Study: Many European Jews Hide Their Identity

Tuesday, September 23, 2014 |  Yossi Aloni

A majority of Jews living in Europe today avoid outward demonstrations of their faith and nearly half actively hide their ethnic identity, even as assimilation rates on the continent are skyrocketing.

That according to figures released by Rabbinical Centre of Europe. The study revealed that only about 500,000 Jews will attend Rosh Hashanah services this week in Europe, and that a mere 30 percent will participate in Yom Kippur at local synagogues next week.

The survey further revealed an 80 assimilation rate by comparing the number of Jewish weddings to the number of Jews living in each city.

Rabbi Menachem Margolin, director of the European Jewish Association, said those numbers corresponded to an earlier study that showed about 40 percent of European Jews choose to actively hide their Jewishness, most notably by refusing to enroll their children in Jewish schools.

Rabbi Margolin said that the strengthening of extremist nationalist movements, the growing Islamization and Israel’s overly-reported war against Hamas have combined to put Europe’s Jews in a tighter situation than they have experienced in years.

There have been more attacks, more harassment of individual Jews and Jewish communities, more demonstrations, and more politicians issuing fiery speeches against Israel and the Jewish people.

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