french jews

From Paris With Song

Special To The Jewish Week
Story Includes Video: 

France may be increasingly inhospitable to Jews, given record levels of Arab anti-Semitism, but French Jewish culture continues to thrive.

David Serero:  A sly wit and a  French sensibility.

French Jews’ Fears Rising

With Sarkozy vulnerable, concern that the anti-Israel far left will gain ground.

Staff Writer

French Jews fear that the odds-on favorite to win the French presidential run-off election May 6 will do so by reaching out to the far left, among whom are rabid anti-Israeli activists who favor the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement that seeks to delegitimize Israel.

The Jewish community’s favorite candidate, incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy, remains behind in the polls after coming in second in a 10-candidate race in the first round of balloting last Sunday.

Socialist Francois Hollande, right, is expected to draw substantial support from French Jews.

Polish Jews: This Land Is Our Land

To read the recent headlines from what most Americans blithely refer to as Eastern Europe -- an expanse of territory that more accurately is Central and Northern and Southern and parts bordering on Western Europe -- one might think that the cauldron of Nazi-era anti-Semitism is boiling over again.

A Hungarian legislator invoking the centuries-old blood libel accusation. Neglect of a small Jewish cemetery in the former Yugoslavia. Restaurant patrons in Ukraine who get hats with attached side curls that mock payot.

French PM Calls For End To Ritual Slaughter


PARIS — French Prime Minister Francois Fillon advised Muslims and Jews to forego ritual slaughter practices he deems un-modern, sparking controversy.

“I think religions should think about maintaining traditions that no longer have much in common with the state of science and technology, health issues today,” Fillon said Monday on French Europe 1 radio, in reference to halal and kosher practices.

Being Serge Gainsbourg

Joann Sfar probes the Jewish identity of the French singer-songwriter-actor-provocateur, animatedly so.

Special To The Jewish Week

It’s entirely appropriate that Joann Sfar’s first two feature films, “Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life” (which opens on Aug. 31) and “The Rabbi’s Cat” are all or partly animated.

Judging by his demeanor in a Midtown hotel last week, Sfar is very animated himself. From the moment he enters the room, he is bubbling with good humor and bonhomie, engaging with a photographer (“You have to make me look handsome, you know”), and just plain happy to be present.

French singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg, the subject of Joann Sfar's latest film, had a successful career despite a less-then-

Arrest of Top Presidential Contender Shakes France’s Jews


PARIS (JTA) -- Shock waves continue to ripple throughout France as Dominique Strauss-Kahn, considered the likely Socialist Party candidate to challenge President Nicolas Sarkozy in French presidential elections next year, remains in a New York City jail on charges of sexual assault.

Saturday's arrest of Strauss-Kahn significantly changes the political playing field in France, as some recent polls had showed that the 62-year-old head of the International Monetary Fund was the most popular among those considered to be possible presidential contenders.

French Jews Protest Marine Le Pen


PARIS (JTA) -- French Jewish leaders condemned the far right leader Marine Le Pen at a rally in Paris.

Monday's rally was presaged by a French-Jewish radio station's plans to interview Le Pen, the daughter of notorious French politician Jean-Marie Le Pen and president of the National Front Party, which many French Jews consider anti-Semitiic. The interview was canceled amid broad community outrage.

Kosher Couscous: Or, How Paris Got Its Jews Back

The publishing trend of telling history through food may be approaching its end. In any event, Mark Kurlansky pretty much has the genre cornered, telling history through oysters, cod and salt.

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