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October 30, 2015 5:13 am

Celebrating Jewish Life — and Unity — in Paris

avatar by Ronn Torossian

Email a copy of "Celebrating Jewish Life — and Unity — in Paris" to a friend
The French Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket chain was targeted in January 2015 by an Islamic extremist, who killed four people. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The French Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket chain was targeted in January 2015 by an Islamic extremist, who killed four people. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

On January 7 and 9, 2016, we will mark the one-year anniversaries of two deadly attacks that were inspired by radical Islamic ideologies and blatant antisemitism. The first was the Charlie Hebdo attack, followed by the siege two days later at the Hyper Cacher kosher market in the Porte de Vincennes neighborhood of eastern Paris. Fifteen people were murdered and dozens were wounded in the two attacks.

These attacks took a major toll on the Jewish community in France, and by extension, European Jewry as a whole. According to the Jewish Agency, since the start of 2014, 2,254 French Jews have made aliyah — and clearly many of these people decided to do so after the 2015 attacks. While many European Jews are moving to Israel — there are those who remain in Europe, and they must be encouraged and supported.

Nachum Segal — the energetic, charismatic Jewish leader — and host of JM in the AM’s “Nachum Segal Show,” is leading a solidarity trip to Paris, where, on the evening of December 9,  he will host “Let There Be Light: The Concert of Jewish Unity.” Some of the best-known names in Jewish music will perform. There will be singing, dancing and celebrating — to mark Hanukkah and the Hasmonean spirit that still lives.

The story of the Maccabees is well known: At a time when the Jewish people were being persecuted because they were Jewish, one family, the Hasmoneans, stood up against the tyranny of Antiochus IV Epiphanes and his Hellenized Assyrian army. Through the stubborn tenacity of the Hasmoneans, the Jewish people not only survived, but thrived.

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That same tenacity is today being shown by many Jews worldwide — and the “Let There Be Light: The Concert of Jewish Unity” will remember the victims of antisemitic violence, and strengthen the Jews living in Europe.

Nachum Segal is a long-time friend and inspiration. He must be celebrated for this concert celebrating and strengthening Jews in Paris, and for showing that the Jewish people can never be defeated.

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