More results...

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

More results...

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Reader Post: A Canadian Jewish Student Travels to Paris

french soldier
Photo credit: Reuters

Since I’m in Paris right now, I thought I would share my thoughts on how it feels to be Jewish while I’m here.

It’s always hard to judge a situation if you’re not in the certain place to see to the degree it’s like. Before I came, people told me to leave my Star of David at home and not to wear it in public. Hearing those words upset me because I’ve always been proud to be Jewish, and I decided to bring and wear the necklace with me, and see what it was like. Since no one in public has seen it, because I’ve been wearing a jacket, it hasn’t made a difference. But that doesn’t mean that I feel safe and secure here.

I’ve been here for four days, and have gone to the Jewish area. There are soldiers there, which there never used to be. We wanted to go inside a synagogue, but they wouldn’t let us inside. One of the soldiers was talking to us, when the Rabbi of the shul peaked open the window, and asked quickly what we were doing there and who we were. This broke my heart, because of how he asked it – in a very rushed and scared manner, unsure of what we wanted. It really reminded me of movies I’ve seen about the Shoah (holocaust).

Another thing that happened was we went to a kosher Tunisian restaurant (because my boyfriend’s father is from Tunisia). There were some Muslims there because the meat was also halal, and many clearly observant Jews. I knew this because the men were wearing Kippot. Again what opened my eyes was watching one man come in, and only put his kippah on when he was in the restaurant, surrounded by other Jews, and then taking it off before he left.

This isn’t a pathetic cry for help, or Jews wanting attention. It is a real problem. And if it’s a problem for one people, it’s a problem for the world. Seeing the Rabbi peak through a window, in a sort of panic to see who we were was so so sad and hard to watch. It really IS a problem. There are soldiers outside Jewish schools and centers; it wasn’t like this before the recent attack at the kosher deli.

Be aware of what’s happening around us, and always be proud of where you came from.

Hannah Carnat is a young Jewish university student from Calgary who traveled to Paris for about two weeks.

Scroll to Top