The 15-year-old student rushed at the teacher in broad daylight, chasing him and stabbing him from behind until he fell.
The 35-year-old teacher’s shoulder and hand were injured in the attack. He survived by kicking the teenager off and using a Torah he was carrying as a shield.
Prosecutor Brice Robin explained at a news conference that the teenager "has the profile of someone who was radicalised on the Internet.” The teen, who will turn 16 next week, confessed to investigators that he intended to kill police officers as soon as he was released.
"He claimed to have been acting for Daesh," Robin stated.
"You get the sense that he does not have a full grasp of the fundamentals of Islam," he continued.
This is not the first attack on Jewish teachers in Marseille in recent times.
In November, three people shouted their support for Daesh while stabbing a Jewish teacher in the arms, legs and stomach.
Religious tensions have been high in France following the November 2015 Paris attacks. On Sunday two churches were burned while a boar's head and hateful vandalism marked Perpignan’s largest mosque.