Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another

thescroll_header

France’s Jews Elect New Chief Rabbi

Rabbi Haim Korsia, Jewish chaplain in the French army, selected for the post

Print Email
Newly elected 'Great Rabbi of France' Haim Korsia, speaks to journalists on June 22, 2014, in Paris. (FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images)

France’s Jewish community has elected a new chief rabbi, JTA reports. The last chief rabbi, Gilles Bernheim, resigned in April 2013 after admitting to plagiarism and falsifying his academic titles, and the post had since been filled by two interim chief rabbis, Michel Gugenheim and Olivier Kaufmann. But in March, the Jewish community demanded the election of a new chief rabbi, issuing a letter that stated the community needed a “legitimate” chief rabbi to “express the voice of Judaism during the difficult period we are experiencing.”

Rabbi Haim Korsia, the French army’s Jewish chaplain, was elected to the post, beating out Kaufmann 131-97. He has a weighty task ahead of him, representing a community that is becoming increasingly marginalized and under outright attack. In the span of one week earlier this month in Paris, a Jewish teenager was attacked with a Taser; Jewish teens were sprayed with tear gas; and Jewish boys and their grandfather were chased by an ax-wielding man during Shavuot.

As we reported then, the rest of the year hasn’t exactly been much better for the Jews of France:

Last month, a Jewish woman with a baby was attacked at a Paris bus station by a man who shouted “Dirty Jewess” at her. In March, a Jewish teacher leaving a kosher restaurant in Paris had his nose broken by a group of assailants who also drew a swastika on his chest. One week earlier, an Israeli man was attacked with a stun gun outside a Paris synagogue, and a week before that a 28-year-old Jewish man was beaten on the Paris metro to chants of “Jew, we are going to lay into you, you have no country.” In a chilling video from January, anti-government demonstrators shout “Jew, France is Not Yours” as they march through the streets of Paris.

Previous: Jewish Teen Wearing Yarmulke Tasered in Paris
Man With Ax Chases Jewish Teens in Paris
French Jews Want a Chief Rabbi Elected
Related: Leader of French Jewish Group Has a Plan for Countering Anti-Semitism: Downplaying Zionism

Print Email

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

France’s Jews Elect New Chief Rabbi

Rabbi Haim Korsia, Jewish chaplain in the French army, selected for the post

More on Tablet:

Study Says All Ashkenazi Jews Are 30th Cousins

By Stephanie Butnick — Researchers identify 350-person founding population of Ashkenazi Jewry