Anti-Semitism is an everyday problem for Europe's Jews.
In France – home to the largest Jewish population in Europe – the populist "Yellow Vest" protests have turned against the Jews, with anti-Semitic rants about banking and protestors defacing synagogues and harassing worshippers. Conspiracy theories about Jewish control of the press and the government are creeping into the mainstream. Jewish cemeteries, memorials, and monuments are vandalized almost monthly in France, Greece, and Poland. And just last year in Paris, 85-year-old Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll was found stabbed to death in her apartment, her body burned.
As a persecuted people, we know that we must not remain silent in the face of rising hate. This October, our synagogue will travel to Strasbourg, Paris, and Brussels to meet with their Jewish communities and local Jewish leaders, learn more about the modern resurgence of anti-Semitism that threatens them there, and support our people in their struggle.
The mission, led by Rabbis Ammiel Hirsch and Samantha Natov and Donna Levine, will visit sites of historic atrocities against Jews, including the Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp in Alsace; meet with leaders of the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF) and Jewish victims of recent attacks and incidents; see firsthand the immigrant neighborhoods of Paris and explore the anti-Semitism coming both from right- wing political movements and local Muslim communities; hear from Israel’s ambassador to France about the key issues of today and whether contemporary anti-Semitism is leading French Jews to flee for Israel; and tour the Jewish Museum of Belgium, itself the site of a 2014 attack in which four people were killed, to learn about the long history of Jews there. We'll leave Europe with a deeper understanding of the urgency of fighting hatred wherever it rears its ugly head.
We invite you to attend an information session, where we'll discuss the global resurgence of anti-Semitism, go over the proposed itinerary, costs, accommodations, and flight options, and answer any questions.
For any questions or to find out how to register, please contact Donna Levine at or 212-877-4050, ext. 223.