Home is where the heart is: the emigration dilemma facing France's Jewish community

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By Euronews
Home is where the heart is: the emigration dilemma facing France's Jewish community

The Paris attacks shocked France to its core, plunging the country into a sense of vulnerability felt most acutely in the Jewish community.

It would be easy if it were just a question of saying, 'come on, the solution is, okay, we're emigrating to Israel.'

The nation’s response to it reflected a potent mix of emotions combining fear, anger, patriotism and defiance. The atrocities unleashed unprecedented mass displays of unity among France’s multiracial and religiously diverse population.

However, while much of the country continues to engage in profound soul-searching and fevered debate many French Jews appeared to have already identified a very definite course of action to take – leave.

Last year some 7,000 French Jews emigrated
, more than twice the figure of 2013. Many cited a fear of rising antisemitism as the main reason and chose Israel as their destination.

For many Jews the Kosher supermarket attack, in which four people died, transformed an unnerving perception of antisemitism into a terrifying and inescapable reality. Now the emigration trend is expected to accelerate.

In this edition of Reporter Valerie Zabriskie talks to several families considering a move abroad. With armed police and soldiers permanently posted outside Jewish schools and synagogues they question what future their children have in France. Yet these are people who were born and raised in France and who see themselves as French citizens who happen to be Jewish. For them, as our reporter discovers, leaving France is an answer, but not an easy one.

Watch the video to find out more.