Francis Kalifat said Sunday that his first priority as president of CRIF is to fight against the anti-Semitism.
"French Jews are experiencing the most difficult situation they have encountered since the end of World War II", the newly-elected president of France’s umbrella of Jewish communities said.
Francis Kalifat, 64, said Sunday that his first priority as president of CRIF is to fight against the anti-Semitism that he said was responsible for the situation he described.
“The fight against anti-Semitism is our main cause because French Jews are in the most difficult situation they have experience since World War II,” Kalifat said during an interview with Radio J shortly after his unanimous election to succeed Roger Cukierman as president.
Kalifat, who was born in Algeria and is the first Sephardic Jew to hold the position since CRIF’s establishment in 1944, was the only candidate running this election.
His presidency, which will become effective next month, comes at a time of record emigration by Jews from France, partly because of anti-Semitic violence that included hundreds of anti-Semitic incidents annually in recent years, and dozens of physical assaults. Since 2012, attacks on Jewish targets by French Islamists in France and Belgium claimed the lives of 12 people. Last year, roughly 8,000 French Jews left for Israel — the highest number on record for any year, which made France for the second year straight Israel’s largest provider of newcomers.
“I think all of our force needs to be united to fight against this anti-Semitism in all its forms, because we see this new anti-Semitism advancing under the guise of anti-Zionism,” added Kalifat, a businessman and longtime activist for Zionist and Jewish causes who is CRIF’s 11th president... Read more