Jewish Federations Condemn Attacks, Express Support for the People of France


New York – Following Wednesday’s tragic attack on the Charlie Hebdo magazine, a gunman has taken hostages at a Jewish kosher supermarket in Paris. The Jewish Federations of North America condemn the attacks on civic institutions and Jewish targets in the strongest possible terms, mourn the loss of life and pray for the injured, and express our support for the people of France at this difficult time.

“We deplore these violent attacks,” stated Michael Siegal, chair of JFNA’s Board of Trustees, “not just against Jews and Jewish institutions but against the people of France and all those who value freedom and democracy. Once again, we are forced to bear witness to the reality that terrorism continues to pose a threat to civil societies everywhere. Together, as a global community, we must find a way to move past this horrible specter of hatred and violence. Our deepest condolences, hopes and prayers are with the families of the victims, the French people and the Jewish community of France during this difficult time.”

In light of this week’s events, Paul Goldenberg, director of the Secure Community Network (SCN), has traveled to Paris to support the community in addressing security issues. SCN, the national homeland security initiative of The Jewish Federations of North America and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, has regularly consulted with Jewish organizations in the United States and around the world on security-related matters and in the wake of terrorist attacks such as the ones perpetrated in Paris this week.

As we mourn with the French Jewish community, JFNA leadership will continue to confer with government agencies and officials on matters of Jewish communal safety, and update Jewish community leaders as necessary.

We are horrified and profoundly saddened by the two terror attacks in Paris, including the brutal murder of four members of the French Jewish community in a deadly siege at the Hyper Cacher kosher market. These tragic events make it abundantly clear that Jews around the world face a unique and elevated threat from global terrorism.

 

The Jewish Federations of North America has been tracking and responding to events in Paris as they occur. In coordination with the Israeli Prime Minister's Office and the Service de protection de la communauté juive in France, we are working to ensure that local Jewish institutions, schools and synagogues as well as French Jewish citizens are protected from further attacks. 

 

We are painfully aware that these callous and cowardly acts are not isolated incidents. Rather, they are the latest in a series of increasingly disturbing and violent attacks, including the 2012 Toulouse school shooting and multiple attacks during Operation Protective Edge last summer. These events have increased the security concerns of French Jewry and also led to a dramatic rise in immigration of French Jews to Israel.

 

At this difficult time, we affirm that we stand in solidarity with the 500,000-strong French Jewish community, the families and friends of the victims of the Charlie Hebdo shooting and the entire nation of France.

 

Jewish Federations of North America

 

On January 11, world leaders marched in the streets of Paris to condemn the attacks. 

To the right of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, French Prime Minister Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Union President Donald Tusk.