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Presidents Conference Leaders Meet with French Official to Discuss Anti-semitic Incidents in France

Howard Squadron, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, met for over an hour last Friday with French Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Olivier Stirn.

The minister told Squadron and the Presidents Conference executive director, Yehuda Hellman, that the French government is doing all it can to track down the persons responsible for the Oct. 3 Rue Copernic Temple bombing and bring them to trial. Stirn, himself Jewish, said it is French official policy to fight anti-Semitism in all its forms and by all legal methods.

Squadron conferred earlier with the president of the Representative Council of Jewish Organizations in France (CRIF), Baron Alain de Rothschild. He expressed American Jewry’s concern over the increase in anti-Semitic acts in France and Western Europe. He said that American Jewry is keenly interested in what happens in Europe and is keeping in close contact with French Jewry.

Squadron and Hellman also attended the ceremonies marking the installation of Paris’ new Chief Rabbi Alain Goldmann at the main synagogue last Thursday. The 49-year-old French-born rabbi was elected last summer to the post by the Paris Consistoire, the French Jewish religious organization which supervises Orthodox activities and elects the Jewish community’s main religious leaders.

A representative of President Valery Giscard d’Estaing, Interior Minister Christian Bonnet and Paris Mayor Jacques Chirac joined France’s top Jewish leadership at the ceremony. The Catholic and Protestant churches were also represented.

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