Italy ranked top, Poland and Belgium bottom, in new index measuring quality of Jewish life in Europe

The scores of several countries were compromised by the feelings of insecurity reported in their Jewish communities, creating some striking discrepancies.

By The Algemeiner

Italy has the highest quality of Jewish life on the European continent, with Poland and Belgium identified as the most troubling countries in that regard, according to a new index published by the European Jewish Association (EJA).

Unveiled at the EJA’s leadership conference in the Hungarian capital Budapest on Tuesday, the index covers 12 EU member states, combining facts about government policy and polling data to create a single metric with which to measure the quality of Jewish life in those countries.

Designed by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, a London-based think tank, the index measures the quality of life on a scale from 0-100.

Five countries — Italy, Hungary, Denmark, the UK and Austria — all received “A” grades, with scores of 75 or more. Both France and Poland were given a “C” grade, with respective scores of 68 and 66, while Belgium, with a “D” grade, came at the bottom of the list with an index score of 60.

The scores of several countries were compromised by the feelings of insecurity reported in their Jewish communities, creating some striking discrepancies.

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While the German government was given a performance score of 89 due to its federal budget for securing Jewish institutions, its creation of a federal commissioner to combat antisemitism and similar measures, the sense of security among German Jews was measured at just 46, compared with 73 for Denmark and 72 for Hungary.

France performed similarly; despite having adopted many of the same measures as Germany, the sense of insecurity among French Jews is the most intense in Europe, with a score of just 31.

By comparison, Belgium’s government performance was weak when it came to security for the Jewish community.

“The Belgian government, which holds the last place in the study, significantly reduced security around the Jewish communities without even consulting them, banned kosher slaughter and threatened the issue of circumcision, did not appoint a coordinator for the fight against antisemitism and more,” an accompanying statement from the EJA declared.