In Troyes, a day to celebrate “the vitality of French Judaism”

The 5,000 m2 of the Parc des expositions de Troyes hosts with great fanfare, Sunday, July 10, the first edition of the Day of French Judaism. More than 1,200 people from all over France have registered to participate in the workshops, conferences and performances of this event organized by the Central Consistory, the main body representing the Jewish faith.

« Since my election as President of the Consistory of France, most of my interventions have focused on difficult or anxiety-provoking themes.recounts Elie Korchia, president of the institution, at the initiative of the day. Commemorations linked to the Holocaust, attacks or crimes that targeted the Jewish community, attacks on the freedom of religious practice… These are obviously essential themes on which I am active, but I also wanted to highlight the other reality. of French Judaism: its great vitality. »

Figure of Rashi

This lawyer by profession has therefore imagined a « Day of French Judaism », in partnership with the Maison de Rachi, a cultural center based in Troyes, to bring together as many people as possible around Jewish culture and thought, with workshops, conferences , an ephemeral museum and shows. By making it a point of honor to receive speakers with various religious sensitivities, such as the painter Gérard Garouste, the sculptors Myriam Sitbon and Franck Tordjman or the writer Rachel Khan and the editorialist Alexis Lacroix.

The idea of ​​a day dedicated to French Judaism had already been put forward at the end of the 1980s by Chief Rabbi Joseph Sitruk, who brought together 30,000 people at Le Bourget in 1989 for an event called « Yom Hatorah » (Day of Torah). This year, the day, baptized « Yom Rashi » (Rashi’s day), will take place in Troyes to « highlighting the tutelary figure » of this great commentator of the Torah, underlines Elie Korchia.

Famous exegete born in 1040 in the city of Champagne, Rashi remains to this day the author of reference in the study of the Hebrew Bible. In addition, his figure highlights the existence of a Jewish presence that does not date from the creation of the Consistory under Napoleon but goes back to the Middle Ages.

A living community

» In France, we have a lot of Jewish schools, Jewish cultural centers, initiatives… Our community is doing quite wellrejoices Julien Darmon, author and doctor in sociology of religions at the EHESS, one of the speakers at the conference entitled « Transmission and sharing, the spirit of Judaism », as part of this Day. We are the largest Jewish community in Europe, with the specificity of an ancient history with the Catholic Church, with the Muslim community… This openness is an opportunity that must be passed on to future generations. »

Isabelle Cohen, project manager in charge of the Jewish culture commission of the Foundation for the Memory of the Shoah, speaker for the second conference, is delighted with the initiative » to open the Jewish house to show how it is lived « . » In these difficult times for all humanity, remaining in a form of joy and recalling the openness of the Jewish community in France is perfectly timely and even courageous. “, she rejoices. Daughter of a Polish woman and a Tunisian, she notably celebrates « the successful marriage between the Ashkenazi soul and the Sephardic soul « .

To bring this event to life beyond Sunday, the two conferences, led by Didier Kassabi, rabbi of the community of Boulogne-Billancourt, will be filmed and broadcast on the program « At the origin of the world », as part of a partnership with France 2.

If the day is intended to be “open to all”, there will however be no representatives of other sensibilities of French Judaism such as the liberal community or more orthodox currents. » Almost all regional presbyteries send representatives “, specifies the president of the Consistory.

The national service for relations with Judaism of the Conference of Bishops of France will be represented, as well as the government through the arrival of Sarah El Haïry, Secretary of State in charge of youth.


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