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Antisemitism in France (Paris) - should I visit?
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Pteranodon




 
 
 
 

Post  Sun, Jun 30 2019, 1:08 am
DH and I are considering a few days' vacation in the French Alps, and possibly also a day or two in Paris. We spent a day in Paris about 8 years ago and had a pretty negative experience. The French Jews are lovely people, but we felt a lot of hostility otherwise. We got spat at on the Metro and cursed at on the street. We missed our flight out due to getting lost at the airport and rude airport staff.

Although we tried not to look overtly Jewish, we still look pretty Jewish. We are charedi and DH wears a beard, I wear a wig, etc. and not much else we can do to blend in or not attract any unwanted attention.

It looks like in the years since anti-Semitism in France has only gotten worse. Still, I'd love to go back and see some more sights in and around Paris

Should I better be safe than sorry and avoid it, or are there any other tips I can do to better blend in?
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amother




Copper
 

Post  Sun, Jun 30 2019, 1:16 am
I will say that it's pretty unusual for someone to get spat at and cursed at in one visit. I've been to Paris several times over the past decade and haven't had any negative experiences at all. Do you speak/ understand any French and know that those incidents were anti semitic and not just rude/ crazy people that you can find in any big city?

I went to Paris for vacation this past April and had a really great visit. We stayed in a nice hotel in a nice area in the city, which makes a big difference. Some districts are much more shady/ lower class than others. I would avoid those altogether. We did take the metro and it was more pleasant than the NYC subway, but still.. the metro.

In general my dh tucks in his tzitzis and wears a cap over his yarmulke in Europe or when traveling. Many people don't, but he feels more comfortable not having overt signs.
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Ruchel




 
 
 
 

Post  Sun, Jun 30 2019, 6:11 am
I know you may not expect it but I say no problem at all. Of course only been here since birth I may not know lol Wink)
But yes rude or crazies will be in any country and one can always have the bad encounter as medias say about antisemitism in NY being out of control. I still would go. My go to is if it's shady as a woman, if you wouldn't take out your phone or wear a skirt etc, then yes Jews too may be in trouble, but in a normal place it's good. Also the bad places that I won't name because I'm a respect ful, in Europe, are NEVER mentioned on Imamother. People crystalize on "France" and "LOndon".
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Ruchel




 
 
 
 

Post  Sun, Jun 30 2019, 6:12 am
https://www.instagram.com/yidinfrance/
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Israeli_C




 
 
 
 

Post  Sun, Jun 30 2019, 7:59 am
Speaking as a European, I'd be wary of visiting most European countries atm if your DH wears a kippa or looks 'obviously Jewish'. Tbh non-Jews don't look at a woman wearing a wig and think 'Jewish'. However if he can wear a generic looking casket hat or something, I'd consider going. Long beards are no longer only 'Jewish' thanks to our h!pster friends lol.

Last time I was in Europe, DH was in the army and said to him up straight not to wear a kippa for security reasons. I'd also be wary of speaking Hebrew (if you do) or having obvious peyos. Not so much because of the locals, but rather Muslim immigrants / 'refugees' can be very hostile if they 'spot a Jew'.
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amother




Lavender
 

Post  Sun, Jun 30 2019, 8:49 am
DH has peyos, wears his yamukah and tzittzits out. We went to France this year and had no problems. It could be his strong demeanor.
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SuperWify




 
 
 
 

Post  Sun, Jun 30 2019, 8:57 am
I felt very safe in Paris.
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Frumwithallergies




 
 
 
 

Post  Sun, Jun 30 2019, 9:03 am
Ruchel wrote:
https://www.instagram.com/yidinfrance/


Love it!
It's tough because I hear the voices that left France (who moved to where I live). Many left because of the anti-semitism.
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Ruchel




 
 
 
 

Post  Sun, Jun 30 2019, 9:23 am
I hear the voices of those who live here. People who leave need to make it worthwhile. We tour Western Europe almost yearly and we BH only had neutral or good reactions. Occasionally someone asks for a bracha rofl ("rabbis" as bringing luck), or says they went to kibbutz or whatever.
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dancingqueen




 
 
 
 

Post  Sun, Jun 30 2019, 9:33 am
Frankly I didn’t feel as safe in Paris on my most recent visit as I have in the past. If you look chareidi it might be less safe.
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Israeli_C




 
 
 
 

Post  Sun, Jun 30 2019, 10:40 am
amother [ Lavender ] wrote:
DH has peyos, wears his yamukah and tzittzits out. We went to France this year and had no problems. It could be his strong demeanor.


Tbh he took a big risk and I wouldn't do that again.
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ectomorph




 
 
 
 

Post  Sun, Jun 30 2019, 10:44 am
If the minister of tourism in Germany is telling Jews to take off their yarmulkes, I take it as a sign.
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brat_islava




 
 
 
 

Post  Sun, Jun 30 2019, 11:37 am
No need to avoid Paris. Beautiful city. Just be smart about it and aware of your surroundings, imho much more dangerous in some areas of EY
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amother




Chocolate
 

Post  Sun, Jun 30 2019, 11:53 am
I think this is an issue now throughout Europe. My parents go to Switzerland every few years. My mother is blonde (wears a sheitel) and has blue eyes, and frankly looks extremely "Aryan." My father wears a kapote and has a beard. My mother says that this year she definitely noticed a difference between when she was out with my father and when she was by herself. One day they were hiking. He was not wearing his kapote or hat, just shirtsleeves and black trousers, and someone threw rocks at them.
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Ruchel




 
 
 
 

Post  Sun, Jun 30 2019, 12:33 pm
Israeli_C wrote:
Tbh he took a big risk and I wouldn't do that again.


LOOOOOOOOOL Paris is full of kippa and tzitzis
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Raisin




 
 
 
 

Post  Sun, Jun 30 2019, 12:42 pm
I guess it depends where you are. Where I am now, my husband wears a baseball cap (and he usually wears coloured shirts) whenever we go out on a pleasure trip. (since he is a Rabbi, he can't disguise himself on other occasions). But my sons are often wearing yarmulkas. Once we got a weird remark about ovens uttered near us.

I go out often with my sons with yarmulkas and have never experienced anything resembling anti semitism. And I have a very Jewish name and I am not shy to tell people it is a hebrew name and the the only reactions I have had are postive ones.

We were in Paris a few years ago, don't recall anything bad.

I think a baseball cap/tuck in tzitzes, less obvious Jewish clothing like kapotas etc will probably make you less nervous.

I did experience anti semitism in NY though.
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Ruchel




 
 
 
 

Post  Sun, Jun 30 2019, 2:14 pm
Antisemites of the type that attack do not see a wig, nor do they get a coat etc, only the kippa or the magen David. I personally do not go anywhere I'm not myself unless I HAVE to. If you will be not yourself, do not go. Security wise ifyou do tichel and long skirt they may annoy you if they think you're a Muslim. I think Jews who hide look more like potential targets, unsure and well, in fact, I know that most people who are scared are not those who are visible. TLDR don't go if you are not as yourself it's not worth it
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Pteranodon




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Jul 01 2019, 1:25 am
Thank you, all.

I guess it's one of those things where, as an American, we read about the antisemitism in France and it sounds very scary, whereas the French Jews read about the antisemitism in America and think the same thing. Yet we are actually relatively comfortable in the USA as (frum) Jews and very rarely experience antisemitism, so hopefully it is the same in France.

Perhaps my experience in Paris last time was colored by my expectations of what the French situation on antisemitism was.

We are proudly frum but will be discreet about the yarmulke etc.
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Israeli_C




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Jul 01 2019, 2:15 am
Ruchel wrote:
if you do tichel and long skirt they may annoy you if they think you're a Muslim.


This! I had a funny incident in the airport when I was flying from NY back to Israel. A little boy started playing with my DD and the mother (a Muslim woman) came over to me and started chatting and being super friendly. I was a little surprised, but talked with her, not realising that she had mistaken my tichel and long skirt and sleeves for me being a Muslim! It was only when she asked where I was flying to that, when I replied to her, her eyes popped and she hurried her son away from us.

Second incident was when I was in Ireland we passed by a Turkish doner take away and they started to offer me doner for free lol.
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amother




Denim
 

Post  Mon, Jul 01 2019, 3:44 am
we tour europe yearly. with kids. peyos behind the ears, baseballcaps to cover the kippas, tzitzis tucked in...and off you go. no problems so far. only drunks or crazy people who commented but they would comment on anyone: muslim, arab, black.-.. they dont care they are drunk and crazy.
in decent districts NO PROBLEM!!!
no I wouldnt walk around in certain eastern german viallages with a huge magen david and kippa because there have been many incidents there. but in any larger city with tourists they are used to jews. NO PROBLEM!!!
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