Jewish, French in Israel

Jewish, French
Photo Source:  Anonymous 
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People Name: Jewish, French
Country: Israel
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 41,000
World Population: 512,500
Primary Language: French
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 0.20 %
Evangelicals: 0.05 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Jewish
Affinity Bloc: Jews
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Many French Jews see Israel as the sparkling jewel on the ring of nations in the Middle East. Having been a minority for almost 2,000 years, the present population of Israel is now mostly Jewish. The stream of immigrants into Israel began in the 1880s with the national and cultural revival known as "Zionism." The trickle of immigrants became a flood when the nation of Israel was established in 1948.

Increasing numbers of French-born Jews immigrate to Israel each year. Anti-Jewish feelings in France are usually a factor in their decision. That was especially true in the 2010s when there were more anti-Semitic incidents in France.

The 2010s were not the first time when Jews in France faced persecution and discrimination. A high percentage of the Jews were killed during the Holocaust. Like other parts of Europe, France has a history of sporadic persecution of the Jewish population.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Israeli leaders wanted to see all immigrants "fuse" into one Jewish people. However, the different immigrant groups of the past have now become the ethnic groups of today. Along with the ethnicity, they developed a class society. One's ethnic background may shape one's occupation and standard of living.

Language is one of the distinguishing features among Israel's Jewish communities. While Hebrew and Aramaic are the common languages of prayer, sacred, and legal matters, the Jews are at home with local languages and dialects. Within Israel, Jews may speak fluent Yiddish (a German dialect with Hebrew elements), Russian, Yudi, Ladino, French, or any number of languages learned in their countries of origin or from their immigrant parents.

Most of the French Jews live in Israeli cities. Attempts to start new towns and populate rural areas have been difficult. In fact, such attempts have often become scenes of ethnic unrest between Jews and Palestinians. Some of the Jews who live in rural areas are part of the well-known kibbutzim (collective farms or settlements in Israel).

Unlike many Jewish communities outside Israel, extended families do not play an important part in the lives of the French Jews in Israel. Rather, the nuclear family is the most important unit. Because Israeli society highly values education, schools are free and compulsory through the tenth grade. Most French Jews view mandatory service in the Israeli army as a crucial part of the transition into adulthood.

What Are Their Beliefs?

For religious Jews, God is the Supreme Being, the Creator of the universe, and the ultimate judge of human affairs. Beyond this, the religious beliefs of the Jewish communities vary greatly. Orthodox Jews generally follow the traditional religious beliefs and practices found in the Jewish literature that interprets Scripture regarding ethical, religious, civil and criminal matters.

Reform Jews do not believe that the Jewish Law is revealed by God. They are not restricted to kosher foods. They neither wear the skullcap (yarmulke) when praying nor use Hebrew in prayer. All religious Jews believe in the coming of a Messianic Age, but only the Orthodox Jews look for a personal Messiah.

Most French Jewish people retain cultural Judaism, but they have rejected the spiritual elements taught in the Old Testament. They might take part in cultural events and even religious ceremonies, but they are either secular or New Age in their spiritual lives.

What Are Their Needs?

Jewish people have a wonderful understanding of their connection with the Abrahamic Covenant. However, they also have a history of rejecting Jesus Christ as Messiah, the one who has fulfilled that covenant. They tend to view Christianity as the religion of their oppressors rather than the fulfillment of what God promised all of humanity through Abraham centuries ago.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Lord to give French speaking Jewish people in Israel hearts that will want to please him. May they look to the Lord for guidance and truth, and not be satisfied with cultural traditions.

Pray for Jewish people in Israel to begin a movement to Jesus Christ, finding ways to exalt him while honoring their culture.

Pray for the Lord to move among Jewish leaders in Israel to open the doors to Christ's ambassadors.

Text Source:   Joshua Project