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The end of a Swedish Jewish community?

Malmo’s synagogue (Wikimedia Commons)

STOCKHOLM — The Jewish Community of Malmo, Sweden, may need to dissolve itself by 2029 unless its circumstances change.

Community spokesman Fredrik Sieradski confirmed to JTA on June 25 that the shutdown was a “possible scenario” following a report last week in Expressen in which a local politician said the Jewish community had said it may “die out” in the coming decade, partly because of alleged indifference by authorities to the community’s security needs.

The debate was about a donation of more than $4 million by two philanthropists to cover security costs. The donation followed the objection of the city government’s ruling coalition, comprising the local chapter of Prime Minister Stefan Lofven’s Swedish Social Democratic Party and the Liberals, to allocate the funds from the municipal budget, Expressen reported.

Malmo’s Jewish community has declined amid frequent threats and attacks, mostly by Muslims, from 1,200 several years ago to an estimated 800 or fewer members today.

Malmo has about 300,000 residents, of whom more than a third were either born in Muslim countries or to immigrants from such countries, according to the municipality’s own data.

Last year, the Jewish Community of Umea in northern Sweden dissolved itself primarily over threats by neo-Nazis, but also in connection with harassment by radical Muslims, its former leader, Carinne Sjoberg, has said.

It was the first time in decades that any European Jewish community dissolved itself over security concerns.



JTA

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