The vice-president of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions of France (CRIF), Gil Taieb, died at the age of 66, the institution announced on Tuesday April 16, saluting a “tireless activist, fervent defender of Israel and of the Jewish community.” “This is a huge loss for the Jewish community and its institutions. His disappearance leaves a huge void,” CRIF wrote on its social networks.

“Committed, charismatic, courageous and caring, he never gave up the smile he always wore, until the last moments of the fight he waged against illness,” according to CRIF president Yonathan Arfi.

For its part, the Elysée hailed an “ardent humanist, herald of the fight against anti-Semitism and all forms of hatred”. “His fifty-year commitment to the heart of the French Jewish community, where he held the highest positions, was draped in the colors of the universal,” added the presidency.

“The President of the Republic and his wife salute the memory of a tutelary figure of interreligious dialogue, who held the Republic and its values ​​at the heart,” further argued the Elysée.

Fight against anti-Semitism

The Minister of Culture, Rachida Dati, expressed her “great sadness” and her colleague Aurore Bergé, responsible for the fight against discrimination, praised “an ardent defender of our republican and universalist values”.

“His contribution against online hatred has made significant progress in our fight for a more just and respectful world,” said Dilcrah (interministerial delegation for the fight against racism, anti-Semitism and anti-LGBT hatred).

His memory was also praised by the United Jewish Social Fund (FSJU) of which he was vice-president and which said it was “devastated”. The Consistory of Paris paid tribute to “an essential personality of the French Jewish community”.

“Gil was a friend and a brother for more than twenty years, who touched my life,” reacted the imam of Drancy, Hassen Chalghoumi. Responsible for relations with Judaism within the Catholic Church, Father Christophe Le Sourt hailed “a conduit of fraternity”.

On the political side, former Europe Minister Clément Beaune praised his “energy” which “impressed and reassured”. MP Sylvain Maillard, president of the Renaissance group, deplored “an immense loss” and his PS colleague Jérôme Guedj greeted “a mensch”.

Several Parisian elected officials also reacted, including Horizons mayor of the 9th arrondissement, Delphine Bürkli, who praised “a strong voice, a leader and a man of honor”, ​​and Jean-Luc Romero, socialist deputy at Paris town hall, according to whom Gil Taieb “made his life a personal and collective fight against anti-Semitism”.

Born in Tunisia in 1957, doctor of dental surgery, Gil Taieb also founded the Association to Support Israel (ASI France) in 1990. He was married to Karen Taieb, assistant (related to PS) for heritage at Paris City Hall.