After Charlie Hebdo, Building Resilience in France

February 10, 2015


One month after the brutal Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher massacres, JDC is partnering with the French Jewish community on resiliency programs addressing trauma, crisis management training, and the relocation of at-risk Jews from troubled neighborhoods in Paris.

To project the strength of Jewish life in Europe and in solidarity with French Jews after these horrific acts of terror, JDC will also join a solidarity mission organized by the European Council of Jewish Communities. The mission, set for February 11, will visit the headquarters of Fonds Social Juif Unifié (FSJU), the central community fundraising body of the French Jewish community.

Organized at the invitation of the French Jewish community, these responses expand and upgrade JDC’s current work with French Jews, which centers on leadership skills seminars, community development, and the inclusion of young French Jews in pan-European networking initiatives.

“We at the Fonds Social Juif Unifie are proud to have JDC by our side during these difficult times,” FSJU President Ariel Goldmann said. “A close partner and friend for many years, we know that together with JDC, our community can be stronger and better equipped to navigate all that we face.”

Collaborating with the French Jewish community — a vibrant, self-sustaining, and multi-faceted population of more than 500,000 that today faces economic, political, and social challenges — JDC will help provide post-trauma care for those suffering as a result of the terror attacks and rising anti-Semitism. JDC’s initial response will be carried out in cooperation with the FSJU; OSE (Œuvre de Secours aux Enfants), a community agency aiding needy Jews; and the Foundation for the Memory of the Shoah (FMS).

JDC experts, and those from the Israel Trauma Coalition, will share knowledge and skills with Jewish professionals, local intervention teams, volunteers, and community leaders to ensure effective and timely responses to trauma, especially among children, the elderly, and people with disabilities. JDC will also work closely with French Jewish community leadership to improve their ability to address crises in real time.

JDC will also assist the community with its relocation plans for vulnerable Jews — the elderly and poor families — from unsafe neighborhoods plagued by crime, high levels of poverty, Islamist radicalism, and political extremism.

“As Jews face increasing risks around the world, especially spiking anti-Semitism and economic strife, there is growing demand for JDC’s expertise in managing and deploying responses to high-risk situations,” JDC CEO Alan H. Gill said. “We are proud to partner once again with the French Jewish community to ensure that as they chart their future, we are there to strengthen their resiliency, implement specialized services for the most vulnerable, and present a united front in the face of violent hate.”

JDC’s 80-year history assisting Jews in France includes the care of Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany in 1933; the reestablishment of the French Jewish community after the Holocaust, including cash relief programs, networks of scores of children’s homes, vocational training, and emigration assistance; the establishment of the Paul Baerwald School of Social Work in Paris and the creation of FSJU; and its ongoing partnership with the OSE.

JDC’s global programs are made possible by the generosity of our supporters.

Sign Up for JDC Voices Stories