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Isidore Isou

Isidore Isou (born Isidor Goldstein) (1925-2007), poet, painter, filmmaker, playwright, novelist and economist, born in Botosani, Romania, into a prosperous family. He left school as a teenager and completed his education as a self-taught man reading extensively the works of major world writers and thinkers. He worked in a textile factory, a drugstore, a printing house, then as an assistant accountant before becoming an editor at a semi-clandestine magazine called Palestina. At the age of sixteen he already wrote the Manifeste de la poésie lettriste in which he advocated what was later known as lettrisme, an artistic and literary movement, inspired mainly by Dadaism and Surrealism, which considers that the essence of poetry consists in the simple sonority of sounds, euphonic combined more or less arbitrarily and in Isou’s opinion the method of creating the first truly international poetry. Along with Serge Moscovici he founded in 1944 the literary and artistic magazine Da (“Yes”) that was soon after closed down by the authorities.

He left Romania illegally in 1945 and immigrated to France, having spent a short time in Italy. His entry into the Parisian literary and artistic cercles was facilitated by a recomandation from the Italian poet Giuseppe Ungaretti. In 1951, Isou released his first movie, the experimental film Traité de bave et d'éternité ("Treatise on Venom And Eternity"), whose premiere took place at the Cannes Film Festival. The film became a virtual Lettriste manifesto. In 1954, La Marche des Jongleurs, one of his first plays, was staged at the Théâtre de Poche Montparnasse. His cinematographic work includes some twenty films while his plastic work is part of important collections, although it has never been the subject of a major retrospective. In 1968, he actively participated in the student movements in Paris.

In his main work La Créatique ou la Novatique (1941–1976), which originally comprised many thousands of pages, Isou explains the two basic concepts of his philosophy: the creative and the renewing. Isou's very numerous works also include essays on chemistry, linguistics, medicine, physics, psychology and law. Isou died in Paris.  

Date of birth:
1925
Date of death:
2007
ID Number:
20870317
Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People
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GOLDSTEIN, GOLDENSTEIN, GOLDSCHTEIN Surnames derive from one of many different origins. Sometimes there may be more than one explanation for the same name.

Literally "gold stone" in German, Goldstein is an occupational surname (also connected with raw material, finished product or implements associated with that trade), which means "touchstone", a tool used by goldsmiths to test the quality of the precious metal. In some cases Goldstein is a matronymic surname (derived from a female ancestor's personal name), linked with the popular Yiddish personal name Golda.

Distinguished bearers of the Jewish family name Goldstein include the Hungarian talmudist Esra Ben Josef Goldstein, also known as Zoref (1805-1879); the German physicist and educator Eugen Goldstein (1850-1930), and the Polish-born Russian engineer, archaeologist and historian Salwian Goldstein (1855-1926).

Serge Moscovici (born Srul Herș Moscovici) (1925-2014), psychologist, historian of science and one of the main theorists of political ecology and social psychology, born in Braila, Romania. The implementation of the anti-Semitic policy by the Romanian government led to his expulsion from the high school in 1938. During the Holocaust he was sent to forced labor until August 1944, when Romania left the alliance with Nazi Germany and sided with the Allies. He joined Romanian Communist Party in 1939 at a time when the Communist movement was illegal in Romania, but he was increasingly disappointed by its policies after 1944, particularly by the censorship of the literary and artistic magazine Da (“Yes”) he founded in Bucharest with Isidor Goldstein, later known as Isidore Isou, the founder of the current called lettrisme, and his implication in a trial for helping Zionist dissidents cross the border illegally. Moscovici left Romania illegally in 1947 and after passing through Hungary, Austria, and Italy he arrived in France. With the assistance of a refugee fund, he studied psychology at the Sorbonne in Paris earning a PhD in 1961.

He was a researcher at Standford University in California and at Yale University in New Haven, CT, before returning to Paris where he became a lecturer at École pratique des hautes études. Moscovici was a visiting professor at the New School in New York, at the Rousseau Institute in Geneva, Switzerland, at the Université catholique de Louvain in Belgium and at the University of Cambridge in England. Moscovici was director of the Laboratory of Social Psychology at École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), founder of the European Laboratory of Social Psychology at the Maison des sciences de l'homme in Paris (1976-2006), first President of the European Association of Experimental Social Psychology and, from 1974 to 1980, of the Committee on Transnational Social Psychology of the Social Research Council. He was also a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and an honorary member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Until his death, he was honorary president of the Serge Moscovici Global Network, founded in 2014 at the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme foundation in Paris. He was named Commandeur de la Légion d’honneur and Doctor Honoris Causa of over fifteen universities in Europe and the Americas.

Moscovici is best known for his research on the influence of minorities on majorities. He published over twenty books, including Essai sur l’histoire humaine de la nature (1968/1977), Hommes domestiques et hommes sauvages (1974), Psychologie des minorités actives (1979), L'Âge des foules: un traité historique de psychologie des masses (1981), Psychologie sociale (1984), De la nature : pour penser l’écologie (2002), Le scandale de la pensée sociale (2013). Chronique des années égarées: récit autobiographique (1997) and Mon après-guerre à Paris: chronique des années retrouvées (published posthomously in 2019) describe his experiences during the Holocaust in Romania and his life in Paris as a refugee during the late 1940s.

Serge Moscovici is the father of the French politician Pierre Moscovici.   

Romanian: Botoșani

Yiddish: באטאשאן, Botoshan

A city in Romania

Botosani is the capital of Botosani County. It is located in the region of Moldavia

 

21ST CENTURY

In 2003 the Jewish population of Botosani was 92.

 

HISTORY

Until the end of the 19th century Botosani had the second largest and most important Jewish community in Moldova. It is possible that the community was established during the 17th century; what is known is that there was a substantial community in Botosani by the early 18th century.

In 1745 merchants in Botosani, including Jews, were granted the right to own their own homes by the gospodar (prince). In 1799 Prince Alexander Ypsilanti bestowed upon the community a privilege granting it the status of an autonomous corporation (the document eventually made its way to the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People in Jerusalem). The community grew, and by 1803 there were 350 families of Jewish taxpayers.

The community continued to grow during the 19th century, a result of Jewish immigration into the area. By the end of the century, in 1899, there were 16,817 Jews living in Botosani (51.8% of the total population). Through the century the community developed trade connections with Leipzig and Brody, and contributed significantly to the economic development of Botosani. In addition to trade, a growing number of Botosani’s Jews engaged in crafts. This aroused the opposition of the local Christian population, which demanded that the authorities prohibit Jews from these trades. Nonetheless, by 1899 more than 75% of the city’s merchants, and approximately 68% of its artisans, were Jewish.

Though the Jews of Botosani generally lived in peace, there were outbreaks of anti-Jewish violence. Anti-Jewish riots broke out in 1870; later, during the Romanian peasant revolt of 1907 antisemitism would once again flare up. There were also internal divisions within the community; when the Jewish communities of Romania were deprived of their official status at the beginning of the 1860s, sharp internal conflicts within the Botosani community led to its disintegration. Many of the community’s activities ceased, and a number of its organizations shut down.

In spite of the community’s struggles, a number of educational and cultural institutions and activities were started in Botosani during the mid-19th century. In 1866 the Hebrew writer and educator Hillel Kahana founded a secular Jewish school in Botosani, among the first in Romania. Despite opposition from Orthodox circles and several temporary closures, it existed until the outbreak of World War II (1939-1945), and was supported in part by the Alliance Israelite Universelle school system. Teachers at the school included the Hebrew writers David Isaiah Slberbusch, Hirsch Lazar Teller, and Israel Teller. At the beginning of 1882 Silberbush and Teller published the first two issues of the Hebrew monthly “Ha-Or” in Botosani.

A number of Jews from Botosani served in the Romanian Army during the Second Balkan War (June 16-July 18, 1913) and World War I (1914-1918). The community was reorganized after the First World War. During the interwar period, community institutions included two elementary schools (one for boys and one for girls), and a vocational school for girls.

The Jewish community of Botosani numbered 11,840 in 1930 (36.6% of the total population).

 

WORLD WAR II (1939-1945)

During the reign of the Iron Guard (September 1940 - January 1941), the 10,900 Jews then-living in Botosani were the victims of economic repression and various other restrictions. Many were kidnapped by the Iron Guard, beaten up, and tortured. Jewish men in Botosani between the ages of 15 and 70 were conscripted for forced labor, even before the country’s forced labor law was enacted in December 1940. Ultimately, 8,000 Jews worked as forced laborers, half of whom were from outside the city.

In addition to the forced labor, Romanian authorities also deported 42 Jews to Transnistria whom they suspected of being communists. Most of them were killed shortly afterward by the SS and Romanian gendarmes. The total number of Botosani Jews deported to Transnistria eventually reached 148, with some accused of anti-government agitation or propagating emigration.

Meanwhile, the Jewish community worked to aid to the needy. After Poland was occupied by the Germans, the community took care of the many refugees who began arriving in the city. After Germany attacked the Soviet Union (June 1941) 11,000 Jews from villages and towns in the area were evacuated to Botosani; they too were helped by the local community. As a result of the influx of refugees, as well as the dismissal of Jewish children from public schools, the number of students attending elementary schools maintained by the community grew from 452 in 1940 to 1,050 in 1943. Two high schools were also established, attended by 350 pupils.

When the Soviet Army approached the city in April 1944, Botosani descended into complete anarchy, with deserters from the German and Romanian Army terrorizing the city’s inhabitants. The Jewish community then took over municipal functions, establishing a civilian guard, and ensuring that the government hospital and home for the aged continued to function. Delegates from the Jewish community handed over control of the city to the Soviet forces on April 7, after they entered the city. Jews were appointed to all public posts, but the Soviet commander warned them not to turn the city into a "Jewish republic.”

 

POSTWAR

After the war evacuees from the surrounding villages and those who returned from Transnistria settled in the city. Because of these returnees, Botosani's Jewish population rose to 19,550 in 1947.

Beginning in 1956, however, many of Botosani’s Jews immigrated, mostly to Israel. By 1969 there were 500 families and four synagogues remaining; the local shochet (kosher butcher) also served as the community's rabbi. In 1992 there were 200 Jews living n Botosani.

 

Bucharest

Romanian: Bucuresti

Capital of Romania

The historic Jewish district of Bucharest used to be centered around the Choral Temple, and spread from Piata Unirii east towards Dristor. However, most of the Jewish buildings that stood there were destroyed during the 1980s in order to make way for the Bulevardul Unirii. As of 2015, there remain a handful of points of Jewish interest in Bucharest, serving the community of approximately 3,500. The Choral Temple, the Yeshua Tova Synagogue, and the Great Polish Synagogue, continue to hold services; the latter also hosts the city's Holocaust Museum. The Beit Hamidrash Synagogue, which dates back to the late 18th century, is abandoned and decaying, though the structure itself is still (barely) standing. Another abandoned synagogue whose building still stands is the Hevra Amuna (Temple of Faith).

The Jewish History Museum (Muzeul de Istorie a Evreilor din Romania) is located in what was once a synagogue called the Holy Union Temple. The synagogue building itself was constructed in 1836; it began serving as a Jewish history museum in 1978. Mozes Rosen, the chief rabbi of Romania from 1964 until his death in 1994, founded the museum and provided a number of items for its collection.

The State Jewish Theater, which is located in Bucharest, is the oldest uninterrupted Yiddish-language theater in the world. The theater features plays by Jewish playwrights, plays about Jewish topics, and Yiddish plays that run simultaneous Romanian translations through headphones. The theater is located next to the Lauder-Reut Jewish school, which has over 400 students enrolled in its kindergarten, elementary, and middle schools.

HISTORY

The Jewish community of Bucharest was formed both by Sephardic Jews who arrived from the south, chiefly from the Otooman Empire, and later by Ashkenazi Jews arriving from the north. A responsum by the rabbi of Solonika during the 16th century that mentions a Sephardic community is the first documented evidence confirming the presence of Jews in Budapest. The Jewish community began to grow and prosper; some were even the creditors of the ruling princes. This economic success, however, eventually came at a steep price (pun intended); when Prince Michael the Brave revolved against the Turks in November 1593, he ordered that his creditors be killed, among whom were a number of Jews.

Ahskenazi Jews began arriving and establishing their own community towards the middle of the 17th century, drawn there after fleeing the Khmielnitski Massacres taking place in Ukraine. Their numbers grew, and eventually the Ashkenazi community became larger than the Sephardic community. For tax purposes, the Ashkenazi and Sephardic communities were organized into a single community by the state, and were forced to pay a fixed tax to the treasury. Meanwhile, the general population, afraid of economic competition, was intensely hostile towards the Jews. In 1793 residents of the suburb Razvan petitioned Prince Alexander Moruzi to expel the Jews who had recently settled in the area and to demolish the synagogue that they had built. Though the prince ordered that the synagogue be closed, he did not remove the Jews from Razvan and, in fact, issued a decree confirming his protection of them. In 1801 there were anti-Jewish riots following blood libel accusations, and 128 Jews were killed or wounded.

In 1819 Prince Alexandru Sutu officially acknowledged both the Sephardic ("Spanish") and Ashkenazi ("Polish") communities, allowing them to operate as separate entities. This continued until 1949 when the Communist regime once again forced the two communities to join together. By 1832 there were 10 Ashkenazi and one Sephardi synagogues in Bucharest. The Great Synagogue, which was Ashkenazi, was dedicated on Rosh Hashanah, 1847.

In spite of the impressive Great Synagogue, the Ashkenazi community of Bucharest had to deal with a number of fissures and tensions during the 19th century. There were tensions between those were born in Romania, and those who immigrated to Bucharest, who were not under the same system of taxation as the native Romanians. This led the immigrants within the Jewish community, who were considered "foreign subjects" to refuse to pay the tax levied on kosher meat. This was a problem, as this tax constituted the sole income of the community council. The authorities, who were drawn into the conflict, at first upheld the traditional rights of the Jewish communal organization. However, following repeated complaints from both sides, as well as constitutional changes that took place in Romania in 1832, the community was given a new constitution that greatly curtailed its autonomy. Instead of operating autonomously, it fell under the direct authority and close supervision of the municipality. Eventually, in 1851, the Prussian and Austrian subjects (about 300 families) were officially permitted to found a separate community.

The increasing influence of the Haskalah (Jewish Enlightenment), also led to tensions within the Ashkenazi community. It is important to note that this conflict also reflected the economics of the community; those in favor of the Haskalah and who wanted the community to undertake more progressive reforms tended to be from the upper classes, while those who were more traditional tended to be further down the socioeconomic ladder. At that time, the Bucharest Ashkenazi community was torn by strife between the Orthodox and progressive factions. The controversy began to center around a school with a modern curriculum that opened in 1852, as well as the proposal in 1857, led by Ya'akov Lobel, to build a Choral Temple, that would incorporate modern ideas and principles into its services. The appointment of Rabbi Meir Leib Malbim in 1858 as the chief rabbi did not help quell the disputes. Malbim was a fierce and uncompromising opponent of the Reform movement, and he quickly made enemies among Bucharest's Jewish elite. The conflicts between Malbim and those who were in favor of the Reform Movement came to a head in 1862, when Malbim was arrested. He was freed only after Sir Moses Montefiore intervened, and on the condition that he leave Romania. The Choral Synagogue was completed in 1867, and became the center for the modernists of the community.

Among the most prominent spiritual and religious leaders of the community before World War I were Antoine Levy and Moritz (Meir) Beck, who were rabbis of the Choir Temple Congregation from 1867 to 1869 and 1873 to 1923, respectively. Other outstanding figures within the Choir Temple community were Iuliu Barasch and Yitzchak Leib Weinberg. Yitzchak Esiik Taubes was the rabbi of the Orthodox Congregation from 1894 until 1921. The most prominent lay leader was Adolf Stern. Moscu Asher led the Sephardic community, and Rabbi Hayim Bejarano was a noted scholar and poet. Later, the lawyer and politician Wilhelm Filderman would become the president of the Union of Romanian Jews, and Rabbi Jacob Isaac Niemirower would be the country's first chief rabbi. Filderman, in fact, would in 1941 work successfully to annul the decree forcing Jews to wear an identifying badge.

Between the two World Wars the Bucharest community grew in both numbers and importance. The Jewish population of the city, which had become the capital of Greater Romania and attracted immigrants from all parts of the country, increased from 44,000 in 1912 to 74,480 (12% of the total population) in 1930 and 95,072 in 1940. Most Jews worked as artisans, merchants, clerks, and bankers. Others were active in professions such as medicine and law. Several ironworks and foundries were established by the end of the 19th century. Major Jewish business leaders at that time included Leon Abramovici, Sigmund Prager, and Adolph Solomon.

There were a number of Jewish schools in Bucharest, particularly at the turn of the 20th century. Among the most influential was the abovementioned school established in 1852 by Yisrael Pick and Naftali Popper. These founders sought to imbue their school with the Haskalah principles that they believed in, and the school became extremely influential on Jewish education in Romania. There were also vocational institutions serving Jewish workers, including the Ciocanul (Hammer) school which trained Jewish craft workers.

Communal institutions included over 40 synagogues, two cemeteries, 19 schools, a library and museum, two hospitals, a clinic, two homes for the elderly, and two orphanages. There was also a B'nai B'rith, as long as a number of social and cultural organizations serving the community. A number of newspapers also served the community; the first Jewish newspaper, "Israelitul roman," was founded in 1855 and written in Romanian and French. Other publications included "Fraternitatea," "Revista Israelita," "Egalitatea," and "Curierul Israelit." Yiddish and Hebrew language publications included "Et LeDaber," "HaYoetz," and the Zionist newspapers "Mantuirea" and "Hasmonaea." A Yiddish theater was established in the late 1870s, and reached its peak during the interwar period. This theater would later be banned under Ion Antonescu.

Anti-Semitism continued to be a problem for the Jews of Bucharest. In 1866 the visit of Adolph Cremieux, a French lawyer who advocated for the political emancipation of the Jews, resulted in Jewish synagogues and shops being vandalized. The rise of prominence of nationalist leader Alexandru C. Cuza spurred the development of a number of anti-Semitic organizations, many of which were centered at Bucharest University.

In September 1940, with the rise of the Antonescu-Iron Guard coalition, Bucharest became one of the new regime's main centers of the anti-Jewish activities. This culminated in a pogrom during the rebellion of the Legionary Movement; 120 Jews were killed, thousands were arrested and tortured, synagogues were desecrated, and Jewish homes, shops, and community buildings were looted and destroyed.

Until the end of the Antonescu regime in August 1944, the Jews of Bucharest were subjected anti-Semitic legislation and persecution. Jews were legally downgraded to second-class citizens. They could no longer access state-funded education or health care, and their property was confiscated. These restrictions had major economic effects on the community: in 1942 only 27.2% of the city's Jewish population of about 100,000 were registered as employed, compared with 54.3% of the non-Jewish population. In September 1942 several hundred Jews were deported to Transnistria, where many eventually perished. Thousands of other Jews, particularly the young, were required to work as forced laborers.

The lack of access to education, combined with the growing poverty of the Jewish community, spurred the need for the community to greatly expand their own educational and social welfare activities. In 1943 the Jewish community ran 27 schools and 21 soup kitchens. Bucharest became the center of relief activities for Romanian Jews.

The Jews of Bucharest were saved after Antonescu was deposed on August 23, 1944 and German forces were not able to entering the city. Though Adolf Eichmann had begun making preparations to deport Romania's Jews, the fierce opposition on the part of the Romanian army, coupled with the entry of the Soviet Army on August 30, 1944, prevented any of these plans from being carried out.

After World War II, large numbers of Jewish refugees and concentration camp survivors began arriving in the city; by 1947 the Jewish population had grown to 150,000. The Communist regime, which came to power in 1947, gradually closed all Jewish national, cultural, and social institutions in Bucharest. The welfare institutions were nationalized and the schools were absorbed into the general educational network. A state Yiddish school was opened in 1949, but closed a few years later. A State Yiddish Theater was founded in 1948 and a Yiddish drama school was established in 1957. Two Jewish newspapers, the Romanian "Unirea," followed later by "Viata Novua" and the Yiddish "Ikuf Bleter" were published. Of the 44,202 Jews (3.6% of the total population) registered in the city in the 1956 census, 4,425 of them declared Yiddish to be their mother tongue. In spite of the difficulties in living under a Communist regime, Rabbi Mozes Rosen was able to successfully navigate the opaque policies of the Romanian government, allowing Bucharest to continue to serve as the center of Jewish communal and cultural life.

The rise of Nicolae Ceausescu, who was the dictator of Romania between 1965 and 1989, prompted mass emigrations to Israel. In 1969 it was estimated that there were 50,000 Jews living in Bucharest; by the turn of the 21st century there were only about 4,000.

Paris

Capital of France

In 582, the date of the first documentary evidence of the presence of Jews in Paris, there was already a community with a synagogue. In 614 or 615, the sixth council of Paris decided that Jews who held public office, and their families, must convert to Christianity. From the 12th century on there was a Jewish quarter. According to one of the sources of Joseph ha- Kohen's Emek ha-Bakha, Paris Jews owned about half the land in Paris and the vicinity. They employed many Christian servants and the objects they took in pledge included even church vessels.

Far more portentous was the blood libel which arose against the Jews of Blois in 1171. In 1182, Jews were expelled. The crown confiscated the houses of the Jews as well as the synagogue and the king gave 24 of them to the drapers of Paris and 18 to the furriers. When the Jews were permitted to return to the kingdom of France in 1198 they settled in Paris, in and around the present rue Ferdinand Duval, which became the Jewish quarter once again in the modern era.

The famous disputation on the Talmud was held in Paris in 1240. The Jewish delegation was led by Jehiel b. Joseph of Paris. After the condemnation of the Talmud, 24 cart-loads of Jewish books were burned in public in the Place de Greve, now the Place de l'Hotel de Ville. A Jewish moneylender called Jonathan was accused of desecrating the host in 1290. It is said that this was the main cause of the expulsion of 1306.

Tax rolls of the Jews of Paris of 1292 and 1296 give a good picture of their economic and social status. One striking fact is that a great many of them originated from the provinces. In spite of the prohibition on the settlement of Jews expelled from England, a number of recent arrivals from that country are listed. As in many other places, the profession of physician figures most prominently among the professions noted. The majority of the rest of the Jews engaged in moneylending and commerce. During the same period the composition of the Jewish community, which numbered at least 100 heads of families, changed to a large extent through migration and the number also declined to a marked degree. One of the most illustrious Jewish scholars of medieval France, Judah b. Isaac, known as Sir Leon of Paris, headed the yeshiva of Paris in the early years of the 13th century. He was succeeded by Jehiel b. Joseph, the Jewish leader at the 1240 disputation. After the wholesale destruction of
Jewish books on this occasion until the expulsion of 1306, the yeshivah of Paris produced no more scholars of note.

In 1315, a small number of Jews returned and were expelled again in 1322. The new community was formed in Paris in 1359. Although the Jews were under the protection of the provost of Paris, this was to no avail against the murderous attacks and looting in 1380 and 1382 perpetrated by a populace in revolt against the tax burden. King Charles VI relieved the Jews of responsibility for the valuable pledges which had been stolen from them on this occasion and granted them other financial concessions, but the community was unable to recover. In 1394, the community was struck by the Denis de Machaut affair. Machaut, a Jewish convert to Christianity, had disappeared and the Jews were accused of having murdered him or, at the very least, of having imprisoned him until he agreed to return to Judaism. Seven Jewish notables were condemned to death, but their sentence was commuted to a heavy fine allied to imprisonment until Machaut reappeared. This affair was a prelude to the "definitive" expulsion of the Jews from France in 1394.

From the beginning of the 18th century the Jews of Metz applied to the authorities for permission to enter Paris on their business pursuits; gradually the periods of their stay in the capital increased and were prolonged. At the same time, the city saw the arrival of Jews from Bordeaux (the "Portuguese") and from Avignon. From 1721 to 1772 a police inspector was given special charge over the Jews.
After the discontinuation of the office, the trustee of the Jews from 1777 was Jacob Rodrigues Pereire, a Jew from Bordeaux, who had charge over a group of Spanish and Portuguese Jews, while the German Jews (from Metz, Alsace, and Loraine) were led by Moses Eliezer Liefman Calmer, and those from Avignon by Israel Salom. The German Jews lived in the poor quarters of Saint-Martin and Saint-Denis, and those from Bordeaux, Bayonne, and Avignon inhabited the more luxurious quarters of Saint Germaine and Saint André.

Large numbers of the Jews eked out a miserable living in peddling. The more well-to-do were moneylenders, military purveyors and traders in jewels. There were also some craftsmen among them. Inns preparing kosher food existed from 1721; these also served as prayer rooms. The first publicly acknowledged synagogue was opened in rue de Brisemiche in 1788. The number of Jews of Paris just before the revolution was probably no greater than 500. On Aug. 26, 1789 they presented the constituent assembly with a petition asking for the rights of citizens. Full citizenship rights were granted to the Spanish, Portuguese, and Avignon Jews on Jan. 28, 1790.

After the freedom of movement brought about by emancipation, a large influx of Jews arrived in Paris, numbering 2,908 in 1809. When the Jewish population of Paris had reached between 6,000 and 7,000 persons, the Consistory began to build the first great synagogue. The Consistory established its first primary school in 1819.

The 30,000 or so Jews who lived in Paris in 1869 constituted about 40% of the Jewish population of France. The great majority originated from Metz, Alsace, Lorraine, and Germany, and there were already a few hundreds from Poland. Apart from a very few wealthy capitalists, the great majority of the Jews belonged to the middle economic level. The liberal professions also attracted numerous Jews; the community included an increasing number of professors, lawyers, and physicians. After 1881 the Jewish population increased with the influx of refugees from Poland, Russia, and the Slav provinces of Austria and Romania. At the same time, there was a marked increase in the anti-Semitic movement. The Dreyfus affair, from 1894, split the intellectuals of Paris into "Dreyfusards" and "anti-Dreyfusards" who frequently clashed on the streets, especially in the Latin Quarter. With the law separating church and state in 1905, the Jewish consistories lost their official status, becoming no more than private religious associations. The growing numbers of Jewish immigrants to Paris resented the heavy hand of a Consistory, which was largely under the control of Jews from Alsace and Lorraine, now a minority group. These immigrants formed the greater part of the 13,000 "foreign" Jews who enlisted in World War 1. Especially after 1918, Jews began to arrive from north Africa, Turkey, and the Balkans, and in greatly increased numbers from eastern Europe. Thus in 1939 there were around 150,000 Jews in Paris (over half the total in France). The Jews lived all over the city but there were large concentrations of them in the north and east. More than 150 landmanschaften composed of immigrants from eastern Europe and many charitable societies united large numbers of Jews, while at this period the Paris Consistory (which retained the name with its changed function) had no more than 6,000 members.

Only one of the 19th-century Jewish primary schools was still in existence in 1939, but a few years earlier the system of Jewish education which was strictly private in nature acquired a secondary school and a properly supervised religious education, for which the Consistory was responsible. Many great Jewish scholars were born and lived in Paris in the modern period. They included the Nobel Prize winners Rene Cassin and A. Lwoff. On June 14, 1940, the Wehrmacht entered Paris, which was proclaimed an open city. Most Parisians left, including the Jews. However, the population returned in the following weeks. A sizable number of well-known Jews fled to England and the USA. (Andre Maurois), while some, e.g. Rene Cassin and Gaston Palewski, joined General de Gaulle's free French movement in London. Parisian Jews were active from the very beginning in resistance movements. The march to the etoile on Nov. 11, 1940, of high school and university students, the first major public manifestation of resistance, included among its organizers Francis Cohen, Suzanne Dijan, and Bernard Kirschen.

The first roundups of Parisian Jews of foreign nationality took place in 1941; about 5,000 "foreign" Jews were deported on May 14, about 8,000 "foreigners" in August, and about 100 "intellectuals" on December 13. On July 16, 1942, 12,884 Jews were rounded up in Paris (including about 4,000 children). The Parisian Jews represented over half the 85,000 Jews deported from France to extermination camps in the east. During the night of Oct. 2-3, 1941, seven Parisian synagogues were attacked.

Several scores of Jews fell in the Paris insurrection in August, 1944. Many streets in Paris and the outlying suburbs bear the names of Jewish heroes and martyrs of the Holocaust period and the memorial to the unknown Jewish martyr, a part of the Centre de documentation juive contemporaire, was erected in in 1956 in the heart of Paris.

Between 1955 and 1965, the Jewish community experienced a demographic transformation with the arrival of more than 300,000 Sephardi Jews from North Africa. These Jewish immigrants came primarily from Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt. At the time, Morocco and Tunisia were French protectorates unlike Algeria which was directly governed by France. Since their arrival, the Sephardi Jews of North Africa have remained the majority (60%) of French Jewry.

In 1968 Paris and its suburbs contained about 60% of the Jewish population of France. In 1968 it was estimated at between 300,000 and 350,000 (about 5% of the total population). In 1950, two-thirds of the Jews were concentrated in about a dozen of the poorer or commercial districts in the east of the city. The social and economic advancement of the second generation of east European immigrants, the influx of north Africans, and the gradual implementation of the urban renewal program caused a considerable change in the once Jewish districts and the dispersal of the Jews throughout other districts of Paris.

Between 1957 and 1966 the number of Jewish communities in the Paris region rose from 44 to 148. The Paris Consistory, traditionally presided over by a member of the Rothschild family, officially provides for all religious needs. Approximately 20 synagogues and meeting places for prayer observing Ashkenazi or Sephardi rites are affiliated with the Consistory, which also provides for the religious needs of new communities in the suburbs. This responsibility is shared by traditional orthodox elements, who, together with the reform and other independent groups, maintain another 30 or so synagogues. The orientation and information office of the Fonds social juif unifie had advised or assisted over 100,000 refugees from north Africa. It works in close cooperation with government services and social welfare and educational institutions of the community. Paris was one of the very few cities in the diaspora with a full-fledged Israel-type school, conducted by Israeli teachers according to an Israeli curriculum.

The Six-Day War (1967), which drew thousands of Jews into debates and
Pro-Israel demonstrations, was an opportunity for many of them to reassess their personal attitude toward the Jewish people. During the "students' revolution" of 1968 in nearby Nanterre and in the Sorbonne, young Jews played an outstanding role in the leadership of left-wing activists and often identified with Arab anti-Israel propaganda extolling the Palestinian organizations. Eventually, however, when the "revolutionary" wave subsided, it appeared that the bulk of Jewish students in Paris, including many supporters of various new left groups, remained loyal to Israel and strongly opposed Arab terrorism.

As of 2015, France was home to the third largest Jewish population in the world. It was also the largest in all of Europe. More than half the Jews in France live in the Paris metropolitan area. According to the World Jewish Congress, an estimated 350,000 Jews live in the city of Paris and its many districts. By 2014, Paris had become the largest Jewish city outside of Israel and the United States. Comprising 6% of the city’s total population (2.2 million), the Jews of Paris are a sizeable minority.

There are more than twenty organizations dedicated to serving the Jewish community of Paris. Several offer social services while others combat anti-Semitism. There are those like the Paris Consistory which financially supports many of the city's congregations. One of the largest organizations is the Alliance Israélite Universelle which focuses on self-defense, human rights and Jewish education. The FSJU or Unified Social Jewish Fund assists in the absorption of new immigrants. Other major organizations include the ECJC (European Council of Jewish Communities), EAJCC (European Association of Jewish Communities), ACIP (Association Consitoriale Israelité), CRIF (Representative Council of Jewish Institutions), and the UEJF (Jewish Students Union of France).

Being the third largest Jewish city behind New York and Los Angeles, Paris is home to numerous synagogues. By 2013, there were more than eighty three individual congregations. While the majority of these are orthodox, many conservative and liberal congregations can be found across Paris. During the 1980s, the city received an influx of orthodox Jews, primarily as a result of the Lubavitch movement which has since been very active in Paris and throughout France.

Approximately 4% of school-age children in France are enrolled in Jewish day schools. In Paris, there are over thirty private Jewish schools. These include those associated with both the orthodox and liberal movements. Chabad Lubavitch has established many educational programs of its own. The Jewish schools in Paris range from the pre-school to High School level. There are additionally a number of Hebrew schools which enroll students of all ages.

Among countless cultural institutions are museums and memorials which preserve the city's Jewish history. Some celebrate the works of Jewish artists while others commemorate the Holocaust and remember its victims. The Museum of Jewish art displays sketches by Mane-Katz, the paintings of Alphonse Levy and the lithographs of Chagall. At the Center of Contemporary Jewish Documentation (CDJC), stands the Memorial de la Shoah. Here, visitors can view the center's many Holocaust memorials including the Memorial of the Unknown Jewish Martyrs, the Wall of Names, and the Wall of the Righteous Among the Nations. Located behind the Notre Dame is the Memorial of Deportation, a memorial to the 200,000 Jews who were deported from Vichy France to the Nazi concentration camps. On the wall of a primary school on rue Buffault is a plaque commemorating the 12,000 Parisian Jewish children who died in Auschwitz following their deportation from France between 1942 and 1944.

For decades, Paris has been the center of the intellectual and cultural life of French Jewry. The city offers a number of institutions dedicated to Jewish history and culture. Located at the Alliance Israélite Universalle is the largest Jewish library in all of Europe. At the Bibliothèque Medem is the Paris Library of Yiddish. The Mercaz Rashi is home to the University Center for Jewish Studies, a well known destination for Jewish education. One of the most routinely visited cultural centers in Paris is the Chabad House. As of 2014, it was the largest in the world. The Chabad House caters to thousands of Jewish students from Paris and elsewhere every year.

Located in the city of Paris are certain districts, many of them historic, which are well known for their significant Jewish populations. One in particular is Le Marais “The Marsh”, which had long been an aristocratic district of Paris until much of the city’s nobility began to move. By the end of the 19th century, the district had become an active commercial area. It was at this time that thousands of Ashkenazi Jews fleeing persecution in Eastern Europe began to settle Le Marais, bringing their specialization in clothing with them. Arriving from Romania, Austria, Hungary and Russia, they developed a new community alongside an already established community of Parisian Jews. As Jewish immigration continued into the mid 20th century, this Jewish quarter in the fourth arrondissement of Paris became known as the “Pletzl”, a Yiddish term meaning “little place”. Despite having been targeted by the Nazis during World War II, the area has continued to be a major center of the Paris Jewish community. Since the 1990s, the area has grown. Along the Rue des Rosiers are a number of Jewish restaurants, bookstores, kosher food outlets and synagogues. Another notable area with a sizeable Jewish community is in the city’s 9th district. Known as the Faubourg-Montmarte, it is home to several synagogues, kosher restaurants as well as many offices to a number of Jewish organizations.

With centuries-old Jewish neighborhoods, Paris has its share of important Jewish landmarks. Established in 1874 is the Rothschild Synagogue and while it may not be ancient, its main attraction is its rabbis who are well known for being donned in Napoleonic era apparel. The synagogue on Rue Buffault opened in 1877 and was the first synagogue in Paris to adopt the Spanish/Portuguese rite. Next to the synagogue is a memorial dedicated to the 12,000 children who perished in the Holocaust. The Copernic synagogue is the city’s largest non-orthodox congregation. In 1980 it was the target of an anti-Semitic bombing which led to the death of four people during the celebration of Simchat Torah, the first attack against the Jewish people in France since World War II. In the 1970s, the remains of what many believed to have been a Yeshiva were found under the Rouen Law Courts. Just an hour outside of Paris, this site is presumed to be from the 12th century when Jews comprised nearly 20% of the total population.

Serving many of the medical needs of the Jewish community of Paris are organizations such as the OSE and CASIP. While the Rothschild hospital provides general medical care, the OSE or Society for the Health of the Jewish Population, offers several health centers around the city. CASIP focuses on providing the community social services include children and elderly homes.

Being a community of nearly 400,000 people, the Jews of Paris enjoy a diversity of media outlets centered on Jewish culture. Broadcasted every week are Jewish television programs which include news and a variety of entertainment. On radio are several stations such as Shalom Paris which airs Jewish music, news and programming. Circulating throughout Paris are two weekly Jewish papers and a number of monthly journals. One of the city’s major newspapers is the Actualité Juive. There are also online journals such as the Israel Infos and Tribute Juive.

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Isidore Isou

Isidore Isou (born Isidor Goldstein) (1925-2007), poet, painter, filmmaker, playwright, novelist and economist, born in Botosani, Romania, into a prosperous family. He left school as a teenager and completed his education as a self-taught man reading extensively the works of major world writers and thinkers. He worked in a textile factory, a drugstore, a printing house, then as an assistant accountant before becoming an editor at a semi-clandestine magazine called Palestina. At the age of sixteen he already wrote the Manifeste de la poésie lettriste in which he advocated what was later known as lettrisme, an artistic and literary movement, inspired mainly by Dadaism and Surrealism, which considers that the essence of poetry consists in the simple sonority of sounds, euphonic combined more or less arbitrarily and in Isou’s opinion the method of creating the first truly international poetry. Along with Serge Moscovici he founded in 1944 the literary and artistic magazine Da (“Yes”) that was soon after closed down by the authorities.

He left Romania illegally in 1945 and immigrated to France, having spent a short time in Italy. His entry into the Parisian literary and artistic cercles was facilitated by a recomandation from the Italian poet Giuseppe Ungaretti. In 1951, Isou released his first movie, the experimental film Traité de bave et d'éternité ("Treatise on Venom And Eternity"), whose premiere took place at the Cannes Film Festival. The film became a virtual Lettriste manifesto. In 1954, La Marche des Jongleurs, one of his first plays, was staged at the Théâtre de Poche Montparnasse. His cinematographic work includes some twenty films while his plastic work is part of important collections, although it has never been the subject of a major retrospective. In 1968, he actively participated in the student movements in Paris.

In his main work La Créatique ou la Novatique (1941–1976), which originally comprised many thousands of pages, Isou explains the two basic concepts of his philosophy: the creative and the renewing. Isou's very numerous works also include essays on chemistry, linguistics, medicine, physics, psychology and law. Isou died in Paris.  

Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People

Paris
Bucharest
Botosani

Paris

Capital of France

In 582, the date of the first documentary evidence of the presence of Jews in Paris, there was already a community with a synagogue. In 614 or 615, the sixth council of Paris decided that Jews who held public office, and their families, must convert to Christianity. From the 12th century on there was a Jewish quarter. According to one of the sources of Joseph ha- Kohen's Emek ha-Bakha, Paris Jews owned about half the land in Paris and the vicinity. They employed many Christian servants and the objects they took in pledge included even church vessels.

Far more portentous was the blood libel which arose against the Jews of Blois in 1171. In 1182, Jews were expelled. The crown confiscated the houses of the Jews as well as the synagogue and the king gave 24 of them to the drapers of Paris and 18 to the furriers. When the Jews were permitted to return to the kingdom of France in 1198 they settled in Paris, in and around the present rue Ferdinand Duval, which became the Jewish quarter once again in the modern era.

The famous disputation on the Talmud was held in Paris in 1240. The Jewish delegation was led by Jehiel b. Joseph of Paris. After the condemnation of the Talmud, 24 cart-loads of Jewish books were burned in public in the Place de Greve, now the Place de l'Hotel de Ville. A Jewish moneylender called Jonathan was accused of desecrating the host in 1290. It is said that this was the main cause of the expulsion of 1306.

Tax rolls of the Jews of Paris of 1292 and 1296 give a good picture of their economic and social status. One striking fact is that a great many of them originated from the provinces. In spite of the prohibition on the settlement of Jews expelled from England, a number of recent arrivals from that country are listed. As in many other places, the profession of physician figures most prominently among the professions noted. The majority of the rest of the Jews engaged in moneylending and commerce. During the same period the composition of the Jewish community, which numbered at least 100 heads of families, changed to a large extent through migration and the number also declined to a marked degree. One of the most illustrious Jewish scholars of medieval France, Judah b. Isaac, known as Sir Leon of Paris, headed the yeshiva of Paris in the early years of the 13th century. He was succeeded by Jehiel b. Joseph, the Jewish leader at the 1240 disputation. After the wholesale destruction of
Jewish books on this occasion until the expulsion of 1306, the yeshivah of Paris produced no more scholars of note.

In 1315, a small number of Jews returned and were expelled again in 1322. The new community was formed in Paris in 1359. Although the Jews were under the protection of the provost of Paris, this was to no avail against the murderous attacks and looting in 1380 and 1382 perpetrated by a populace in revolt against the tax burden. King Charles VI relieved the Jews of responsibility for the valuable pledges which had been stolen from them on this occasion and granted them other financial concessions, but the community was unable to recover. In 1394, the community was struck by the Denis de Machaut affair. Machaut, a Jewish convert to Christianity, had disappeared and the Jews were accused of having murdered him or, at the very least, of having imprisoned him until he agreed to return to Judaism. Seven Jewish notables were condemned to death, but their sentence was commuted to a heavy fine allied to imprisonment until Machaut reappeared. This affair was a prelude to the "definitive" expulsion of the Jews from France in 1394.

From the beginning of the 18th century the Jews of Metz applied to the authorities for permission to enter Paris on their business pursuits; gradually the periods of their stay in the capital increased and were prolonged. At the same time, the city saw the arrival of Jews from Bordeaux (the "Portuguese") and from Avignon. From 1721 to 1772 a police inspector was given special charge over the Jews.
After the discontinuation of the office, the trustee of the Jews from 1777 was Jacob Rodrigues Pereire, a Jew from Bordeaux, who had charge over a group of Spanish and Portuguese Jews, while the German Jews (from Metz, Alsace, and Loraine) were led by Moses Eliezer Liefman Calmer, and those from Avignon by Israel Salom. The German Jews lived in the poor quarters of Saint-Martin and Saint-Denis, and those from Bordeaux, Bayonne, and Avignon inhabited the more luxurious quarters of Saint Germaine and Saint André.

Large numbers of the Jews eked out a miserable living in peddling. The more well-to-do were moneylenders, military purveyors and traders in jewels. There were also some craftsmen among them. Inns preparing kosher food existed from 1721; these also served as prayer rooms. The first publicly acknowledged synagogue was opened in rue de Brisemiche in 1788. The number of Jews of Paris just before the revolution was probably no greater than 500. On Aug. 26, 1789 they presented the constituent assembly with a petition asking for the rights of citizens. Full citizenship rights were granted to the Spanish, Portuguese, and Avignon Jews on Jan. 28, 1790.

After the freedom of movement brought about by emancipation, a large influx of Jews arrived in Paris, numbering 2,908 in 1809. When the Jewish population of Paris had reached between 6,000 and 7,000 persons, the Consistory began to build the first great synagogue. The Consistory established its first primary school in 1819.

The 30,000 or so Jews who lived in Paris in 1869 constituted about 40% of the Jewish population of France. The great majority originated from Metz, Alsace, Lorraine, and Germany, and there were already a few hundreds from Poland. Apart from a very few wealthy capitalists, the great majority of the Jews belonged to the middle economic level. The liberal professions also attracted numerous Jews; the community included an increasing number of professors, lawyers, and physicians. After 1881 the Jewish population increased with the influx of refugees from Poland, Russia, and the Slav provinces of Austria and Romania. At the same time, there was a marked increase in the anti-Semitic movement. The Dreyfus affair, from 1894, split the intellectuals of Paris into "Dreyfusards" and "anti-Dreyfusards" who frequently clashed on the streets, especially in the Latin Quarter. With the law separating church and state in 1905, the Jewish consistories lost their official status, becoming no more than private religious associations. The growing numbers of Jewish immigrants to Paris resented the heavy hand of a Consistory, which was largely under the control of Jews from Alsace and Lorraine, now a minority group. These immigrants formed the greater part of the 13,000 "foreign" Jews who enlisted in World War 1. Especially after 1918, Jews began to arrive from north Africa, Turkey, and the Balkans, and in greatly increased numbers from eastern Europe. Thus in 1939 there were around 150,000 Jews in Paris (over half the total in France). The Jews lived all over the city but there were large concentrations of them in the north and east. More than 150 landmanschaften composed of immigrants from eastern Europe and many charitable societies united large numbers of Jews, while at this period the Paris Consistory (which retained the name with its changed function) had no more than 6,000 members.

Only one of the 19th-century Jewish primary schools was still in existence in 1939, but a few years earlier the system of Jewish education which was strictly private in nature acquired a secondary school and a properly supervised religious education, for which the Consistory was responsible. Many great Jewish scholars were born and lived in Paris in the modern period. They included the Nobel Prize winners Rene Cassin and A. Lwoff. On June 14, 1940, the Wehrmacht entered Paris, which was proclaimed an open city. Most Parisians left, including the Jews. However, the population returned in the following weeks. A sizable number of well-known Jews fled to England and the USA. (Andre Maurois), while some, e.g. Rene Cassin and Gaston Palewski, joined General de Gaulle's free French movement in London. Parisian Jews were active from the very beginning in resistance movements. The march to the etoile on Nov. 11, 1940, of high school and university students, the first major public manifestation of resistance, included among its organizers Francis Cohen, Suzanne Dijan, and Bernard Kirschen.

The first roundups of Parisian Jews of foreign nationality took place in 1941; about 5,000 "foreign" Jews were deported on May 14, about 8,000 "foreigners" in August, and about 100 "intellectuals" on December 13. On July 16, 1942, 12,884 Jews were rounded up in Paris (including about 4,000 children). The Parisian Jews represented over half the 85,000 Jews deported from France to extermination camps in the east. During the night of Oct. 2-3, 1941, seven Parisian synagogues were attacked.

Several scores of Jews fell in the Paris insurrection in August, 1944. Many streets in Paris and the outlying suburbs bear the names of Jewish heroes and martyrs of the Holocaust period and the memorial to the unknown Jewish martyr, a part of the Centre de documentation juive contemporaire, was erected in in 1956 in the heart of Paris.

Between 1955 and 1965, the Jewish community experienced a demographic transformation with the arrival of more than 300,000 Sephardi Jews from North Africa. These Jewish immigrants came primarily from Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt. At the time, Morocco and Tunisia were French protectorates unlike Algeria which was directly governed by France. Since their arrival, the Sephardi Jews of North Africa have remained the majority (60%) of French Jewry.

In 1968 Paris and its suburbs contained about 60% of the Jewish population of France. In 1968 it was estimated at between 300,000 and 350,000 (about 5% of the total population). In 1950, two-thirds of the Jews were concentrated in about a dozen of the poorer or commercial districts in the east of the city. The social and economic advancement of the second generation of east European immigrants, the influx of north Africans, and the gradual implementation of the urban renewal program caused a considerable change in the once Jewish districts and the dispersal of the Jews throughout other districts of Paris.

Between 1957 and 1966 the number of Jewish communities in the Paris region rose from 44 to 148. The Paris Consistory, traditionally presided over by a member of the Rothschild family, officially provides for all religious needs. Approximately 20 synagogues and meeting places for prayer observing Ashkenazi or Sephardi rites are affiliated with the Consistory, which also provides for the religious needs of new communities in the suburbs. This responsibility is shared by traditional orthodox elements, who, together with the reform and other independent groups, maintain another 30 or so synagogues. The orientation and information office of the Fonds social juif unifie had advised or assisted over 100,000 refugees from north Africa. It works in close cooperation with government services and social welfare and educational institutions of the community. Paris was one of the very few cities in the diaspora with a full-fledged Israel-type school, conducted by Israeli teachers according to an Israeli curriculum.

The Six-Day War (1967), which drew thousands of Jews into debates and
Pro-Israel demonstrations, was an opportunity for many of them to reassess their personal attitude toward the Jewish people. During the "students' revolution" of 1968 in nearby Nanterre and in the Sorbonne, young Jews played an outstanding role in the leadership of left-wing activists and often identified with Arab anti-Israel propaganda extolling the Palestinian organizations. Eventually, however, when the "revolutionary" wave subsided, it appeared that the bulk of Jewish students in Paris, including many supporters of various new left groups, remained loyal to Israel and strongly opposed Arab terrorism.

As of 2015, France was home to the third largest Jewish population in the world. It was also the largest in all of Europe. More than half the Jews in France live in the Paris metropolitan area. According to the World Jewish Congress, an estimated 350,000 Jews live in the city of Paris and its many districts. By 2014, Paris had become the largest Jewish city outside of Israel and the United States. Comprising 6% of the city’s total population (2.2 million), the Jews of Paris are a sizeable minority.

There are more than twenty organizations dedicated to serving the Jewish community of Paris. Several offer social services while others combat anti-Semitism. There are those like the Paris Consistory which financially supports many of the city's congregations. One of the largest organizations is the Alliance Israélite Universelle which focuses on self-defense, human rights and Jewish education. The FSJU or Unified Social Jewish Fund assists in the absorption of new immigrants. Other major organizations include the ECJC (European Council of Jewish Communities), EAJCC (European Association of Jewish Communities), ACIP (Association Consitoriale Israelité), CRIF (Representative Council of Jewish Institutions), and the UEJF (Jewish Students Union of France).

Being the third largest Jewish city behind New York and Los Angeles, Paris is home to numerous synagogues. By 2013, there were more than eighty three individual congregations. While the majority of these are orthodox, many conservative and liberal congregations can be found across Paris. During the 1980s, the city received an influx of orthodox Jews, primarily as a result of the Lubavitch movement which has since been very active in Paris and throughout France.

Approximately 4% of school-age children in France are enrolled in Jewish day schools. In Paris, there are over thirty private Jewish schools. These include those associated with both the orthodox and liberal movements. Chabad Lubavitch has established many educational programs of its own. The Jewish schools in Paris range from the pre-school to High School level. There are additionally a number of Hebrew schools which enroll students of all ages.

Among countless cultural institutions are museums and memorials which preserve the city's Jewish history. Some celebrate the works of Jewish artists while others commemorate the Holocaust and remember its victims. The Museum of Jewish art displays sketches by Mane-Katz, the paintings of Alphonse Levy and the lithographs of Chagall. At the Center of Contemporary Jewish Documentation (CDJC), stands the Memorial de la Shoah. Here, visitors can view the center's many Holocaust memorials including the Memorial of the Unknown Jewish Martyrs, the Wall of Names, and the Wall of the Righteous Among the Nations. Located behind the Notre Dame is the Memorial of Deportation, a memorial to the 200,000 Jews who were deported from Vichy France to the Nazi concentration camps. On the wall of a primary school on rue Buffault is a plaque commemorating the 12,000 Parisian Jewish children who died in Auschwitz following their deportation from France between 1942 and 1944.

For decades, Paris has been the center of the intellectual and cultural life of French Jewry. The city offers a number of institutions dedicated to Jewish history and culture. Located at the Alliance Israélite Universalle is the largest Jewish library in all of Europe. At the Bibliothèque Medem is the Paris Library of Yiddish. The Mercaz Rashi is home to the University Center for Jewish Studies, a well known destination for Jewish education. One of the most routinely visited cultural centers in Paris is the Chabad House. As of 2014, it was the largest in the world. The Chabad House caters to thousands of Jewish students from Paris and elsewhere every year.

Located in the city of Paris are certain districts, many of them historic, which are well known for their significant Jewish populations. One in particular is Le Marais “The Marsh”, which had long been an aristocratic district of Paris until much of the city’s nobility began to move. By the end of the 19th century, the district had become an active commercial area. It was at this time that thousands of Ashkenazi Jews fleeing persecution in Eastern Europe began to settle Le Marais, bringing their specialization in clothing with them. Arriving from Romania, Austria, Hungary and Russia, they developed a new community alongside an already established community of Parisian Jews. As Jewish immigration continued into the mid 20th century, this Jewish quarter in the fourth arrondissement of Paris became known as the “Pletzl”, a Yiddish term meaning “little place”. Despite having been targeted by the Nazis during World War II, the area has continued to be a major center of the Paris Jewish community. Since the 1990s, the area has grown. Along the Rue des Rosiers are a number of Jewish restaurants, bookstores, kosher food outlets and synagogues. Another notable area with a sizeable Jewish community is in the city’s 9th district. Known as the Faubourg-Montmarte, it is home to several synagogues, kosher restaurants as well as many offices to a number of Jewish organizations.

With centuries-old Jewish neighborhoods, Paris has its share of important Jewish landmarks. Established in 1874 is the Rothschild Synagogue and while it may not be ancient, its main attraction is its rabbis who are well known for being donned in Napoleonic era apparel. The synagogue on Rue Buffault opened in 1877 and was the first synagogue in Paris to adopt the Spanish/Portuguese rite. Next to the synagogue is a memorial dedicated to the 12,000 children who perished in the Holocaust. The Copernic synagogue is the city’s largest non-orthodox congregation. In 1980 it was the target of an anti-Semitic bombing which led to the death of four people during the celebration of Simchat Torah, the first attack against the Jewish people in France since World War II. In the 1970s, the remains of what many believed to have been a Yeshiva were found under the Rouen Law Courts. Just an hour outside of Paris, this site is presumed to be from the 12th century when Jews comprised nearly 20% of the total population.

Serving many of the medical needs of the Jewish community of Paris are organizations such as the OSE and CASIP. While the Rothschild hospital provides general medical care, the OSE or Society for the Health of the Jewish Population, offers several health centers around the city. CASIP focuses on providing the community social services include children and elderly homes.

Being a community of nearly 400,000 people, the Jews of Paris enjoy a diversity of media outlets centered on Jewish culture. Broadcasted every week are Jewish television programs which include news and a variety of entertainment. On radio are several stations such as Shalom Paris which airs Jewish music, news and programming. Circulating throughout Paris are two weekly Jewish papers and a number of monthly journals. One of the city’s major newspapers is the Actualité Juive. There are also online journals such as the Israel Infos and Tribute Juive.

Bucharest

Romanian: Bucuresti

Capital of Romania

The historic Jewish district of Bucharest used to be centered around the Choral Temple, and spread from Piata Unirii east towards Dristor. However, most of the Jewish buildings that stood there were destroyed during the 1980s in order to make way for the Bulevardul Unirii. As of 2015, there remain a handful of points of Jewish interest in Bucharest, serving the community of approximately 3,500. The Choral Temple, the Yeshua Tova Synagogue, and the Great Polish Synagogue, continue to hold services; the latter also hosts the city's Holocaust Museum. The Beit Hamidrash Synagogue, which dates back to the late 18th century, is abandoned and decaying, though the structure itself is still (barely) standing. Another abandoned synagogue whose building still stands is the Hevra Amuna (Temple of Faith).

The Jewish History Museum (Muzeul de Istorie a Evreilor din Romania) is located in what was once a synagogue called the Holy Union Temple. The synagogue building itself was constructed in 1836; it began serving as a Jewish history museum in 1978. Mozes Rosen, the chief rabbi of Romania from 1964 until his death in 1994, founded the museum and provided a number of items for its collection.

The State Jewish Theater, which is located in Bucharest, is the oldest uninterrupted Yiddish-language theater in the world. The theater features plays by Jewish playwrights, plays about Jewish topics, and Yiddish plays that run simultaneous Romanian translations through headphones. The theater is located next to the Lauder-Reut Jewish school, which has over 400 students enrolled in its kindergarten, elementary, and middle schools.

HISTORY

The Jewish community of Bucharest was formed both by Sephardic Jews who arrived from the south, chiefly from the Otooman Empire, and later by Ashkenazi Jews arriving from the north. A responsum by the rabbi of Solonika during the 16th century that mentions a Sephardic community is the first documented evidence confirming the presence of Jews in Budapest. The Jewish community began to grow and prosper; some were even the creditors of the ruling princes. This economic success, however, eventually came at a steep price (pun intended); when Prince Michael the Brave revolved against the Turks in November 1593, he ordered that his creditors be killed, among whom were a number of Jews.

Ahskenazi Jews began arriving and establishing their own community towards the middle of the 17th century, drawn there after fleeing the Khmielnitski Massacres taking place in Ukraine. Their numbers grew, and eventually the Ashkenazi community became larger than the Sephardic community. For tax purposes, the Ashkenazi and Sephardic communities were organized into a single community by the state, and were forced to pay a fixed tax to the treasury. Meanwhile, the general population, afraid of economic competition, was intensely hostile towards the Jews. In 1793 residents of the suburb Razvan petitioned Prince Alexander Moruzi to expel the Jews who had recently settled in the area and to demolish the synagogue that they had built. Though the prince ordered that the synagogue be closed, he did not remove the Jews from Razvan and, in fact, issued a decree confirming his protection of them. In 1801 there were anti-Jewish riots following blood libel accusations, and 128 Jews were killed or wounded.

In 1819 Prince Alexandru Sutu officially acknowledged both the Sephardic ("Spanish") and Ashkenazi ("Polish") communities, allowing them to operate as separate entities. This continued until 1949 when the Communist regime once again forced the two communities to join together. By 1832 there were 10 Ashkenazi and one Sephardi synagogues in Bucharest. The Great Synagogue, which was Ashkenazi, was dedicated on Rosh Hashanah, 1847.

In spite of the impressive Great Synagogue, the Ashkenazi community of Bucharest had to deal with a number of fissures and tensions during the 19th century. There were tensions between those were born in Romania, and those who immigrated to Bucharest, who were not under the same system of taxation as the native Romanians. This led the immigrants within the Jewish community, who were considered "foreign subjects" to refuse to pay the tax levied on kosher meat. This was a problem, as this tax constituted the sole income of the community council. The authorities, who were drawn into the conflict, at first upheld the traditional rights of the Jewish communal organization. However, following repeated complaints from both sides, as well as constitutional changes that took place in Romania in 1832, the community was given a new constitution that greatly curtailed its autonomy. Instead of operating autonomously, it fell under the direct authority and close supervision of the municipality. Eventually, in 1851, the Prussian and Austrian subjects (about 300 families) were officially permitted to found a separate community.

The increasing influence of the Haskalah (Jewish Enlightenment), also led to tensions within the Ashkenazi community. It is important to note that this conflict also reflected the economics of the community; those in favor of the Haskalah and who wanted the community to undertake more progressive reforms tended to be from the upper classes, while those who were more traditional tended to be further down the socioeconomic ladder. At that time, the Bucharest Ashkenazi community was torn by strife between the Orthodox and progressive factions. The controversy began to center around a school with a modern curriculum that opened in 1852, as well as the proposal in 1857, led by Ya'akov Lobel, to build a Choral Temple, that would incorporate modern ideas and principles into its services. The appointment of Rabbi Meir Leib Malbim in 1858 as the chief rabbi did not help quell the disputes. Malbim was a fierce and uncompromising opponent of the Reform movement, and he quickly made enemies among Bucharest's Jewish elite. The conflicts between Malbim and those who were in favor of the Reform Movement came to a head in 1862, when Malbim was arrested. He was freed only after Sir Moses Montefiore intervened, and on the condition that he leave Romania. The Choral Synagogue was completed in 1867, and became the center for the modernists of the community.

Among the most prominent spiritual and religious leaders of the community before World War I were Antoine Levy and Moritz (Meir) Beck, who were rabbis of the Choir Temple Congregation from 1867 to 1869 and 1873 to 1923, respectively. Other outstanding figures within the Choir Temple community were Iuliu Barasch and Yitzchak Leib Weinberg. Yitzchak Esiik Taubes was the rabbi of the Orthodox Congregation from 1894 until 1921. The most prominent lay leader was Adolf Stern. Moscu Asher led the Sephardic community, and Rabbi Hayim Bejarano was a noted scholar and poet. Later, the lawyer and politician Wilhelm Filderman would become the president of the Union of Romanian Jews, and Rabbi Jacob Isaac Niemirower would be the country's first chief rabbi. Filderman, in fact, would in 1941 work successfully to annul the decree forcing Jews to wear an identifying badge.

Between the two World Wars the Bucharest community grew in both numbers and importance. The Jewish population of the city, which had become the capital of Greater Romania and attracted immigrants from all parts of the country, increased from 44,000 in 1912 to 74,480 (12% of the total population) in 1930 and 95,072 in 1940. Most Jews worked as artisans, merchants, clerks, and bankers. Others were active in professions such as medicine and law. Several ironworks and foundries were established by the end of the 19th century. Major Jewish business leaders at that time included Leon Abramovici, Sigmund Prager, and Adolph Solomon.

There were a number of Jewish schools in Bucharest, particularly at the turn of the 20th century. Among the most influential was the abovementioned school established in 1852 by Yisrael Pick and Naftali Popper. These founders sought to imbue their school with the Haskalah principles that they believed in, and the school became extremely influential on Jewish education in Romania. There were also vocational institutions serving Jewish workers, including the Ciocanul (Hammer) school which trained Jewish craft workers.

Communal institutions included over 40 synagogues, two cemeteries, 19 schools, a library and museum, two hospitals, a clinic, two homes for the elderly, and two orphanages. There was also a B'nai B'rith, as long as a number of social and cultural organizations serving the community. A number of newspapers also served the community; the first Jewish newspaper, "Israelitul roman," was founded in 1855 and written in Romanian and French. Other publications included "Fraternitatea," "Revista Israelita," "Egalitatea," and "Curierul Israelit." Yiddish and Hebrew language publications included "Et LeDaber," "HaYoetz," and the Zionist newspapers "Mantuirea" and "Hasmonaea." A Yiddish theater was established in the late 1870s, and reached its peak during the interwar period. This theater would later be banned under Ion Antonescu.

Anti-Semitism continued to be a problem for the Jews of Bucharest. In 1866 the visit of Adolph Cremieux, a French lawyer who advocated for the political emancipation of the Jews, resulted in Jewish synagogues and shops being vandalized. The rise of prominence of nationalist leader Alexandru C. Cuza spurred the development of a number of anti-Semitic organizations, many of which were centered at Bucharest University.

In September 1940, with the rise of the Antonescu-Iron Guard coalition, Bucharest became one of the new regime's main centers of the anti-Jewish activities. This culminated in a pogrom during the rebellion of the Legionary Movement; 120 Jews were killed, thousands were arrested and tortured, synagogues were desecrated, and Jewish homes, shops, and community buildings were looted and destroyed.

Until the end of the Antonescu regime in August 1944, the Jews of Bucharest were subjected anti-Semitic legislation and persecution. Jews were legally downgraded to second-class citizens. They could no longer access state-funded education or health care, and their property was confiscated. These restrictions had major economic effects on the community: in 1942 only 27.2% of the city's Jewish population of about 100,000 were registered as employed, compared with 54.3% of the non-Jewish population. In September 1942 several hundred Jews were deported to Transnistria, where many eventually perished. Thousands of other Jews, particularly the young, were required to work as forced laborers.

The lack of access to education, combined with the growing poverty of the Jewish community, spurred the need for the community to greatly expand their own educational and social welfare activities. In 1943 the Jewish community ran 27 schools and 21 soup kitchens. Bucharest became the center of relief activities for Romanian Jews.

The Jews of Bucharest were saved after Antonescu was deposed on August 23, 1944 and German forces were not able to entering the city. Though Adolf Eichmann had begun making preparations to deport Romania's Jews, the fierce opposition on the part of the Romanian army, coupled with the entry of the Soviet Army on August 30, 1944, prevented any of these plans from being carried out.

After World War II, large numbers of Jewish refugees and concentration camp survivors began arriving in the city; by 1947 the Jewish population had grown to 150,000. The Communist regime, which came to power in 1947, gradually closed all Jewish national, cultural, and social institutions in Bucharest. The welfare institutions were nationalized and the schools were absorbed into the general educational network. A state Yiddish school was opened in 1949, but closed a few years later. A State Yiddish Theater was founded in 1948 and a Yiddish drama school was established in 1957. Two Jewish newspapers, the Romanian "Unirea," followed later by "Viata Novua" and the Yiddish "Ikuf Bleter" were published. Of the 44,202 Jews (3.6% of the total population) registered in the city in the 1956 census, 4,425 of them declared Yiddish to be their mother tongue. In spite of the difficulties in living under a Communist regime, Rabbi Mozes Rosen was able to successfully navigate the opaque policies of the Romanian government, allowing Bucharest to continue to serve as the center of Jewish communal and cultural life.

The rise of Nicolae Ceausescu, who was the dictator of Romania between 1965 and 1989, prompted mass emigrations to Israel. In 1969 it was estimated that there were 50,000 Jews living in Bucharest; by the turn of the 21st century there were only about 4,000.

Romanian: Botoșani

Yiddish: באטאשאן, Botoshan

A city in Romania

Botosani is the capital of Botosani County. It is located in the region of Moldavia

 

21ST CENTURY

In 2003 the Jewish population of Botosani was 92.

 

HISTORY

Until the end of the 19th century Botosani had the second largest and most important Jewish community in Moldova. It is possible that the community was established during the 17th century; what is known is that there was a substantial community in Botosani by the early 18th century.

In 1745 merchants in Botosani, including Jews, were granted the right to own their own homes by the gospodar (prince). In 1799 Prince Alexander Ypsilanti bestowed upon the community a privilege granting it the status of an autonomous corporation (the document eventually made its way to the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People in Jerusalem). The community grew, and by 1803 there were 350 families of Jewish taxpayers.

The community continued to grow during the 19th century, a result of Jewish immigration into the area. By the end of the century, in 1899, there were 16,817 Jews living in Botosani (51.8% of the total population). Through the century the community developed trade connections with Leipzig and Brody, and contributed significantly to the economic development of Botosani. In addition to trade, a growing number of Botosani’s Jews engaged in crafts. This aroused the opposition of the local Christian population, which demanded that the authorities prohibit Jews from these trades. Nonetheless, by 1899 more than 75% of the city’s merchants, and approximately 68% of its artisans, were Jewish.

Though the Jews of Botosani generally lived in peace, there were outbreaks of anti-Jewish violence. Anti-Jewish riots broke out in 1870; later, during the Romanian peasant revolt of 1907 antisemitism would once again flare up. There were also internal divisions within the community; when the Jewish communities of Romania were deprived of their official status at the beginning of the 1860s, sharp internal conflicts within the Botosani community led to its disintegration. Many of the community’s activities ceased, and a number of its organizations shut down.

In spite of the community’s struggles, a number of educational and cultural institutions and activities were started in Botosani during the mid-19th century. In 1866 the Hebrew writer and educator Hillel Kahana founded a secular Jewish school in Botosani, among the first in Romania. Despite opposition from Orthodox circles and several temporary closures, it existed until the outbreak of World War II (1939-1945), and was supported in part by the Alliance Israelite Universelle school system. Teachers at the school included the Hebrew writers David Isaiah Slberbusch, Hirsch Lazar Teller, and Israel Teller. At the beginning of 1882 Silberbush and Teller published the first two issues of the Hebrew monthly “Ha-Or” in Botosani.

A number of Jews from Botosani served in the Romanian Army during the Second Balkan War (June 16-July 18, 1913) and World War I (1914-1918). The community was reorganized after the First World War. During the interwar period, community institutions included two elementary schools (one for boys and one for girls), and a vocational school for girls.

The Jewish community of Botosani numbered 11,840 in 1930 (36.6% of the total population).

 

WORLD WAR II (1939-1945)

During the reign of the Iron Guard (September 1940 - January 1941), the 10,900 Jews then-living in Botosani were the victims of economic repression and various other restrictions. Many were kidnapped by the Iron Guard, beaten up, and tortured. Jewish men in Botosani between the ages of 15 and 70 were conscripted for forced labor, even before the country’s forced labor law was enacted in December 1940. Ultimately, 8,000 Jews worked as forced laborers, half of whom were from outside the city.

In addition to the forced labor, Romanian authorities also deported 42 Jews to Transnistria whom they suspected of being communists. Most of them were killed shortly afterward by the SS and Romanian gendarmes. The total number of Botosani Jews deported to Transnistria eventually reached 148, with some accused of anti-government agitation or propagating emigration.

Meanwhile, the Jewish community worked to aid to the needy. After Poland was occupied by the Germans, the community took care of the many refugees who began arriving in the city. After Germany attacked the Soviet Union (June 1941) 11,000 Jews from villages and towns in the area were evacuated to Botosani; they too were helped by the local community. As a result of the influx of refugees, as well as the dismissal of Jewish children from public schools, the number of students attending elementary schools maintained by the community grew from 452 in 1940 to 1,050 in 1943. Two high schools were also established, attended by 350 pupils.

When the Soviet Army approached the city in April 1944, Botosani descended into complete anarchy, with deserters from the German and Romanian Army terrorizing the city’s inhabitants. The Jewish community then took over municipal functions, establishing a civilian guard, and ensuring that the government hospital and home for the aged continued to function. Delegates from the Jewish community handed over control of the city to the Soviet forces on April 7, after they entered the city. Jews were appointed to all public posts, but the Soviet commander warned them not to turn the city into a "Jewish republic.”

 

POSTWAR

After the war evacuees from the surrounding villages and those who returned from Transnistria settled in the city. Because of these returnees, Botosani's Jewish population rose to 19,550 in 1947.

Beginning in 1956, however, many of Botosani’s Jews immigrated, mostly to Israel. By 1969 there were 500 families and four synagogues remaining; the local shochet (kosher butcher) also served as the community's rabbi. In 1992 there were 200 Jews living n Botosani.

 

Serge Moscovici

Serge Moscovici (born Srul Herș Moscovici) (1925-2014), psychologist, historian of science and one of the main theorists of political ecology and social psychology, born in Braila, Romania. The implementation of the anti-Semitic policy by the Romanian government led to his expulsion from the high school in 1938. During the Holocaust he was sent to forced labor until August 1944, when Romania left the alliance with Nazi Germany and sided with the Allies. He joined Romanian Communist Party in 1939 at a time when the Communist movement was illegal in Romania, but he was increasingly disappointed by its policies after 1944, particularly by the censorship of the literary and artistic magazine Da (“Yes”) he founded in Bucharest with Isidor Goldstein, later known as Isidore Isou, the founder of the current called lettrisme, and his implication in a trial for helping Zionist dissidents cross the border illegally. Moscovici left Romania illegally in 1947 and after passing through Hungary, Austria, and Italy he arrived in France. With the assistance of a refugee fund, he studied psychology at the Sorbonne in Paris earning a PhD in 1961.

He was a researcher at Standford University in California and at Yale University in New Haven, CT, before returning to Paris where he became a lecturer at École pratique des hautes études. Moscovici was a visiting professor at the New School in New York, at the Rousseau Institute in Geneva, Switzerland, at the Université catholique de Louvain in Belgium and at the University of Cambridge in England. Moscovici was director of the Laboratory of Social Psychology at École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), founder of the European Laboratory of Social Psychology at the Maison des sciences de l'homme in Paris (1976-2006), first President of the European Association of Experimental Social Psychology and, from 1974 to 1980, of the Committee on Transnational Social Psychology of the Social Research Council. He was also a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and an honorary member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Until his death, he was honorary president of the Serge Moscovici Global Network, founded in 2014 at the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme foundation in Paris. He was named Commandeur de la Légion d’honneur and Doctor Honoris Causa of over fifteen universities in Europe and the Americas.

Moscovici is best known for his research on the influence of minorities on majorities. He published over twenty books, including Essai sur l’histoire humaine de la nature (1968/1977), Hommes domestiques et hommes sauvages (1974), Psychologie des minorités actives (1979), L'Âge des foules: un traité historique de psychologie des masses (1981), Psychologie sociale (1984), De la nature : pour penser l’écologie (2002), Le scandale de la pensée sociale (2013). Chronique des années égarées: récit autobiographique (1997) and Mon après-guerre à Paris: chronique des années retrouvées (published posthomously in 2019) describe his experiences during the Holocaust in Romania and his life in Paris as a refugee during the late 1940s.

Serge Moscovici is the father of the French politician Pierre Moscovici.   

GOLDSTEIN
GOLDSTEIN, GOLDENSTEIN, GOLDSCHTEIN Surnames derive from one of many different origins. Sometimes there may be more than one explanation for the same name.

Literally "gold stone" in German, Goldstein is an occupational surname (also connected with raw material, finished product or implements associated with that trade), which means "touchstone", a tool used by goldsmiths to test the quality of the precious metal. In some cases Goldstein is a matronymic surname (derived from a female ancestor's personal name), linked with the popular Yiddish personal name Golda.

Distinguished bearers of the Jewish family name Goldstein include the Hungarian talmudist Esra Ben Josef Goldstein, also known as Zoref (1805-1879); the German physicist and educator Eugen Goldstein (1850-1930), and the Polish-born Russian engineer, archaeologist and historian Salwian Goldstein (1855-1926).