Saturday, September 18th | 13 Tishri 5782

The Top 100 People Positively Influencing Jewish Life, 2017


Francis Kalifat

President, Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions

“What an awful feeling to have to be forever vigilant, attempting to fade into the background. What an agonizing feeling to follow a solitary path, deprived of the solidarity of our compatriots,” said Francis Kalifat, president of CRIF, in a 2017 speech.

As head of France’s umbrella Jewish organization, Kalifat is facing a daunting task. As he himself put it, “The fight against antisemitism is our main cause because French Jews are in the most difficult situation they have experienced since World War II.”

This antisemitism, he says, is coming from two main sources: The far-left and the Muslim community, in both of which “we see this new antisemitism advancing under the guise of anti-Zionism.”

Most recently, Kalifat has taken up the cause of Sarah Halimi, who was murdered by a Muslim neighbor in what many French Jews believe was an antisemitic murder, though the authorities refuse to consider it as such. “Why this silence?” Kalifat asked. “Why this denial of antisemitism?” (Photo credit: Twitter)


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Moshe Kotlarsky

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