Paperwork and administration

The day after I got another call from the Jewish Agency. I was explained that in addition to the application, I had to provide a few documents and when I said I was planning on leaving by mid-March, the woman thought it would be impossible. I had to meet a coordinator (Shaliah) the next week and my file had to be complete by then. I promised her I would have it on time and she scheduled an appointment in Geneva on the next Thursday. We were Friday and I had less than a week to get a certificate of Judaism for my father (without a ketouba, that would be a little tricky), a birth certificate with an official stamp only delivered by some obscure court in Chambery.

I requested online my birth certificate and got an automatic response saying that it was useless to contact them before the 10th of March if I hadn’t received the document. That basically meant that it could take one month for the French administration to send me this document. Having it certified would probably take another month. I started to understand why the Agency, based in Paris, had some doubts about the likelihood of having my file complete in a week. Fortunately I was born in Geneva and could request it there, provided that I paid 30 CHF for the document, and 3o more for the stamps, but I could have both in 3 days. Or when baksheesh is an official solution…

Another issue was to be resolved: being able to prove that my father is actually Jewish. My parents have kept a few documents and partly thanks to the Nazis rigour, I have proof that my grandmother’s family had died in deportation.

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The next step was to find a rabbi, officially recognized, who would agree to make me such a certificate. I managed to reach the one from the liberal community but he told me that although he could do me the paper, it would probably not be recognized in Israel. So I tried to reach the other one that I couldn’t contact for a day. Since that moment I had the feeling to be in a Jewish comedy.

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