Paris is home to 300,000 of France’s 600,000 Jews. Anti-Semitism is being fomented by a dangerous “cocktail” composed of radical Muslims along with, increasingly, those on the far left who were inflamed by the Gaza conflict. We went to show support and understand the unique strengths and vulnerabilities of the French Jewish community, which actually dates back nearly 2,000 years. Going beyond the terrifying headlines from this past summer, we met so many of our impressive, complex, embattled and strong Frenchfreres. They believe that anti-Semitism represents a threat to French society and to their nation’s core ideal, Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité. The many who choose to remain in France feel this is no “Germany 1934” and that their mission is to maintain a strong diaspora and fight to build European support for Israel. We wanted to share (with thanks to The “J”) our takeaways, and to urge our fellow Wexner alums to consider making similar solidarity trips.
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Diane and Howard Zack are Wexner Heritage alumni (SF 2) and Howard also serves as a Delegate to the WHA Delegates Council. Their communal passions revolve around their shul, pro-Israel pursuits, Jewish summer camping (unabashed Camp Ramah, Ojai, CA boosters), and building Jewish community. Howard also serves on AIPAC’s National Council and their Regional Board, and is a member of SF Federation’s Board of Governors, Endowment Committee, and the Capital Planning and Executive Allocations Committee. Diane can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and Howard at email@example.com.