The Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley and its Community Relations Council condemn the terror attacks by Islamic extremists in France this week that have taken the lives of 17 people, including French Jews at the office of newspaper Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket.
These attacks are not only an assault to our inalienable rights to freedom of speech and religion, but also threaten our ability to live freely and openly as Jewish people. The terrorists and their reprehensible actions should be universally condemned by the international community, and we urge the French state to continue working to resolve rising tensions that have threatened the French Jewish community for years.
The Federation and the Lehigh Valley Jewish community send condolences to the families of the victims of both attacks, and we encourage the French government and the people of France to stand up to the Islamic extremism that is increasingly widespread across France and all of Europe.
Last year alone, nearly 7,000 French Jews made aliyah to Israel, representing a 100 percent increase over the prior year. France was the single largest delegation of new immigrants to Israel last year. The Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley is proud to support the Jewish Agency for Israel, which is responsible for facilitating the resettlement and absorption of French Jews with whatever services and education is necessary so they can live productive lives in Israel.