(JTA) — A Jewish boy from Paris was beaten and robbed outside his school by six young men in an anti-Semitic attack, a local watchdog said.
The incident occurred on July 7 in Paris’ 19th arrondissement, or district, near the Gare du Nord train station, according to a report published by BNCVA, the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism.
The 13-year-old boy, who was not named, was followed by six men of African descent as he exited the school while wearing a kippah, the report said. One of his aggressors shouted, “Take that, dirty Jew” while the group was hitting the boy. One of the alleged assailants also stole the victims’s cellular phone before fleeing.
The victim was taken to a hospital, where he received stitches to wounds on his head.
Last year, the Jewish community recorded a total of 241 violent attacks on Jews out of a total of 851 anti-Semitic incidents. The previous year, those figures were 105 and 423, respectively. In January, an armed Islamist killed four Jews at a Paris kosher supermarket. Belgium, Britain and the Netherlands are among the other countries that saw increases in anti-Semitic attacks over the same period.
The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee last week concluded an international two-day conference in Barcelona aimed at strengthening European Jewish communities’ resilience in the face of this adversity.
Approximately 100 community leaders and representatives attended workshops on trauma treatment and crisis management during the conference, according to Marcelo Dimentstein, the operations director for JDC’s International Centre for Community Development.
“There’s no place that’s free of fear, neither in Europe or Israel,” Rabbi Michael Melchior, the chief rabbi of Norway and a former Israeli Cabinet minister, said at the conference. But, he added, Jewish communities will not succeed in recovering if the keep “thinking everyone is a terrorist.”
Diego Ornique, the JDC regional director for Europe, told JTA that since 2012, when an Islamist killed four people at a Jewish school in Toulouse, “we realized we are living in a different reality. And while some choose to emigrate, most European Jews are staying. We need to, and are indeed finding ways to cope with this reality.”