously wounded in the tragic events of the past weekend. But one thing is for certain: After the events and post-Shabbat, French Jewry and the State of Israel rose to the occasion. And Jews around the world were probably the single-most group of people who could share with Parisians the immensity of their empathy.
by ANT KATZ with wire services | Nov 16, 2015
The Jewish Federation of France, or FSJU, postponed the launch of its National Appeal for Tzedakah, an initiative that brings in some $3,5 million for charitable causes each November.

Due to kick off on Sunday, the tzedakah telethon, in which Jewish and non-Jewish celebrities sing in a special radio appeal, was postponed to November 29 because Sunday was declared a national day of mourning in France.

Paris2The Maccabi Centre in Paris’ 10th arrondissement, or district, cancelled a martial arts programme due to take place today. A soccer match and a dancing contest were also scrapped.

RIGHT: Israelis mourned with French Ambassador Maisonnave. “Tonight we are all French,” he said. 

Shuls remained open throughout Paris on Sunday.

Also on Sunday, the office of the Chief Rabbi of France, Haim Korsia, announced a memorial ceremony for the victims will take place that evening at the Synagogue de la Victoire.

The Cultural and University Jewish Space of Europe, or ECUJE, however, suspended all activities until further notice, including Hebrew-language courses, synagogue services and an event honouring Jewish veterans of France’s war in Algeria.

“In full solidarity with the grieving families and in accordance with the state of emergency declared by the government, we hereby inform you of the suspension of all of our activities,” the centre’s administrative office wrote in a letter to its members.

Stopping short of announcing a lockdown, SPCJ, the French Jewish community’s security service, urged community leaders to make sure all their congregants were aware of any suspension of activities at synagogues and other centres.

Otherwise, SPCJ wrote in a public security notice that is unusual for its level of detail, congregants might stand together in front of closed synagogues or walk together to open ones – a behaviour SPCJ wrote may be more dangerous than holding activities as planned. SPCJ asked the community leaders to “break up routines”.


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