Parisian Jewish family finds a new home…in Sydney

February 26, 2015 by Roz Tarszisz
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As thousands of French Jews flock to Israel in the wake of terrorist attacks, one Parisian family has made a new home for itself…in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs.

Judit, Avi, Sam, Nissim, Benjamin and Ted Levi in their new home in Bellevue Hill       Photo Henry Benjamin

Judit, Avi, Sam, Nissim, Benjamin and Ted Levi in their new home in Bellevue Hill                                                                          Photo: Henry Benjamin

Together with their four young sons, Judit and Ted Levi  have made the move from Paris’s 16th arrondissement to Sydney’s Bellevue Hill.

There was no particular event which brought about their decision find a new home outside France but a desire to provide their children with an easier way of life.

“Life was very stressful in Paris. Where we lived was fine but we would not want to go to the outer suburbs, especially wearing a kippah, or even a cap. The atmosphere is bad and the economy is struggling” Ted, 56, told J-Wire.

On holiday in Israel last year, the Levis met a Jewish couple from Sydney who told them about life in Australia.

“We decided we wanted our kids to open their minds and see another way of experiencing Jewish culture” said Ted.

The traditional orthodox couple want their sons Nissim, 13, Benjamin, 12, Sam 9 and 5-yr-old Avi 5 to be able to wear a kippah in the street without fear of attack.

In Sydney they have found the Jewish community to be welcoming, open and friendly and enjoy attending Shabbat services at synagogues within walking distance of home.

In Paris, Judit worked as a book editor while Ted is a dentist specialising in implants. The children were bussed to a Jewish school 25kms away which made for very long days.  Now settling in at Sydney’s Kesser Torah College, they have time for swimming and tennis lessons after school.

44-yr-old Judit said she  finds keeping a kosher home in Sydney easy as she can obtain everything she needs locally.

When her family left Algeria in 1962 they left most of their wealth and possessions behind. They rebuilt their lives in Paris where they lived as modern and observant Jews.

“I think that Australia is between European and American culture”.

Ted told J-Wire: “I recently returned to France for a short visit and was  struck by how sad everyone seemed”.

“Paris is black and white: Australia is colour” he said.

Ted and Judit have made many friends in the two and a half months they have lived in Sydney. He said that both  Rabbi Michoel Gourarie’s Bina and Rabbi Ritchie Moss’s Nefesh Synagogue had been very welcoming.

It could take considerable time for Ted to acquire the necessary qualifications to practice dentistry in Australia. “I may develop a dental centre rather than practice”, he told J-Wire.

In the meantime Ted and his sons can walk the streets of Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs wearing their kippot and embracing their Judaism without fear of retribution.


2 Responses to “Parisian Jewish family finds a new home…in Sydney”
  1. David Adler says:

    The Islamisation of Australia on the demographic curve is about 10-15 years behind most of Europe and about 20 years behind France. But the process is clearly underway.

    • Eleonora Mostert says:

      I live in Tamworth and getting hemmed in with the large numbers of Muslims moving in. Inside info finds they are not as peaceful as media would have u believe.

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