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Aliyah from Lille, Lyon and Marseille

2 May 2017

The work that Ebenezer does in France, is not only limited to its capital as it may seem. Out of the 600,000 Jews that live in France, indeed, the largest community is to be found in Paris and its surroundings: 450,000 persons. However, the other 150,000 find themselves within other cities in France.

“The work of Ebenezer in France is quite new”, National Director of Ebenezer FranceXavier Darrieutort, explains. “Groups praying for aliyah specifically, already existed for years, but the practical, financial and moral support was not yet there. It has only been for three years now that French Christians are starting to become more aware of the biblical prophecies about the return of the Jewish people to Israel. Since then, different groups have come into existence in different parts of the country.”

Most teams were built up mainly in the north of FranceLille in the northwest, Strasbourg and Mulhouse in the northeast. Lyon and its surroundings in the centre of France, was one of the first bases as well. The teams here, have been active for the last one or two years. After that, an office opened in Paris in February 2016 and a few months later in Marseille as well. This last city holds the third largest European Jewish community (after London and Paris).

When they start up, first of all, the teams try to connect to the Jewish community in order to introduce the organization, but also to Christian organizations and churches in the area, where Ebenezer presents its activities and try to find out in what way the organizations can contribute to one another.
Do the Jewish people in these cities ask the same kind of help as those in Paris? “Actually,” Xavier responds, “there is not yet that many people that need help in these cities. Ninety per cent of the demands we receive come from Paris and her surroundings. It will depend on how society is going to evolve whether the demand is going to increase or not.

The upcoming presidential elections might influence that. Xavier analyses: “It depends on which candidate is going to win. If it is a candidate of one of the extreme parties, there will most likely be more Jews going to leave. If it is a candidate that belongs to a left or right of centre party, then this will hardly affect it.” Whatever the outcome of the elections will be, Ebenezer wants to make sure that, may the Jewish people need more help, their teams are as prepared as they can to offer their help.

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