March 23, 2015

Rabbis Hope Passover in Paris 2015 will be a “Liberating Experience”

PARIS — There was a great deal of hype last week when the Hyper Cacher market reopened after the horrific attack in January. Like the dozen other Hyper Cacher stores and many kosher stores, synagogues and Jewish establishments in Paris, the store was under heavy guard. The store opened with a full complement of kosher for Passover goods. France is the largest kosher market in Europe with estimated sales of $1 billion.

Like the US, say the experts, more than 40% of kosher food sales takes place around Passover. Sources say that nearly 90% of France’s 500,000 Jews sell their chametz to the CRIF, France’s Jewish community council. The very fact that kosher supermarkets and restaurants are guarded gives many Jews the jitters. Some are clearly hoping to resume some semblance of normalcy while others are not sure about their future in France altogether. Kosher stores were stocked with many Israeli products, including matzoh and wine.

One rabbi told us that he is clearly hoping that this Passover “will be a liberating experience for French Jewry.” He had a great deal of praise for the French authorities who he said were really standing up to anti-Semitism in the aftermath of the Paris attack. The rabbi also said that he was delighted that the Hyper Cacher store where four Jews was murdered opened again so that “we not surrender to the terrorists.”

Image courtesy of CHP/FameFlynet