Wednesday, January 21, 2015
The deadly terror attack on a kosher market in Paris has its CEO considering a move to Manhattan — where his wife and kids relocated last year to escape surging anti-Semitism in their native country.
Michel Emsalem, who founded the French Hyper Cacher grocery chain, said Tuesday that his two teenage daughters "are much more secure in New York" and that he's thinking of joining them and their mom.
"God bless America," Emsalem said in broken English during an appearance with Mayor de Blasio at a memorial outside his shuttered store. "We can see the support of America against all of these terrible acts and [for] the Jewish community. It's a big support."
Emsalem's wife, who has been living in an Upper East Side rental since April, said she jumped at the chance to work in Manhattan due to worries about attacks in Paris.
Dinah Emsalem said the Jan. 9 murders of three shoppers and a Hyper Cacher worker by a terrorist "confirmed to me that my fears were real and justified."
"I had expected that to happen for some time," she said. "I had warned [my husband] and I had warned my family."
Dinah, 43, said she, her husband and kids had already applied for immigration green cards and that she went online a day after the supermarket massacre to re-enroll daughters Rebecca, 14, and Sarah, 16, in the private Lycée Français de New York for next year.
"We don't feel protected and welcome in France," she said.
Dinah — who is COO of North American operations for the French fashion firm Sandro, Maje, Claudie Pierlot — said she and her girls have been "quite happy" since moving to New York. "I think the United States is much more open to diversity, and we feel much more comfortable," she said.
Dinah also said she was hopeful that Michel, 50, could join them full-time, rather than just visiting for a week at a time every month or so. But while Michel said he coincidentally sold his stake of Hyper Cacher a day before the attack, he retained the titles of CEO and president and Dinah said "he has to get himself organized" before making a move.
She also noted that they both have elderly parents in France.
"It's not a decision at this stage," she said. "It's more an option that we have been considering and are more considering now."
Paris Deputy Mayor Patrick Klugman was overheard telling de Blasio that New York is the new promised land for disaffected French Jews.
"The Jews used to say, 'Next year in Jerusalem.' Now we say, 'Next year in New York,' " Klugman said.
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