Monday, November 16, 2015

Demographics of France's Religions Today and Affect on Jewish Population

Nadene Recent Goldfoot                                                      
Recent Jewish 21 year old Victim in Supermarket January 2015 Friday attack of Jews  in France, one of 4 Jewish victims

The number of immigrants from France to Israel  rose from 4,000 in 2014 to 5,100 in same period in 2015. This is due to the overt anti-Semitic attacks on Jews there.  France continues to be home to the world's third largest Jewish community, between 500,000 and 600,000 people, but has shown an increasingly negative trend, including the largest emigration loss to Israel in 2014.  Jewish population has been 0.6% in France.  France is made up of 64, 982, 894 people in 2015 .

Jews were living in France before 70 CE .  Jewish communities were there in the days of the Roman Empire.  They were out of favor when the Christian Church Councils took steps to enforce the conventional anti-Jewish codes of the day.

700s:  Jews were under protection of Charlemagne and his house, Jewish merchants settled for purposes of trade, established new communities up the Rhone Valley and into Champagne
800s:  Southern France was main center of international traders, the Radanites (Jewish merchants in 9th century traveled between S. France and China; spoke Arabic Persian, Roman, languages of the Franks, Andalusians, and Slavs.)
1000s-1100s:  Jewish communities of N. France were the most densely settled in Europe-if not the world.
RASHI  1040-1105 in Troyes, France
 The Talmud and the seat of Rabbi Rashi and Tosaphists were created here.
Jews then excluded from trade and handicrafts and driven into moneylending.  -their economic standby.

1096  Crusades against Jews
1306   Jews were expulsed from France.
1420  Annihilation of the Jewish community in Toulouse, France
1939-1945  The Holocaust:  murder of 6 million Jews by German Nazis and  their European collaborators

These people believe in the following:

1. Catholic  64.5%  France's state religion
2. None      25.5%
3. Islam         8%
4. Other         0.75%
5. Buddasim  0.625%  or 5/8 of a %.
6. Judaism     0.625% .

The Parisian music hall, Bataclan Theater,  had been owned by a Jewish family for decades  and had just been sold 2 months ago, possible reason it was just attacked, though the band had played in Tel Aviv previously.  So many attacks on Jews have happened that many have already made aliyah to Israel.   The new  attack on France is expected to bring about more aliyah from French Jews.      
1894-1906 The Dreyfus Affair:  Captain Alfred Dreyfus, Jewish soldier of France, accused wrongly of having sold secret documents to Germany and was condemned to life imprisonment caused by invalid documents not presented to court and anti-Semitism.  Imprisoned on Devil's Island off coast of French Guiana.  Pardoned in 1899.  Case got to Herzl who developed Zionism.  Dreyfus retired as lieutenant-colonel.   
Jakob "James" Mayer de Rothschild (1792-1868)  German-French banker and the original founder of the French branch of the Rothschild family, "fifth son and youngest child of Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744–1812). A family of financiers and philanthropists.  He was active in the French railroad development.  


Born as Rosine, Sarah Bernhardt 1844-1923  born in Paris to a Jewish woman, making her Jewish even though her father was unknown.  She became a  Jewish actress, educated as a Catholic.  

 Sarah Bernhardt was a French stage and then became an  early film actress. She was referred to as "the most famous actress the world has ever known", and is regarded as one of the finest actors all time. She kept on acting until she died, even though she had to have a leg amputated in 1915.  

This beautiful woman "was  the daughter of Julie Bernardt, Jewish (1821, Amsterdam – 1876, Paris) and an unknown father. Julie was one of six children of an itinerant Jewish spectacle merchant, "vision specialist"  Moritz Baruch Bernardt, and Sara Hirsch (later known as Janetta Hartog; c. 1797–1829). The actresses father had been labeled as a petty criminal in France, possibly another expression of the day's anti-Semitism.  What did he do?  Steal bread?  Knowing the mood of the country gives me pause to wonder about such an accusation.  

facts about Israel-division of information, ministry for foreign affairs, Jerusalem
The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia



    1. Thanks, Andre. Excellent article. I posted it on facebook after reading it.