Sunday, January 11, 2015

Vive la France, and Am Yisrael Chai

Next time there's a possible public gathering of the Jewish community in New York City, I'll remember to check the Jewish Community Relations Council website and/or that of its parent organization, UJA-Federation, both of which turned out to be the co-sponsors of tonight's memorial service at Lincoln Square Synagogue.  Security was tight--we passed a number of police officers, every one of whom we thanked, on the way to the table at the entrance at which all bags were being checked.  Once inside, we found a packed sanctuary crammed with television and still cameras, with standing room in the aisles, lobby, and, later, we were told, outdoors in front of the synagogue.  The New York French-American Jewish community was represented mainly by members of the West Side Sephardic Synagogue.  (I heard plenty of French in the lobby after the memorial service.) Speakers also included officials from the French and Israeli governments who are stationed in New York City (such as Israeli Consul General Ido Aharoni), the New York City municipal government (such as Comptroller Scott Stringer), Senator Charles Schumer and Member of Congress Jerrold Nadler.  Mourned were the victims of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the victims of the slaughter at a Parisian kosher supermarket, and the French policewoman killed in the line of duty.

There were rallies today in Paris, other French cities, and many other cities around the world against terrorism and in support of France.  Let's hope that, in the future, public gatherings will be more joyous.


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