The Future of European Jewry

(Mosaic) Michel Gurfinkiel - European Judaism looks healthy and secure. Religious and cultural activities are everywhere on the rise. Many European capitals now harbor major Jewish museums or Holocaust memorials. Yet, despite all their success and achievement, the majority of European Jews, seconded by many Jewish and non-Jewish experts, insist that catastrophe may lie ahead. A large-scale survey commissioned by the EU's Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) tells a tale of widespread and persistent anti-Semitism. More than one in four Jews report experiencing anti-Semitic harassment at least once in the twelve months preceding the survey; and between two-fifths and one-half in France, Belgium, and Hungary have considered emigrating because they feel unsafe. In France, since 2000, 7,650 anti-Semitic incidents have been reliably reported. All over Europe, with exceptions here and there, the story is much the same. Robert Wistrich of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, author of definitive works on the history and dynamics of anti-Semitism, has concluded that although the final endpoint of European Jewry may be decades in coming, "any clear-sighted and sensible Jew who has a sense of history would understand that this is the time to get out." The writer is the founder and president of the Jean-Jacques Rousseau Institute in Paris.

2013-08-09 00:00:00

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