Hollande to Host New York Reception on Yom Kippur, Jews Express Dismay
French Jews living in New York have expressed dismay and disappointment after being invited to a reception for French expats with President François Hollande scheduled to take place at about the same time as the kol nidrei Yom Kippur service at many synagogues.
“I am disappointed that the president has not attached enough sensibility to the French Jewish community in New York, knowing full well the importance of the day,” Ron Agam, a prominent French Jewish artist living in New York told The Algemeiner.
“He would have never done something like that in France, so why do it in New York, the worlds biggest Jewish city, I just dont understand,” Agam continued, “I would have loved to be there.”
Rabbi Levy Djian, who serves the French Jewish community in Manhattan said that many of his constituents were expressing “astonishment.”
“Suddenly we feel out of the picture, something is weird,” he said. “New York is the biggest French Jewish community in the diaspora and he is calling everyone to join at a time when he knows the Jewish community wont be able to participate, he knows that a large part of the French community in New York is Jewish.”
” The New York French Jewish community has very strong relationships with the French consulate in New York and the French embassy in Washington. We hope that the next visits will take into account major Jewish holidays,” he added.
French Consulate Spokesman Yan Yochum offered an explanation for the timing, saying, “Of course the consulate knows that tonight is Yom Kippour but President Hollande has a very busy schedule and the main reason for his presence in NY is the UN General assembly. Unfortunatly his visit in NY is only for two days.”