In an unprecedented move, Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger will visit and speak at one of France’s largest mosques, Israel Hayom reported Tuesday.
The announcement followed a meeting between Metzger on Monday with the Chief Imam of Paris, Hassen Chalghoumi, who visited Israel to participate in the France-Israel Democracy and Religion Forum taking place in Tel Aviv on June 6 and 7. Chalghoumi visted the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial on Monday.
The proposal to speak at the Grande Mosquée de Paris came after Metzger told the imam that during a visit to Kazakhstan he prayed in a mosque because there were no synagogues. The imam said he was not aware Jews are allowed to pray at a mosque, and invited Metzger to speak at a mosque in France.
The two also discussed the recent rise in anti-Semitic violence in France, which the imam condemns. On Saturday, three Jews were attacked near the city of Lyon in south-west France by a group of ten men. In March, four Jews, including three children, were gunned down by Muhammad Merah.