The Consistory remains the institution officially representative of the Jewish religion of France, especially with the political authorities and that is why it was founded. The Consistory is not a religious institution but "cult" according to the law of December 9, 1905. Its mission is to represent and defend the interests of French Judaism! Which means that it is managed by a large secular majority to represent all the Jews of France. Such has been and remains the will of the State! .
Today, in a few hours, you will vote to elect 14 of the 26 administrators of the Consistory of Paris who will manage the Consistory for the next eight years, and to constitute the new direction of said consistory for the next four years.
At a time when things are going so fast for both our country and our community, it is a considerable responsibility for both elected officials and voters.
At the beginning of the twenty-first century, our community faces many challenges and our generation must rise to them!
The Consistory is the main Jewish institution that has allowed the rise of French Judaism for more than two centuries in the preservation of its ancestral and universal message.
The central Jewish Consistory of France is an institution created in 1808 by Napoleon I to administer the Israelite cult in France, on the model of the other two official religions of the time (Catholic and Protestant). He appoints the chief rabbi of France.
The Consistory remains the institution officially representative of the Jewish religion of France, especially with the political authorities! This is the reason why it was founded.
The Consistory manages synagogues, kashrut, hevra kadicha, and all major events of Jewish life (b'rith mila, bar and bath mitzvah, talmud tora, marriages, conersions, deaths, ...); it is the only institution that manages the daily life of community life in our country.
We must therefore defend this noble institution and make as much assistance as possible to help it adapt and develop.
This is our ambition.
Each of us has friends in each of the lists that come up.
Each of us is a member of one or more community associations, many of us are responsible for community and non-community associations, many of us have responsibilities in the civilian world, but we all share the desire for the well-being of our community without personal interests interfering with that will.
That is why we decided to intervene, not to give voting instructions, but to take note of the new elected representatives, and give our vision for the future of this beautiful institution.
This Future begins today with the elections of 26 November. But this reflection will not stop the day after the elections, far from it.
We want to make proposals, and we will do so throughout the next few years because they will be crucial for our future. We will always do it with the sole ambition of reconciling our fidelity to our values and to the precepts of our ancestors, and that, while remaining clear-sighted on the necessity of our necessary adaptation to a new and modern world.
Our world has evolved more in the last sixty years than in previous centuries.
Also, our reflection must lead us to think about what our community will be like in 20 or 50 years, to think about the environment in which it will evolve, and especially to make it possible to, once again, say "Happy as a Jew in France! "
In this election period, we regret that the various candidates weaken the Consistory by personal and sordid attacks without really presenting a coherent program. we do not need a program of wishful thinking, not a program of naive wishes, but a concrete program with clear and measurable objectives, and above all budgeted.
Elections are made, of course, to designate elected representatives but not only; Elections are also made to present alternative visions of the future and offer a bouquet of choices to voters. Unfortunately, this was not the case during these elections, and we had the right to no harmonious debate between the candidates and especially, often, to a lack of respect towards the candidates, and between the candidates.
It would have been very important for everyone to be able to present their point of view, to debate it so that voters could choose in the utmost serenity.
We did not have that chance!
The simple answer to a complicated question does not exist, this is what the Talmud teaches us; but we know that from the debate springs the light.
For our part, we think it is high time to make the Consistory evolve in the best interests of the Consistories, and of the Central as a whole.
The time has come to rethink the functioning of the Consistory and to recast its statutes but in the sole interest of our community and especially not in order to restrict the electorate but rather by thinking about how to broaden it.
The duty of each of us is to reinforce the weight and the image of the Consistory both with our co-religionists and the public authorities. It is also the duty of all administrators !
It is worth remembering that, contrary to a mistaken idea, the Consistory is not a religious institution but "cult" according to the law of December 9, 1905. That means that it is managed by a large secular majority. Such was and remains the will of the State!
The purpose of the Consistory is to provide for the general interests of the Israelite cult, to preserve the independence and dignity of the ministers of religion, to ensure the permanence of the office of Grand Rabbi of France, to encourage the recruitment of ministers of religion and to ensure their administration, to promote the knowledge and transmission of Judaism, but especially to represent and defend the interests of French Judaism as well as to preserve its spiritual bonds with Israel and the Jewish Communities of the World.
Thus "when French Judaism is under the blaze of questioning its practices: Kashrut, circumcision, rules of marriage, judicialization of" assisted suicide ", etc.", it is in the Consistory to act to defend French Judaism and its values, especially with the political authorities.
The only acceptable political aspect for the "cultual", Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist or other communities is this one!
Those who would like the Consistory to detach from these responsibilities are wrong!
Yes, it is normal for the Consistory to discuss with the political authorities the only political subjects that are its own and only those: kashrut, circumcision, burials, weddings, ...
For all the other subjects, the French Jews have, in the Republic, the same preoccupation as all the other citizens of the Republic with all the diversity that this represents!
It is not by weakening or denigrating the Consistory for the benefit of other institutions that we will meet this challenge!
The Consistory, which is a Jewish and republican institution, established by the State more than two centuries ago, remains, by far, the most "representative" institution of our community with its tens of thousands of members, the management of several hundred synagogues and the organization of the daily life of our communities (administration of ministers of religion, kashrut, circumcisions, marriages, burials, talmud torah, ...)!
Since its creation, the Consistory remains the interlocutor of the authorities and the representative of French Judaism.
This is why it is extremely important for the Consistory to welcome all the components of French Judaism within it! This is an essential reform for our future!
And, finally, we must in no way confuse the Consistory, laic authority, and the Chief Rabbinate, religious authority!
Yes, that is the basis of the big reforms for the years to come!
And, in order to think about it effectively, we must prepare the 2021 elections today with major debates that will be spread out over the next four years. This is the only useful way to prepare the Consistory of tomorrow!
A Consistory which will represent all the Jews of France and thus it will return to the initial objective given to this very great institution, the only truly representative of the great majority of the Jews of France even if for the moment it refuses to represent them all.
As on many other topics (anti-Semitism, secularism, ...) we will be present to reflect and build with you the Consistory of tomorrow!
The real meeting is in 4 years but this campaign must begin today and the duty of all, and especially the Jewish media, is to participate!
Vote conscientiously today with this great design in mind! And this for the best of our great institution!
Richard C. ABITBOL
Comments are closed.