Since the beginning of the pandemic, 22 people have died in the city-prefecture, said the head of the community of Créteil. An important Jewish holiday was celebrated just prior to the confinement.
During the holiday, there was a musician who played “Bella Ciao” with his violin, dancing from one table to the other. All the guests were smiling and having fun. A simple sentence was added to a video posted on the Facebook page of the Jewish community of Créteil: “Purim Sameah in all the synagogues of the city”. That was on March 10. It was the last celebratory message put online. Since then, death announcements have started to appear after the health warnings.
” We witnessed 22 deaths in Créteil, ” said Albert Elharrar, president of the Jewish community of the city, one of the largest in France, which has between 15,000 and 20,000 people and 17 synagogues. The numbers have been rising over the last few days. “Just this Sunday, five deaths in Henri-Mondor Hospital alone,” the official said. “We have a lot of cases,” confirmed Dr. Yaacov Brami, one of the leaders of the Loubavitch community in Créteil, whose wife was in intensive care on Monday afternoon. “We’re being severely affected. »
Why do Jews seem to be particularly affected by Covid-19? Probably because of the Purim which, as every year, brought together a large number of believers. This feast was celebrated seven days before the announcement of the confinement. At that time, the health situation did not yet worry many people in France. However, we were rather careful,” said one of the members of the community in Créteil. Usually, we kiss or shake hands but that wasn’t the case this time around. I even remember that there was hydroalcoholic gel. »
Dr. Serge Bokobza, another important member of the community, was a victim of the disease. He has treated generations of Cristolians,” laments one of his patients. He was a very kind individual. He spoke very gently. His office was on Avenue du Général-Pierre-Billotte, in the Jewish quarter. Everyone came to see him. He loved his work. “The mayor of Créteil, Laurent Cathala, expressed on Monday his condolences to the Jewish community that was so badly affected as well as to the relatives of the victims who are in grief.