French Jewish leaders pledge solidarity with Catholic Church after Notre Dame fire

Leaders of the Jewish community in France continued to express profound sorrow  over the devastating fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, which ravaged the roof of the 850-year-old building and caused its famous spire to collapse.

Haim Korsia, France’s chief rabbi, said on Twitter that he was praying for the Catholic Church and “especially Monsignor [Michel] Aupetit,” the archbishop of Paris.

Francis Kalifat — president of communal representative body CRIF, the country’s EJC affiliate — expressed his “immense sadness” over the fire. A separate statement from CRIF said the organisation shared the entire French nation’s “broken heart.”

Ariel Goldmann — the president of the Fonds Social Juif Unifié (FSJU), the main association of Jewish educational and cultural bodies in France — spoke of his “horror” at the images of the burning cathedral. “As French Jews, we are with you,” Goldmann said in a Twitter message to the Catholic community.

Rabbi Delphine Horvilleur — head of the liberal movement in the French Jewish community — shared a video of the popular Israeli singer Noa performing the traditional Catholic hymn, “Ave Maria,” along with a message of solidarity to “the Christians, the Parisians, and the whole of humanity.”

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