IS: Were the Boy Scouts of mixed religions?

PM: No. It was E.I.F. Ė Eclaireurs Israélites de France Ė which means "Jewish Scouts of France."

IS: What was it like to be the children of a rabbi?

PM: It gave us a sense of ethics. My fatherís father and my great-grandfather were rabbis too, and my father tried very hard for me to be a rabbi, but he wasnít very successful. [laughs]

IS: In those days, in a rabbinical family, there must have been a real sense of right and wrong, a kind of black-and-white belief system. Did the strictness smother you?

PM: On the one hand, it can make you feel that way; but on the other, there is a sense of direction. Maybe it was too strict. But if you give me a choice between chaos and discipline, I would take discipline and try to bend it a little bit rather than to live in chaos.

IS: What was it like in Marseilles? How much anti-Semitism was there?

PM: Thatís a very sensitive subject, and itís one of the reasons why we left France in 1981.

IS: Meaning?

PM: You could not feel safe about being Jewish at the time I was there. You could not talk openly about your beliefs. Cursing at Jewish people and things like that were common Ė finding your parentsí car scratched in front of your home was normal.

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