GENERAL AND REGIONAL
Comprehensive official French web site, arranged by region, that benefits from having Toni L. Kamins as its editor and contributor. It includes addresses and links to museums, Jewish cemeteries, synagogues, Jewish quarters and other sites of Jewish heritage and history as well as information and resources on today’s Jewish communities and life, including schools, restaurants, kosher shops, bookstores and even kosher wineries….
Dedicated to the events programmed on the annual European Day of Jewish Culture in September, this web site lists many Jewish heritage sites in France, by region (based on the EDJC events planned there).
Alsace-Lorraine has very well developed documentation and tourist infrastructure regarding Jewish heritage sites; the region launched “open doors” days to Jewish heritage in 1996, which led to the overall launch of the European Day of Jewish Culture. The general web has numerous sub-pages with detailed information on scores of Jewish heritage sites, including synagogues, cemeteries, mikvahs, museums, homes and other places for the departments of Bas-Rhin; Haut-Rhin; and Lorraine. It also has links to material on Jewish heritage in individual towns including Colmar; Mulhouse; Strasbourg and Metz.
Chabad tourism and information site with listings and addresses
Edward Victor’s web site has history and postcards for more than 20 towns:
Belfort, Besancon, Biarritz, Carpentras, Chablis, Chalons-Sur-Marne, Dijon, Epernay, Epinal, Ingwiller, Jouarre (La Ferte), Lille, Luneville, Reims, Saint Etienne, Sedan, Selestat, Strasbourg,Thann, Thionville, Verdun
All the presentations are available in video form, clicking the links. Most are in French; some are in English with French voice-over
You can access information to many if not most Jewish heritage sites in France via the general links above. We present here below places that have their own web sites or other online resources.
Neo-classic synagogue, designed by the architect by architect J.A. Jeoffroy and built in 1846-48, features a domed rotunda and elegant sanctuary notable for the two-levels of Doric and Corinthian columns. It is located in the medieval ghetto area on the site of an earlier synagogue that was destroyed by fire in 1845. The first synagogue on the site was built in the 13th century.
2 place Jérusalem
Tel: +33 04 90 85 21 24
Jewish cemetery established in the 17th century and one of the oldest in France, with about 3,000 mainly horizontal Sephardic-style grave markers. Restoration work, organized by the German group Aktion Sühnezeichen (Action Reconciliation) and the Jewish Museum of Belgium, has been going on since 2011, following on work carried out in 2010 by Belgium Jewish Museum curator Dr. Philippe Pierret and the photographer Gina van Hoof.
Here’s a video about the 2014 volunteer restoration campaign.
Small town in the Pyrenees with a 17th century Jewish cemetery.
Bordeaux has three historic Jewish cemeteries, all listed as historic cultural monuments since 1995.
Prepared and published by the city’s tourism department. In French with a map and summaries in English and Spanish.
Video of the Avignonnais Jewish cemetery at 47 rue Sauteyron in central Bordeaux, founded in 1728 and in use until 1805. It has 104 graves:
Synagogue from 1842 (now housing the Alsatian-Jewish Museum). Jewish cemetery dating from the late 16th century; oldest legible stone from 1608.
62a Grand-rue, 67330 Bouxwiller
Tel./Fax : +33 (0) 3 88 709 717
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
The oldest still-active Synagogue in France, built in 1367 and restored, expanded and rebuilt in rococo style in the 18th century by the architect Antoine D’Allemand, who also carried out other major works in the town, including the aquaduct. The synagogue has a simple facade. The complex includes, on the ground floor, two mikvehs (one from the 14th century and one from the 18th century) and two bakeries (one for bread, one for matzo). The sanctuary, in teal-colored wood, employs tromp l’oeill “marble” and baroque elements.
There is a Jewish cemetery also originally dating from the 14th century and believed to be the oldest in France. Much of the area is bare, as a papal edict forbade tombstones in Jewish cemeteries. The earliest stones are from the late 18th century.
Synagogue and Jewish Museum
Medieval Synagogue, rebuilt in rebuilt in elaborate style in 1772-1774. No longer in use as a house of worship, it houses a Jewish Museum. Jewish quarter, ritual bath.
Synagogue originally built in the late 19th century, now housing the Centre d’Art Contemporain (Center for Contemporary Art)
33, rue Poincare, 57590 Delme, France
tel.+33 (0)3 87 01 43 42
fax.+33 (0)3 87 01 43 14
The synagogue was originally built in 1881 in Moorish style, with a large, distinctive onion dome. It was almost completely demolished by German bombing in World War II and reconstructed in 1946 in a much simpler style that still incorporates a peristyle, raised platform, first-floor balcony, arched portal and windows, and dome. It has housed the contemporary arts center since 1993.
Once a major wool manufacturing center, Elbeuf, in Normandy, had a sizeable Jewish population in the textile industry before World War II. Few survivors returned to Elbeuf, but the 1950s and 60s brought Sephardic Jews from N. Africa. With the move of textile manufacturing to the Far East over the past few decades, the last semblances of Elbeuvian Jewish life have vanished. The synagogue – whose outer walls bear yellow stars painted by Nazi sympathizers during World War II – still stands.
Here’s the trailer for Yellow Stars of Tolerance, a documentary chronicling how New Yorker Marie Lippman, born in Elbeuf, works to see the restoration of the synagogue:
Seating 1,800 people, this is the largest synagogue in France, and believed to be the second largest in Europe after the Dohany St. synagogue in Budapest. It was designed by the Chief Architect of Paris Alfred-Philibert Aldrophe and built in 1874, with the support of the Rothschild family.
Hôtel de Saint-Aignan
71, rue du Temple
Tel: +33 1 53 01 86 60
Fax: +33 1 42 72 97 47
Though there is evidence of an earlier presence of Jews in Thann, communal life dates from the late 18th century. Today there is a synagogue and Jewish cemetery; and in 2014 a mikvah dating from 1860 was discovered.
Imposing synagogue, with Moorish-style elements, built in 1862 to replace an earlier structure. It was severely damaged in World War II, rebuilt, then devastated again in World War II. It was rebuilt after WW2, then restored in 1975. Efforts are under way for further restoration and repair work.
Aimed at raising funds for the refurbishment