Last week, following the coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris, the IFCJ (The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews) has pledged almost $90,000 to boost security at 25 synagogues and schools run by Chabad in Paris and Toulouse. The money will be used to hire additional guards and to install electronic security systems.
As the IFCJ announced, “The fellowship is also considering other steps to help improve security for the entire French-Jewish community.” As IFCJ founder Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein explained, “Amid the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris, it is critical that we help better protect French-Jewish communal institutions, which have been targets in the past. At the same time, we are extending our immediate support to any French Jew who wishes to leave France and make aliya to Israel.”
As Rabbi Eckstein explained, “It is vital that the Jews of France know we stand sideby- side with them and will do whatever is necessary to help their community at this challenging time.” Eckstein explained that IFCJ has started several programs to help new immigrants to Israel with rent, employment counseling and Hebrew lessons.
Rabbi Mendal Azimov, the director of Chabad of Paris, echoed Rabbi Eckstein’s sentiments and explained what it’s been like living in Paris. As he said, “The last few days have been living hell for the citizens of France, and especially for the Jews of Paris. Naturally we feel like sitting ducks, very aware that our community centers, synagogues and educational institutions are in realistic danger at all times.”