The situation in France continues to look bleak for the Jewish community. Last year saw record numbers of French Jews making Aliyah (returning to Israel). And unfortunately this number is just one of many facts which show that Jewish families in France are worried about their children’s future.
In a recent video by VICE News, Robert Ejness, the head of the French Jewish community’s umbrella organisation said that Jews “are very worried and they are questioning the future of their children in this country.”
He explained that in 1970 only 7,000 French children attended Jewish schools. Today, there are 35,000 Jewish children in Jewish schools in France. On top of that, another 35,000 Jewish children attend private Christian schools, showing that the Christian school environment is safe and welcoming for Jewish children.
“One of the issues,” Ejness explains “is the integration of the Muslim population, essentially the Muslim population that has arrived in France in the last 20 or 30 years, which has not been integrated, which has refused also to be integrated in the French system.”
According to Ejness, the key reason for French families pulling their children out of state run schools is to move them away from Muslims.
In the last couple of years Jewish synagogues and schools have had their security increased substantially due to the threat of radical Islam. It is now common to see armed police and soldiers outside Jewish schools and synagogues.
Statistics released by France’s Interior Ministry in January show that while Jews make up less than 1% of the total population of France, anti-Semitic attacks against Jews accounted for 40% of all racist attacks and hate crimes in 2015.
Watch the video from VICE News below: