Aiding, showing solidarity with French Jews - www.jewishaz.com: Opinion

Aiding, showing solidarity with French Jews

W. DAVID WEINER | Posted: Wednesday, July 6, 2016 10:00 am

France has seen numerous anti-Semitic incidents in recent times but none that touched so many lives as the senseless attack at the Hyper Cacher market. A routine Shabbat afternoon suddenly became a worldwide event that brought attention to the French Jewish community and growing European anti-Semitism. The global Jewish community responded and offered political, financial and emotional support. As part of that ongoing response, world Jewish leaders made a solidarity visit to Paris last week to show our support to our Jewish family and learn how our funds are being spent.

Serving as a committee member of the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) taught me much, and once again showed how the federation organizations of the U.S. support others in times of need. Realizing that it was important to show our solidarity with the French Jewish community, it was decided Paris would be the best place for JAFI to hold their Board of Governors meeting. The French Jewish community of 500,000 people represents less than 1 percent of the population, yet 49 percent of racist attacks are anti-Semitic. Besides the usual business meetings associated with a $387 million organization, meeting in Paris also gave the Board of Governors an opportunity to visit projects that have been funded by JAFI through federation donors. 

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