By Paul Miller, Originally published in the New York Observer
With the Jewish New Year fast approaching, a new survey reveals that 85 percent of European Jews will not bring their children to Rosh Hashanah services due to growing concerns for their safety.
First reported by Israel’s Channel 2, “most European Jews are afraid to reveal their religion,” according to the poll conducted by the Rabbinical Centre of Europe (RCE) in 179 Jewish communities across Europe.
U.S. Jewish publication the Algemeiner reports that “European Jewish organizations are concerned over these statistics, according to the report, because they further demonstrate the negative effects of the rise in antisemitism and nationalistic fervor across Europe, as well as the increasing level of Islamic immigration to the continent, on Europe’s Jewish communities and the participation of their members in communal activities.”
“Rabbis and many community leaders from across Europe are, unfortunately, reporting an increase in Jews who are refraining from all public identification with their Judaism,” Rabbi Menachem Margolin, the head of the European Jewish Association, told Channel 2.
“Most young people whose parents avoid identifying as Jews do not retain a connection to the Jewish people and their homeland,” he explained.