Friday, September 03, 2004

  • Friday, September 03, 2004
  • Elder of Ziyon

Heading to the West Bank
(nowhere in the article does it say they live in the West Bank, so possibly Time considers Jerusalem to be "the West Bank" .)

Paul Zerah takes a break from his five-hour-a-day Hebrew class in the West Bank settlement of Ofra, just over a barren hill from the Palestinian town of Ramallah. Only two weeks ago, Zerah, 46, immigrated to the heart of one of the world's most violent conflicts. But he feels he's left danger behind — in Paris. "I was afraid for my children there," says Zerah, who brought his wife and two youngsters to Israel. "My son couldn't walk to the Jewish school with his yarmulke on."

Zerah followed his brother Marc who, in 1999, gave up a thriving gynecological practice in Paris's 12th arrondissement to move to Jerusalem with his wife and four children. Marc didn't publicly wear his yarmulke in France. Now he keeps it on all day. "It isn't just a physical immigration. It's spiritual," he says.

Paul says most of his Parisian friends are considering such a move, and the numbers back him up. In July alone, 800 French Jews immigrated. An Israeli university study recently predicted 30,000 will eventually make the switch. And they're being welcomed by an Israeli government facing demographic challenges from the region's Palestinians. In the 1990s, more than 1.2 million people emigrated to Israel from the former Soviet Union — a huge boost to a nation with 6.5 million citizens, fewer than Paris. But since Russian immigration dried up, Israeli officials have switched their focus to France.

Like most French emigrants to Israel, the Zerahs are Sephardic Jews, whose families went to France from North Africa; Marc Zerah was born in Tunis, and his family moved to Paris when he was 10. In general, Sephardic Jews lack the French roots of the more assimilated Ashkenazic Jews, who arrived from Eastern Europe centuries ago. Sephardic Jews tend to be more religious and traditional, which makes Israel an attractive prospect. Like his brother Paul, Marc Zerah first relocated to a West Bank settlement. He says he felt a strong connection to the ancient Israelites, who entered Canaan via nearby Jericho, too. Despite the difficulties of learning a new language in the middle of their high school studies, his children also approve. Ilanit, 20, doesn't dwell on the question of whether she feels French or Israeli. "In France, we were the Jews," she says, with a shrug. "In Israel, we are the French."

After five years, Zerah doesn't miss France much. He had little choice there over where to live — he had to be within walking distance of a synagogue — and he couldn't enjoy French cuisine because of kosher dietary restrictions. In Israel, synagogues and kosher restaurants are never more than a few streets away. "Here in Israel," he says, "I eat much better."

EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz

Loading...

comments

Speaking

follow me

Follow by Email

Contact

Elder: elder -at- elderofziyon dot com
Mrs. Elder: mrs.elder -at- elderofziyon.com


translate

E-Book

For $18 donation








Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts Ever

Hasbys!

Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

Donate!

Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options



One time donation:



subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Tweets

Compliments

The Jerusalem Report:"A seemingly indefatigable one-man operation, armed only with a computer, chutzpa and stamina."

Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"

Omri: "Elder is one of the best established and most respected members of the jblogosphere..."
Atheist Jew:"Elder of Ziyon probably had the greatest impression on me..."
Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history."
AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..."
Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable."
Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

Interesting Blogs

Categories

Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria American Jews Amnesty analysis anti-semitism apartheid arab refugees Arafat archaeology art ASHREI B'tselem bahrain bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz book review breaking the silence Cardozo Chanukah Christians conspiracy theories Cyprus Daphne Anson Davis report DCI-P double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada EoZNews eoztv Erekat EU Euro-Mid Observer Fake Civilians 2014 Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian gunness Haaretz hamas Hamas war crimes hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor Hypocrisy ICRC Ilan Pappe impossible peace incitement Indonesia international law intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Juan Cole Judea-Samaria Kairos Karl Vick ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Lebanon leftists Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Malaysia max blumenthal McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Miftah Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco music Muslim Brotherhood Nakba Natural gas Nazi News nftp NGO NIF norpac NYT Occupation offbeat Omar Barghouti Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peter Beinart Petra MB poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist purimshpiel Qaradawi Qassam calendar Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals reference Richard Falk rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shujaiyeh SodaStream South Africa Speech stamps Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman Tunisia Turkey UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks work accident X-washing Yemen zahran zionist attack zoo Zvi

Blog Archive