“‘Toi, Paris, tu m’as pris dans tes bras — You, Paris, you took me into your arms.’ So sang Enrico Macias, an Algerian-born Jew, in his 1964 anthem.
The song was a big hit in France, especially among French Jews, and I remember my parents happily singing along with the catchy tune. France had welcomed my family with open arms after we were suddenly expelled from Egypt with nowhere to go, leaving our possessions and loved ones behind. Eventually my large extended Jewish family settled in Paris and the trauma of our exodus was eclipsed by our happy and successful integration into a new society. We were reborn.”