French rabbi: half of my congregants driven out of city by antisemitism
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French rabbi: half of my congregants driven out of city by antisemitism

Approximately 20,000 French Jews have left for Israel since 2014, a major increase over the previous four years

The CIG Bar Yohaï community in Grenoble, eastern France
The CIG Bar Yohaï community in Grenoble, eastern France

A French rabbi in Grenoble in eastern France has told a radio station that half of his regular congregants were driven out of the city by antisemitism.

“It’s a troubling phenomenon that began about 15 years ago,” Rabbi Nissim Sultan said in an interview Tuesday with the France Bleu Isère radio station.

“I mean the departure of half the people who make up the core of our community. They left to Israel, elsewhere in France, the United States and Canada.”

Each antisemitic graffiti, he said, “raises awareness to a global reality that means we fear for our children at school, on the street. So as responsible parents, we take measures.”

Grenoble, an eastern city of 160,000 near Lyon, has several hundred Jews.

Approximately 20,000 French Jews have left for Israel since 2014, a major increase over the previous four years.

Amid a substantial increase in antisemitic hate crimes, thousands more have immigrated elsewhere. Many thousands more have stayed in France but moved to what they deem as safer neighborhoods.

Last month, authorities temporarily shut down the Al-Kawthar Mosque in Grenoble due to the preaching of hate and incitement, including against Jews, by imams there, the Le Dauphine news site reported.

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