A recent study has revealed that approximately forty percent of European Jewry hides their Jewish identity, according to the Rabbinical Center of Europe (RCE) and the European Jewish Associations (EJA).
Rabbi Menachem Margolin from Brussels, Belgium, presides over both organizations. The two groups claimed that the data they received came from over 800 rabbis and members of their organization. Margolin estimates that half-a-million European Jews are set to attend Rosh Hashanah prayer services, which begin on the evening of September 24, at roughly 1,353 synagogues.
The joint press release by the RCE and EJA stated, “Half-a-million Jews will participate in prayers, but 1.5 million Jews hide their Jewishness.” The statement went on to cite the surge in intermarriage rates, but also the increase in visits to synagogues.
Margolina said, “Twice as many Jews are reported to attend synagogue prayers on Yom Kippur as on Saturdays throughout the year, 70% of Europe’s Jews choose not to go the synagogue during the High Holy Days.”
Throughout Europe this year, many countries have marked a surge in anti-Semitic acts, much of which occurred during Israel’s 50-day conflict with terror group Hamas in the Gaza strip. During the conflict, dubbed Operation Protective Edge by Israeli forces, anti-Semitic incidents increased in England by 500 percent, the Jerusalem Post reported. In July, Islamic protesters stormed a Paris synagogue, placing it under siege until police were forced to come to the scene and forcibly remove the rioters.
A 2013 survey conducted by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights found that two-thirds of Jews regularly experienced anti-Semitism.