European Rabbis send condolences to victims of Paris attacks

The President of the Conference of European Rabbis (CER), Chief Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, on Saturday night sent his condolences to the victims of the coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris.

“The Conference of European Rabbis joins with communities around the world in mourning for those who were killed in last night’s tragic events in Paris. Our thoughts are with the victims’ families. We pray for those who are wounded and hope that the security forces of France and their allies eradicate this evil,” he said in a statement.

“We call on European governments together with the USA and Russia to join forces to eradicate Islamic State in all its forms. We are also aware how vulnerable the Jewish communities of France are and we urge the French government not to neglect the security and protection of Jewish institutions,” continued Rabbi Goldschmidt.

Rabbi Moshe Levin, CEO of the CER, Rabbi of the French Gendarme and Secretary of the Chief Rabbi of France and Vice President CER, Rabbi Haim Corsia delivered a statement as well, after Shabbat.

“Like the communities of the France, the Jewish world is deeply shocked and appalled by the terrible massacre of civilians of all faiths which occurred on Friday night,” they said, adding, "Our thoughts are with the bereaved families and we wish a speedy recovery to the injured.”

“I've spoken this evening with the Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve who has promised to significantly reinforce the existing security around Jewish institutions across the country,” said Rabbi Levin.

“There are still terrorists walking freely around the streets of Paris and they are causing the citizens of Paris to stay inside their homes. This feels like a war!!!

“Tomorrow in coordination with the security forces, we will hold a prayer and memorial service at the Great Synagogue of Paris as a mark of respect and to express our hope for the future," he added.

Separately, Rabbi Corsia encouraged the Jewish communities of France to participate in the three-day mourning period announced by the French President.

Earlier, Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called to increase security for Jewish institutions worldwide.

"Israel is shoulder to shoulder with France in the struggle against radical Islam that is eroding the Middle East and wide portions of the world," said Netanyahu in a special statement from his office in Jerusalem.

"I have ordered the security services to aid our friends in France and other countries. I have asked to tighten security measures around Israeli and Jewish institutions abroad. That is the order of the hour."

Rabbi Menachem Margolin, head of the Rabbinical Center of Europe (RCE) and the European Jewish Association (EJA), also called for greater security.

"All the escalation in the security situation obligates particularly the Jewish communities in Europe to strengthen the means of security in the communities," he said.

"We will turn to the heads of state in Europe to ensure that together with the special security operations they are taking in this special time period, security around the Jewish communities that are under constant threat will also continue."


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