Nearly Half of French Jews Tell Children to Hide Religion over Fears of Antisemitic Attacks and Insults

Boy reading the torah at his Bar Mitzvah
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A survey released this week has claimed that nearly half of French Jews instruct their children to hide their religion to avoid insults and possible violence.

The survey, commissioned by the American Jewish Committee and the Foundation for Policy Innovation, found that the majority of French Jewish parents, 60 per cent, reported that their children had been subjected to some form of antisemitism during their schooling.

Some 45 per cent of the Jewish parents said that they recommended their children be quiet about their religious beliefs over concerns that the children could not only face antisemitic insults but could also be subjected to violence, French broadcaster Radio Classique reports.

The survey also examined possible antisemitic attitudes among the French population, finding that 30 per cent believe that Jews were richer than the average French person and that Jews use their status as victims of Nazi atrocities during the Second World war to their advantage.

Antisemitism in France has been a major problem in some areas of the country for several years. In 2018, alone, antisemitic incidents increased by 73 per cent, according to the French Interior Ministry.

Paris’s heavily migrant-background populated suburbs, which have long been populated by Jewish communities, have seen a rapid decline in Jewish population as families choose to move elsewhere. Some, such as Jerome Fourquet, director of polling firm Ifop, have linked antisemitism to the trend.

“Over fifteen years, numbers of Jewish populations or families have collapsed in a series of municipalities from Seine-Saint-Denis,” Fourquet said in 2019.

“In Aulnay-sous-Bois, the number of families of Jewish faith has thus decreased from 600 to 100, at Blanc-Mesnil from 300 to 100, in Clichy-sous-Bois from 400 to at 80 and at La Courneuve from 300 to 80,” he added.

Socialist MP François Pupponi noted that the profile of those behind antisemitic attacks has also changed in recent years, saying: “Today, it is mostly 14 to 15-year-olds, bathed in fantasies about the Israeli-Palestinian issue who commit the attacks.”

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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