Macron opens new $17 million Jewish community center in Paris
search

Macron opens new $17 million Jewish community center in Paris

In the works for two decades, project is touted by community leaders as expression of resistance to growing anti-Semitism

Consistoire President Joel Mergui, left, and French President Emmanuel Macron celebrate the inauguration of a new Jewish community center in Paris, October 29, 2019. (Consistoire)
Consistoire President Joel Mergui, left, and French President Emmanuel Macron celebrate the inauguration of a new Jewish community center in Paris, October 29, 2019. (Consistoire)

JTA — French President Emmanuel Macron and leaders of the country’s Jewish community inaugurated a $17 million Jewish community center in Paris that has been in the works for 20 years.

The European Center for Judaism was opened on Tuesday, “amid painful times of terrorism and anti-Semitism,” said Joel Mergui, the president of the Consistoire organization, which is responsible for religious Orthodox life in France.

“It’s an expression of resistance, a desire to reanimate our community, for it to shine and open to the neighborhood, Paris and Europe,” Mergui added.

Situated on Jerusalem Square in the affluent and heavily Jewish 17th arrondissement of the French capital, the new center has about 54,000 square feet of floor space, including a synagogue with 600 seats and an auditorium with a black marble interior and the same number of seats, among other amenities. The center also includes a gym, offices and a large terrace to accommodate a sukkah.

At least 37,000 of approximately 173,000 people living in the arrondissement, or district, are Jewish, according to the district’s mayor, Geoffroy Boulard.

About a third of the new center’s cost came from private donations, Le Parisien reported. The rest came from municipal and government subsidies and sponsorships by firms and nonprofit groups.

The city of Paris agreed to give the expensive piece of land to the Jewish community for the project more than 20 years ago. Construction began in 2015 and had initially been scheduled to end by 2018. Construction workers rushed to apply the finishing touches hours before the opening.

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more:
comments