Presentation on theme: "Today, French Jews are mostly Sephardi and Mizrahi who came from North Africa and the Mediterranean region and span a range of religious affiliations,"— Presentation transcript:
Today, French Jews are mostly Sephardi and Mizrahi who came from North Africa and the Mediterranean region and span a range of religious affiliations, from the ultra- Orthodox Haredi communities to the large segment of Jews who are entirely secular. A major organization, the Conseil Representaif des Juifs de France (CRIF) was founded in 1944 and today it is comprised of 27 Jewish organizations, from Zionist to socialist. Since 1945, it has played a significant role in the fight against anti- Semitism.
France is a country in Europe. It is the 47 biggest country in the world and is the 20 biggest country of population after China, India, USA, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Russia, Japan, Mexico, Philippines, Vietnam, Germany, Ethiopia, Egypt, Iran, Turkey, Congo (Dem. Rep. of ) and then France. The Jews who live in France are mainly found in Paris, Marseille, Strasbourg, Lyon and Toulouse.
The history of the Jews of France dates back over 2,000 years. In the early Middle Ages,France was a centre of Jewish learning, but persecution increased as the Middle Ages wore on. France was the first country in Europe to free its Jewish population during the French Revolution, but, despite legal equality anti-Semitism remained an issue, as illustrated in the Dreyfus affair of the late 19th century. France currently has the largest Jewish population in Europe and the third largest Jewish population in the world, after Israel and the United States.
Rabbi Torjman in the Nazareth Synagogue in Paris. Wedding in the Tournelles Synagogue. Grand Synagogue in Paris.
Today more than 600,000 Jews live in France, 375,000 live in Paris. There are 230 Jewish communities, including Paris, Marseilles (70,000), Lyons (25,000), Toulouse, Nice and Strasbourg.
The major Jewish community organization is the Fods Social Juif Unife (FSJU), which was founded in 1949. It is involved in social, cultural and educational enterprises, as well as fundraising. The FSJU"s community centers played a large role in the absorption process of new Jewish immigrants. Only 40 percent of French Jewry are associated with one of these community bodies. It is also estimated that only 15 percent of French Jews go to synagogue. Still Jewish life and culture is flourishing. There are more than 40 Jewish weekly and monthly publications, as well as numerous Jewish youth movements and organizations.
Most French Jews send their children to public schools, although there is increased attendance in Hebrew day schools; today close to 25% of school-age children attend full-time Jewish schools. In Paris alone, there are 20 Jewish schools in the day school system. Hebrew is also being offered as a foreign language in many state high schools. In 1985, a new library sponsored by the Alliance Israelite Universelle (AIU) opened. It is now the largest Jewish library in Europe.
Alexandre Tansman, Darius Milhaud, and Charles- Valentin Alkan are 3 Jewish Composers from France. Darius Milhaud (1892–1974) was one of the leaders of the French modernist school. As a child in Aix-en-Provence, Milhaud was exposed to the music of the Provencal Jewish community. "I have been greatly influenced by the character" of this music, he wrote. His opera Esther de Carpentras draws on this rich musical heritage. Milhaud is also the composer of La Creation du Monde which was recorded by Leonard Bernstein, who famously recorded the piece along with Orchestre National de France. Bernstein said about La Creation du Monde: Out of all this has come one real masterpiece, one full-length, fully developed jazz work that had such character and originally that even today, it sounds as fresh as it did when it was written in 1923. It is a ballet called The Creation of the World, by the brilliant French composer Darius Milhaud. I take the liberty of calling this work a masterpiece because it has the one real requisite of a masterpiece durability. Among all of those experiments with jazz that Europe flirted with in this period, only The Creation of the World emerges complete, not as a flirtation but as a real love affair with jazz.