Jewish agencies’ statements of support; letter from Moishe House Paris

The following statements were provided by the Jewish Federation of St. Louis:

Statement from JDC

As hundreds of thousands of people, including world leaders gathered in Paris today to stand up to terror and demonstrate their solidarity with the French people, JDC stands together with them and mourns the loss of all those who were murdered in cold blood by the terrorists.


Our thoughts and prayers especially go out to the families of Yoav Hattab, Yohan Cohen, Philippe Braham, and Francois-Michel Saada, viciously killed in the Hyper Cacher supermarket in an act of anti-Semitic violence. May their memories be a blessing.

Today — as a Jewish organization with a proud century of history assisting, empowering and where necessary rescuing our fellow Jews in need and danger wherever in the world they might be — we proudly stand with the Jewish community of France and the French people — in an expression of kol yisrael arevim ze le ze. Nous Sommes Juifs.

We’re also taking concrete measures at a time of even more heightened concern for the global Jewish community:

 *   We have dispatched senior JDC professionals, including our Europe Director Diego Ornique, to consult with the French Jewish community on needs in the aftermath of this tragedy and to ensure resilience measures are being executed and expanded as the circumstance dictates. This is in addition to our round the clock contact and cooperation with French Jewish leaders since the events unfolded after the Charlie Hebdo massacre.
 *   Addressing challenges and threats to Jewish safety and security are nothing new to JDC and our staff, and we do so continuously. We are now carefully reviewing key needs in the hundreds of communities where we work, consulting with local leaders and our global security and program teams.

We also take to heart the incredible outpouring of support — from world leaders as well as millions of ordinary Parisians — who are determined to fight for a robust, tolerant, multi-ethnic, democratic, and free Europe.

The reality is that today’s Europe is home to hundreds of thousands of Jews and our role remains using all our skills and expertise to enable them to build strong, robust, self sustaining communities where they and their families can lead full Jewish lives in freedom and security in whatever way they choose.

We will continue to keep you updated on JDC’s efforts in the coming days. We pray for better times ahead.

Penny Blumenstein and Alan H. Gill, The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Inc.

 Letter from JFNA to French leaders

 Dear friends, 

We are writing to you to express our profound sadness at the heart breaking loss suffered by your community, and indeed all of France, in the recent terror attacks in Paris. 

Here in North America we stand with you at this very difficult time. We share your grief and send our unwavering support to you and the entire Jewish community. 

We know that the strong, important and proud Jewish community of France has suffered a terrible blow, but we also know that you are resilient and determined and will rise above this tragedy. 

Please convey our deepest sympathies to those who have lost loved ones, and let all of your members know that the entire Jewish community in North America stands with them today in solidarity and affection. 

Nos coeurs sont unis avec la communauté juive de France.

Michael D. Siegal, Chair, Board of Trustees 

Diane Feinberg, Chair, Executive Committee

David T. Brown, Chair, Israel & Overseas

Jerry Silverman, President & CEO

A message from Moishe House Paris residents

Dear Moishe House Mishpacha,
On behalf of my fellow residents Donna and Jacques, I would like to warmly thank all of you who sent us messages to check in and ensure we are safe. You have likely heard about this week’s attacks towards Charlie Hebdo, a kosher supermarket, and the failed plan to attack a Jewish school in Montrouge which ended up in killing one police officer. 
These attacks are clearly tragic and no words can express how saddened we are to add four of our brothers to the growing list of victims due to antisemitism. Particularly during times like these, we are thankful to have such a tight-knit community for young Jews to feel together. While these events happened in Paris, the outreach from all of you have been extremely powerful.
Many people have asked how it is to be a Jew in France? I would say that nothing has changed. We have already experienced bad days in the past, but the difference now is that the jihadists attacked a non-Jewish entity. The impact is 1,000 times larger and we will hopefully get new measures to prevent these types of attacks in the future. 
I am optimistic that my country will fight for all types of freedom. Over the past few days,  1,000,000 people marched in the streets standing up for their rights to have freedom of speech, freedom of being a police officer and freedom to be a Jew. We had more than 40 presidents and prime ministers coming from across the world to walk in the same line together including Benjamin Netanyahou and Mahmoud Abbas.
While we are hurting now as a country, we must never let terrorists win the war. Let’s celebrate life together as that is the best way to show them that their fascist ideology is not taking roots in the free world.
Lots of love from Paris,
Aurélie, 29, Moishe House Paris resident