Jews have always been present in today’s France, but before the French Revolution some areas, like Alsace and Lorraine (East), Aquitaine (South-West) or Provence (South-East), had a more important Jewish life. In these peripherical areas, for a long time not included in the French Kingdom, Jews had been accepted or at least tolerated, while they had been expelled from the Kingdom during the Middle-Ages.
After the Revolution, France became the land of Liberty, Jews were granted full citizenship over the whole country and Jewish immigrants were numerous, mixing their different Jewish traditions and creating the today’s third-biggest Jewish community in the world. Here, Eastern Jews meet Sephardim or traditional French Jews, creating not only synagogues and cemeteries, but participating in the nation’s life. Our aim is to make you discover all these various contributions to the past and present Jewish life in France.