NEW YORK (Jun. 19)
An international leader of Sephardic Jewry warned today that “a great tragedy” is threatening French Jewry because of growing assimilation and intermarriage on the part of the more than half million Jews presently living in France.
In an interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency here, Rabbi Solomon Daviv Sassoon, president of Poret Yosef Yeshiva in Jerusalem and director of the world-wide Ozar Hatorah system of Sephardic schools, said that as a result of lack of Jewish education, the intermarriage rate in most Jewish communities in France is over 90 percent. “In a period of one generation we might witness the vanishing of French Jewry,” Rabbi Sassoon said.
According to the rabbi, out of 110,000 Jewish children in France, only 5000 receive Jewish education. He said that in the last three years. in his efforts to promote Jewish education in France, he has raised about $300,000 in the United States from concerned individuals. Rabbi Sassoon is on a fund-raising tour in the U.S. for this purpose. He complained that the Jewish Agency and the world Jewish community are not aware of the alarming situation in France. “The situation is very grave. We must do something before it will be too late,” he said.