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French Jews pushed out of public schools by Antisemitism

Haaretz has reported that French Jews are being pushed out of the French schooling system by a culture of prevalent antisemtism.

One Jewish parent said that, despite having been educated in a French public school some years prior, the situation is now so bad that “anti-Semitic bullying means it would be too damaging for any Jewish kid you put there”.

Thirty years ago the majority of French Jews sent their children to public schools. The figure is now at only one third. In Paris, which has the largest population of Jews in France, almost all the children attend either private schools or Jewish schools.

French Jews have cited a “bad atmosphere of harassment, insults and assaults” for the change, as well as the growth of Jewish education that has gone along with increasing religious observance.

Whilst the incidents are usually ‘only’ instances of general bullying, some have involved serious intimidation, physical violence and death threats. Other incidents have included spraying a Jewish student with deodorant to ‘simulate’ a gas chamber, and a Jewish student being corned by classmates and being threatened with stabbing.

These incidents go alongside a steep increase in antisemitism in France generally, which has seen 20,000 French Jews leave for Israel in the past 4 years.