Sons of rabbis seen as favored to become French Jewry’s leader


(JTA) — The sons of prominent Ashkenazi rabbis reportedly are the front-runners to become the leader of France’s Jewish community.

According to Le Figaro, the election in May for the presidency of CRIF, the umbrella group representing French Jewry, will be “a duel” between businessman Marc Eisenberg and Ariel Goldmann, a lawyer who is in charge of security matters for the community, among other duties.

The incumbent, Richard Prasquier, has reached the two-term maximum as CRIF leader, according to the news site Atlantico. France has the world’s third largest Jewish community with an estimated population of 550,000.

The official list of candidates has not yet been made known but Eisenberg, the son of Rabbi Josy Eisenberg, also a well-known television personality, already was named a likely successor last week by Yves Derai, a columnist for Atlantico. Eisenberg, who presides over Alliance Israelite Universelle, a major cultural organization, is rumored to be among the country’s 500 richest people.

The family of Goldmann, who serves as CRIF vice president and spokesman on security matters, also is well known among French Jews. His father, Alain, served as chief rabbi of Paris for 14 years starting in 1980, and last year was made Grand Officer of the French Legion of Honor, the second highest degree attainable from the republic.

Ariel Goldmann also is the vice president of the FSJU, French Jewry’s organization offering social assistance. 

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