Jewish people have been told to leave skull caps at home after the ISIS attack in Marseille
French President François Hollande has said it is "intolerable" French Jews feel they cannot openly express their religion.
He spoke passionately following a machete attack on a Jewish teacher in Marseille in which the attacker later told police he acted on behalf of Islamic State (ISIS) – also called Daesh.
"It is intolerable that in our country citizens should feel so upset and under assault because of their religious choice that they would conclude that they have to hide
Avi Anmar, head of the Israelite Consistory of Marseille, asked Jewish people to not wear the kippah "until better days".
But Mr Hollande said they should not have to do this.
He said: "It is intolerable that in our country citizens should feel so upset and under assault because of their religious choice that they would conclude that they have to hide."
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve met with Jewish authorities in Marseille following the attack
In France, the burqa and any face covering headgear has been banned since 2010.
Mr Anmar asked his fellow Jews to not wear the traditional skull cap was the hardest decision of his life.
But he said he preferred "being criticised for making this decision than regretting one day if by misfortune something very grave occurs".
Other Jewish leaders did not agree with his advice, calling it "defeatist".
The Grand Rabbi of France, Haim Korsia, tweeted: "We must not cede to emotion."
Anti-terrorism police have opened up an investigation following the Marseille attack.
Rabbis in France have said Jews must continue to wear kippahs in the face of hatred
President Hollande attended a memorial service for the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attacks
It came four days after a man with a butcher's knife was fatally shot when authorities said he tried to attack police at a central Paris station.
German authorities said the man at lived at an asylum-seekers shelter in Recklinghausen in the northwest of Germany.
The French people have just marked the anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo attacks which killed 17 people last year.
Many are still reeling from a series of coordinated attacks across Paris in November which left 130 people dead after Islamist militants stormed concert halls, a stadium and cafes.