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  • There's an everyday Jewish life in Europe that's rarely shown.

  • Away from politics, the Middle East and antisemitism,

  • it was important for us to spontaneously go there

  • and capture what's going on.

  • Alice Brauner is one of the biggest Jewish film producers in Europe.

  • I felt it was important to have this perspective

  • to tell the story of Europe's Jewish community,

  • as we travel across the continent.

  • Yves Kugelmann has always played a big role in our family.

  • He's editor-in-chief of the Swiss magazine Tachles

  • and he's written so many articles

  • that we've discussed together over mealtimes.

  • So I was really keen to work with Yves.

  • It might come as a surprise that our journey of Judaism in Europe starts

  • in Tangier.

  • There are many branches of Judaism.

  • Sephardic Judaism that started in Spain was a key part of Maghreb.

  • And Morocco was the center for many, many centuries.

  • It's incredible that there were once more than

  • 300,000 Jews living in Morocco.

  • That's so surprising to me.

  • Amazingly beautiful.

  • Yeh.”

  • Judaism is very heterogenous and has many different influences.

  • The two big ones are Sephardic Judaism

  • that mostly comes from North Africa, and Spain ?

  • and European Judaism, Ashkenazi.

  • And here we're looking across a key part of Jewish history ?

  • the movement across this virtual beachhead from Europe to Africa

  • and from Africa to Europe.

  • Jews, and also Muslims, were expelled from Spain in 1492.

  • And then after the Second World War,

  • many hundreds of thousands of Jews travelled from North Africa

  • back to Europe and also Israel.

  • It goes back to the Old Testament if you want to look at it mythologically.

  • And this whole aspect of Judaism in Central Europe

  • is something we're not really conscious of,

  • not in the general community either.

  • Especially since it clearly had such a major impact on Europe,

  • these migration flows in both directions.

  • Exactly, and we're now seeing another migration movement here,

  • in the same place they've been happening for centuries.

  • And that's the reason we're starting our journey through Europe

  • from here.

  • Le Chaim!

  • Le Chaim!

  • I've never been to Marseille

  • but I'm excited to see what Jewish life is like here.

  • It's a typical port city with lots of influences and immigration

  • and that's why it's a city that's always been open

  • to the Jewish community.

  • Life has obviously changed since the attacks on Charlie Hebdo.

  • It's now considered necessary for the press in France

  • to have security and guards.

  • Hello, you're listening live to Radio JM.

  • Today we'll be playing a selection of the most beautiful songs

  • by Charles Aznavour who passed away yesterday.

  • He was known for his love for Israel and the Jewish community in Jerusalem.

  • Jewish radio in Marseille was established in 1982,

  • shortly after the election of François Mitterand,

  • when many radio stations were created.

  • It was extraordinary for the development of Jewish culture ?

  • to hear Jewish music on the radio,

  • music from Israel and teachings from Rabbis.

  • It was miraculous, wonderful.

  • Were you ever threatened?

  • We've received threats, as have many Jewish institutions, unfortunately.

  • Sometimes the threats are serious, sometimes they're more comical.

  • But we have to take precautions.

  • We now have bullet-proof windows here and a security gate like in a bank.

  • We've been able to secure our premises

  • with help from the government,

  • the Ministry of the Interior and the community.

  • France is a country that makes sure the Jews living here feel safe.

  • People in Marseille are very open about their religion, aren't they?

  • That's port culture- Marseille culture.

  • There's something magical about Marseille.

  • It's like a washing machine,

  • you put everything in together but each piece keeps its individual color.

  • We're all washed together but we retain our own identity.

  • And that works about 95% of the time.

  • Marseille is still as exceptional as ever.

  • It's a city that's open to the Mediterranean,

  • that's welcomed all waves of immigration with open arms.

  • That was a very confident and nuanced discussion.

  • He mentioned the good but also the problematic aspects.

  • I feel like he's looking at the picture of Jewish life here

  • through rose-tinted spectacles.

  • I don't quite believe it's all sunshine and rainbows.

  • Well then, let's meet a woman who grew up here

  • and has seen Jewish life develop here over many years.

  • Years ago, mostly in the 1970s, it was lesseach to their own,” -

  • people lived together.

  • There was a neighborhood where you'd find Jewish youth centers,

  • eastern bakeries and kosher butchers.

  • It was more mixed, more side by side.

  • Then at some point people started to separate from one another in the city.

  • And today most of the Jewish businesses and Jewish schools

  • are all close to the big synagogue.

  • There are kosher restaurants, Jewish stores and youth centers.

  • A sort of cluster has formed, partly because it makes it safer

  • and more convenient for the people who practice.

  • Do you think the attacks have played a part?

  • This close-knit lifestyle existed before.

  • But it's true that the tendency to keep to oneself

  • has intensified because of that.

  • Especially after the attacks in Toulouse and elsewhere in France.

  • Also there wasn't much solidarity.

  • When we protested we were on our own.

  • It was only after the attacks in Paris and Nice

  • that people started protesting in bigger numbers.

  • when everyone felt affected.

  • We too often feel excluded.

  • People sayIt's the Muslims and the Jews

  • with the problem but it's not, it's all of society.

  • It's not Muslims versus Jews.

  • That's what worries me.

  • the populism of the far-right Rassemblement National,

  • formerly the Front National.

  • It grows year on year, especially in the south.

  • All of this affects me, as a Jew and as a French person.

  • We're very religious,

  • so we're happy there's a place right next to the school

  • where we can get kosher meat.

  • But it's self-perpetuating ?

  • the more we huddle together the more scared we become,

  • the more scared we become the more we huddle.

  • But do Jews feel ok here?

  • Yes, Jews still have a good life here.

  • But there's always the fear when we take our children to school

  • that something might happen.

  • There are soldiers outside the school. That scares you.

  • It's astounding that there are 48 synagogues and places of worship

  • that are barely guarded.

  • Yes it's very different to Paris,

  • where they need a lot more security and guards,

  • especially since the attacks.

  • Things look very different in other French cities.

  • I used to live in Paris.

  • I lived there for ten years with my family, including my children.

  • I can tell you there's a fundamental difference.

  • In Paris my kids didn't dare to go out onto the streets wearing the kippah,

  • certainly not onto the metro.

  • And if they ever did they would almost certainly get attacked,

  • verbally or sometimes even worse.

  • It's different here, they can wear the kippah out on the streets.

  • Another factor isMarseille Esperance”, “Hope Marseille”.

  • It's a body that brings together the religious leaders

  • of all religious communities and the Mayor of Marseille

  • Catholics, Protestants, Buddhists, Jews, Muslims,

  • everyone.

  • These meetings have a collective and common message

  • that's based on all religions.

  • And once a year we organize a huge event

  • that attracts maybe 5 or 6 thousand people from Marseille.

  • Everyone can see all the different religious leaders there

  • and it gives the community a sense of cohesion,

  • a desire to live well together.

  • At some point I just wanted to discover my culture.

  • My musical interests led me to my roots,

  • because there are very interesting aspects of Jewish culture.

  • My mother is Ashkenazi and my father is Sephardi.

  • They went to Israel but not because they felt Jewish, not at all.

  • It was because at the time they were of a certain political persuasion

  • and wanted to practice it in a kibbutz.

  • My older brother is Israeli.

  • I'm the only French one in my family.

  • And I ended up in Marseille, which isn't really France.

  • Marseille is sort of separate to the country.

  • I feel like a truemarseilleaise

  • because I really like the city even with all its flaws,

  • you must have seen them.

  • So anyway, that's how I feel.

  • There are lots of different people here, it's very mixed.

  • I like being in the busy neighborhoods and soaking up the life.

  • And I like living by the water too, because I feel Mediterranean.

  • I think it's great that we're traveling straight from Marseille

  • to one of the oldest Jewish centers in Europe, Strasbourg,

  • and not just to Paris as you might expect.

  • You see a whole other Jewish life here,

  • there are neighborhoods with a strong Jewish presence,

  • and a scene that you'll find almost nowhere else.

  • Strasbourg has always had a label, not in a derogatory way, on the contrary.

  • In a very positive way.

  • It has the label of being an elite community, in an intellectual sense.

  • There are grand intellectual figures who were born

  • or who taught in Strasbourg.

  • If you asked a random Jewish person here

  • they'd tell you they feel no sense of antisemitism here.

  • It's not part of every day life. They'd tell you they feel alive here.

  • Strasbourg is often referred to as Little Jerusalem.

  • Little Jerusalem?

  • Yes, that's what people call Strasbourg,

  • because Jewish people can live here peacefully,

  • totally independent from all the tension that arises elsewhere.

  • There's also a very special quality of life in Strasbourg

  • because of the Jewish community.

  • The peaceful lifestyle that we enjoy here every day as Jews

  • plays out right in the heart of the city.

  • Not somewhere on the outskirts, but right in the heart of Strasbourg life.

  • The Jewish community is part of Strasbourg culture.

  • The quality of life is extraordinary.

  • The distances are short, you don't need a car to get around,

  • you can walk your children to school.

  • Everything is condensed into one place.

  • There are no big problems with antisemitism in Strasbourg,

  • bar a few small incidents here and there.

  • Of course, the community is guarded by the police,

  • because there could be threats here too,

  • but it's not something you're constantly aware of.

  • I think that's one of the reasons Jewish people choose to settle here,

  • especially families with young children.

  • And we'll continue to nurture and develop our Jewish way of life.

  • Here's a restaurant and down there's a school.

  • Where's the grill?

  • It's right here, and there you have the kosher pastry shop.

  • There's another synagogue nearby and another kosher shop.

  • On this little street there are seven or eight of them.

  • We're in a real kosher paradise. Incredible!

  • There's a kosher shop on every corner... a kosher supermarket,

  • you can buy kosher pasta, kosher popcorn, kosher gummy bears...

  • and the laid back atmosphere. Wow!

  • Shabbat is Shabbat, Saturday is a day of rest for all Jews

  • no matter where you are.

  • My role as cantor doesn't change much whether I'm in Strasbourg or New York

  • or a small town like Freiburg because the task is the same.

  • I have to lead the prayer, read from the Torah, sing well, and so on.

  • But Shabbat in a big city like Strasbourg

  • really is a wonderful experience

  • because you see lots of Jewish people out on the streets,

  • dressed in the traditional way for Shabbat.

  • And they're happy, they go to synagogues,

  • go for a walk and things like that. And they invite you along.

  • What I've realized, having spent time in France,

  • is that Germany has a very different approach to Judaism.

  • The whole way of life is much less apparent,

  • but the mindset is different too.

  • The Holocaust hangs like a sword of Damocles over the Jewish people.

  • You can't just forget it, it's not possible.

  • And in France, I get the impression

  • that they live much more in the present.

  • People there aren't shaped by the past in such an extreme way.

  • That probably has something to do with Sephardic Judaism,

  • so the one that came from Morocco or Spain,

  • or an area around there.

  • It's very different to European or Eastern European Judaism

  • that went through the Shoah.

  • Actually are you second generation?

  • Second generation are children of Holocaust survivors.

  • The question is: what is a Holocaust survivor?

  • My parents were young, my father was born during the war.