European Jews Afraid to go to Synagogue for High Holidays

STRASBOURG, FRANCE - APRIL 04: A young Jewish couple walk past the Synagogue de la Paix synagogue April 4, 2009 in Strasbourg, France. Strasbourg is home to approximately 16,000 Jews, including a flourishing Orthodox Jewish community. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Sean Gallup/Getty

The Jerusalem Post reports: Seventy percent of European Jews will not go to synagogue on Rosh Hashana or Yom Kippur this year, according to a poll released Tuesday.

The survey was conducted last week by the European Jewish Association (EJA) and the Rabbinical Center of Europe (RCE) among a representative sample of 700 capital cities and communities in the periphery throughout Europe – from Britain in the west to Ukraine in the east.

Respondents –which numbered 78– included rabbis as well as Jewish community leaders, both religious and secular. The margin of error was ±4.9%. The pollsters explained that while the number of respondents is far lower than the number of communities represented, each respondent speaks for multiple communities as within certain cities and areas, many communities share similar characteristics.

Participants in the online survey were asked: if there was an increase or decrease in the number of registered individuals in their Jewish communities in comparison with last year; whether there was an increase or decrease in the number of Jews expected to attend synagogue on the High Holy Days in comparison with last year; how concerned they and their community members are by the increase in anti-Semitism in their countries; and whether there was heightened security at Jewish institutes in their community in light of the increase in terror attacks in Europe in the past year.

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