At least 1,300 Jews die of corona in France

Like in Britain, a disproportionately high number of Jews in France have succumbed to the disease.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

At least 1,300 members of the French Jewish community have died from the coronavirus, the Israeli French news website LeMonde reported Sunday.

The French funeral service released the figures for the first time since the pandemic began in the country in March, after previously refusing to release them, LeMonde reported.

According to the report, the 1,300 death toll represents around 5 percent of the roughly 26,000 deaths recorded in France, although the half million Jews in France make up only 0.8 percent of the total population of the country.

Hundreds of the deceased have been flown for burial in Israel. The death toll might actually be closer to 2,000 because the number does not necessarily include secular Jews, who may not have reported their religion. The report only lists those who were buried according to Jewish tradition.

In March, a report showed that Jews in England were dying of coronavirus at a higher rate than the rest of the population, leading the country’s national organization to echo government calls and remind members of the faith to “stay home.”

Although Jews comprise only 0.5 percent of Britain’s population, “one in 20 of those killed by coronavirus in Britain so far are from the religion,” a Daily Mail report said.

At the time, the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Marie van der Zyl, said the pandemic presented challenges to Jewish communities who “cherish festivals and socializing.”