Chabad-Lubavitch Chairman of Educational and Social Services Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky said Sunday that it is with “profound outrage that we mourn all those murdered last week at the hands of terrorists in Paris last week, including four Jews at a kosher supermarket. Seized Friday afternoon as shoppers were preparing for Shabbat, the terror at the store leaves a Jewish community feeling vulnerable.
“With the largest Jewish population in the European Union, the safety of France’s Jews is of deep concern to us,” Krinsky continued. “Chabad-Lubavitch represents hundreds of thousands of Jews in France. In Paris alone, with some 35 Chabad centers, including schools, shuls, and yeshivas, our representatives serve Jews in every district of the city. Indeed, two of the murdered, Yoav Hattab and Phillipe Braham, had close affiliations with our institutions.”
Last Friday for the first time ever, following the attack on the Hyper Cacher kosher grocery in Paris, Jews in the city’s La Marais neighborhood were advised by the rabbinical council to stay home from synagogue and remain safe, noting the city was “still on edge.” Likewise, stores were shut down in the neighborhood to further discourage people from stepping out into the danger zone.
Krinsky maintained one should not have to sacrifice security for Jewish quality of life in France.
“Chabad representatives have, and will continue to further enhance security measures to protect the men, women and children who come to study, to pray, and to socialize at the city’s Chabad Houses. But they will not shut down the vibrant Jewish life that they have nurtured in Paris, and that its Jews have now enjoyed for many decades.
“Prime Minister Valls was right in acknowledging that France will be judged a failure if its Jews are forced to flee. We urge Paris’s city authorities and the French government to take decisive steps to ensure the safety and security of France’s Jews and of all its citizens.
“On behalf of Chabad-Lubavitch worldwide, our condolences to all the survivors and families of the victims,” Krinsky added. “May G-d comfort them among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.”Hana Levi Julian