CEO March 2015 Update

European Anti-Semitism on the rise, actions taken


The Jewish Community Federation of Richmond is shocked and grieved following the attacks on the Krystalgade Synagogue and the cultural center in Copenhagen that has left at least two people dead - including Dan Uzan, a Jewish volunteer security guard - and others injured.


Richard Samet, JCFR president said, “We are once again horrified by these violent attacks against Jews and Jewish institutions as well as those meeting peacefully to discuss the value of freedom of speech. This pattern of Jews being murdered in Europe, simply because they are Jews, must be condemned by people and governments across the world. We send our deepest condolences to the families of Dan Uzan and the other victims, and wish a speedy recovery to those injured, including numerous police officers. We mourn with the Danish Jewish community.”


Recently, leaders from Jewish Federations of North America conducted a mission to Paris to demonstrate solidarity with the French Jewish community. Among numerous meetings, they met with the editor-in-chief of Charlie Hebdo and the Israeli and U.S. Ambassadors to France, as well as one of the women held hostage at the Hyper Cacher market and the policeman who secured her release.

JDC has assisted Jews in France since the first wave of refugees fled Nazi Germany in 1933. In the aftermath of the World War II, restoring fractured Jewish communities became a JDC priority.  Today France is home to some 550,000 Jews. 


It is by far the largest Jewish community in Europe. Yet, screams of “death to the Jews” in the streets of Paris, and routine bullying, intimidation, and violence have altered life for French Jewry. This new reality is compounded by the broader political and economic climate in France - a failing economy characterized by sky-high unemployment rates for young adults and stagnant wages, disenfranchised youth and struggling young families, and escalating Jihadist radicalism. Today, the French Jewish community is rallying its resources to address the community’s emerging needs to:


• Bolster security

• Develop and offer widely available psychosocial relief

• Situate contingency plans and crisis networks

• Assist vulnerable and needy members of the community                    

• Support community members who choose to move to safer neighborhoods or emigrate


The Jewish Agency for Israel has informed us that immigration to Israel from France has grown to 15,000 new olim in the current year. They project 45,000 olim next year. We will keep you informed of the changes taking place in the European Jewish Community as they happen. 


To view the mission videos, and to donate to French Jews, please go to and click on France Emergency Fund. 


As always, call me at (804) 545-8622 or email 


Add Comment