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To come to the Conference

Air France and French Railways may offer special rates to come to the Conference. If you wish to benefit from these special prices ask for Gilbert Soussana, or by phone 33-1 42 81 32 00.

You can also book a transfer airport / hotel / airport by sending your flight numbers and the dates and times of arrival and departure to or by phone 33-1 48 74 30 12. It will cost 20 euros each for a collective transfer, 125 euros for a private transfer.

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What events during your stay in Paris? Book on line

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July in the history of the Jews in France

618 years ago: From July 22, 1306 to July 16, 1394: The three expulsions of Jews from France

July 22, 1306, was the first deportation of Jews from France by King of France Philip IV the Fair: their property was confiscated and filled the empty coffers of the State. There were then 100,000 Jews in France. In 1315 Louis X le Hutin accepted the return of the Jews temporarily (for 12 years only) and with financial counterpart. It was a demand of public opinion, who regretted not to have lenders anymore. The return of the Jews filled the royal treasury with 122,500 pounds. Then began a chaotic period with some massacres linked – among others - to the revolt “des Pastoureaux”. As it had been already the case during the first Pastoureaux Crusade in 1251, this second peasant crusade, organized without the support of the authorities, often degenerated into anti-Jewish pogroms (in Paris in May 1320, then along the Garonne up 'the massacre of the Jews of Albi and Toulouse on June 25). The authorities blamed the Jews for having created these problems by their mere presence. Jews are expelled again under an order of June 24, 1322, implemented in 1323. In July 1394 King Charles VI, called "the Fool", again decreed the expulsion of all Jews, this time "without exception nor privilege." They are blamed for the famine and misery. The king gave them until November 3 to be out of the kingdom's borders. There would be no more Jewish communities in the territory of France until the sixteenth century.

204 years ago: From July 15, 1806 (Meeting organized by Napoleon I of an assembly of notables) to July 20, 1808 (Decree of Bayonne): Napoleon and the Jews

Despite the 1791 Emancipation decrees, numerous reports came from prefects, mainly in Alsace, denouncing the non-integration of Jews into the national life. An outbreak of anti-Jewish violence broke out in Alsace in 1806.

May 30, 1806 Napoleon issued a decree providing in Article 2, “it will be convened on next July 15, in our good city of Paris, an Assembly of individuals professing the Jewish religion and living in French territory.” Actually it was only on July 26 that the Jewish assembly - made up of 95 members appointed by the prefects in the departments, to which will be added 16 representatives of the Jews of the kingdom of Italy - met. The deliberations lasted until April 6, 1807, under the chairmanship of Bordeaux banker Abraham Furtado. These Jewish legislators had to answer the following questions:

  1. Is it lawful for Jews to have many wives?
  2. Is divorce authorized by the Jewish religion? Is divorce valid if not pronounced by the courts or according to laws contradictory to those of the French Code?
  3. Can a Jewish girl marry a Christian man, and Christian girl marry a Jew or does the Jewish law require that Jews marry among themselves?
  4. For the Jews, are the French their brothers or are they foreigners?
  5. In both cases, what relationship is prescribed by their law with the French who are not of their religion?
  6. Do Jews born in France and treated by law as French citizens consider France as their homeland? Do they have an obligation to defend it? Are they obliged to obey laws and follow all provisions of the Civil Code?
  7. Who appoints the rabbis?
  8. What police jurisdiction do rabbis have among the Jews? What is their judicial power among them?
  9. Are these election methods, that court police and judiciary power, dictated by their laws, or just time-honored?
  10. Are there any professions that the Jewish law prohibit?
  11. Does Jewish law forbid them from lending to brothers at a usurious rate?
  12. Does this law forbid or allow them to lend at a usurious rate to foreigners?

After a long process, and a solemn meeting of a Grand Sanhedrin organized by Napoleon in February 1807 to make these decisions most official, the law establishing the Jewish worship Regulation was published by the Emperor on March 17, 1808. Jews were organized in terms of religious territorial constituencies, each with a consistory composed of secular Jews and a Centralized Consistory was established in Paris.

A decree instituting the "social reform of the Jews", attached to the settlement of worship, was proposed by the Interior Minister Champagny. Because of the discriminatory measures it contained it was called “infamous decree". It would be abolished in 1818.

The Bayonne Decree promulgated on July 20, 1808 - of particular interest to genealogists - closesd the measures taken by Napoleon for the Jews: it required the Jewish citizens of France to adopt a surname and to declare it at the Town Hall.

70 years ago: From 6-16 July 1938 (Evian Conference) to 16-17 July 1942 (the Vel d'Hiv roundup)

The Evian Conference of 1938 was organized at the initiative of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. His goal was to help the German and Austrian Jewish refugees fleeing Nazism. Because Switzerland host country for the League of Nations) did not want to host the conference, France hosted the conference in the town of Evian. From the outset, it was clearly said that none of the participating countries at the conference would be obliged to accept refugees. Thereby, neither Germany (of course), Italy or the USSR came. Other countries such as Hungary, Poland and South Africa only sent observers. Britain claimed that its refugee quota should not be increased. Finally, as might be expected, this conference did not lead to any concrete action. May 1940: the Germans invaded France. June 16, Philippe Petain becomes Prime Minister. June 22: Armistice. July 16: The Germans expelled the Jews of Alsace into the free zone: 18,000 people were forcibly displaced. July 22: A decree ordered the review of all Naturalizations granted after 1927.

The Velodrome d'Hiver roundup (16-17 July 1942), often called the Vel d'Hiv roundup, was the largest mass arrest of Jews carried out in France during World War II. In July 1942, the Nazis organized the "Operation Spring Wind", a large-scale roundup of Jews in several European countries. In France, the Vichy French police was mobilized to participate in the operation: in Paris, 9,000 policemen and gendarmes arrested Jews. On July 17, late afternoon, the number of arrests in Paris and suburbs was 13,152 according to figures from the police headquarters.

It is in memory of the roundup that the date of July 16 was chosen in 1993 to establish the "national day to commemorate the victims of racist and anti-semitic persecutions committed under the de facto authority called “Government of the French State” (1940-1944)”. In 2000, it became the “national day to commemorate the victims of racist and anti-semitic crimes of the French state and homage to the Righteous of France”.

In the Hebrew calendar, this date corresponds to 2-3 Av 5702, and therefore falls during the first nine days of Av that are days of mourning because it was during this period that occurred the greatest disaster of the Jewish people, including the destruction of the two successive temples.

We must add that on July 17, 1994 a memorial was inaugurated in Paris – created by the sculptor and painter Walter Spitzer and by the architect Mario Azagury - planted on a walk along the Quai de Grenelle and named Square of Jewish Martyrs of the Velodrome d'Hiver. Every year there is a memorial service held on the closest Sunday to July 16. Other ceremonies are held throughout France.

50 years ago, the Evian Accords and the departure of the Jews of Algeria:

On 18 March 1962 the so called "Evian Accords" were signed ending the war in Algeria. As a result of these agreements, a self-determination referendum was held on 1 July 1962.

"Yes" won wins with 99.72% of the votes cast. De Gaulle recognized the independence of Algeria on July 3 and it was proclaimed in Algeria July 5, 1962.

French citizens since the 1870 Cremieux Decree, almost all the 150,000 Jews in Algeria were - like other French citizens living in Algeria - repatriated to France from April 1962.

By October, there were only 25,000 Jews left; 6000 of them in Algiers. In 1971, there remained no more than a thousand. There were only 200 in 1982.

July in Paris

14 Juillet, French National Day

On July 14, 1789, the people of Paris stormed the Bastille prison. This date is regarded as marking the end of the old regime and the beginning of the French Revolution.

It became the French national day in 1880. It is traditionally celebrated with a military parade on the Champs Elysees on the morning of 14th of July, by a fireworks display on the Seine on the evening of the same day (the best places to see it probably being the Champ de Mars or Place du Trocadero) and public danses are organized by firemen in the streets at night on July 13 and 14.
Warning: some streets and subway stations are closed at this time.

 "Paris Quartiers d'été"

Dancers, actors and musicians are going to preform in parks and public spaces. This amazing festival features demonstrations of circus, dance, music and theater across the capital.

 Tour de France

This year, after a departure from Belgium on June 30, the Tour de France arrives July 22 on the Champs Elysees in Paris. A show not to miss if you stay a few days more after the Conference. But remember again that for the occasion, many streets and metro stations may be closed to traffic.

Summer Sales

These traditional sales will be held in Paris from June 27 to July 31. The opportunity to enjoy French fashion at attractive prices.

Paris Jazz Festival

From Saturday June 9 to Sunday July 29 in Bois de Vincennes Parc Floral, esplanade Saint Louis in front of the Château de Vincennes. Events and concerts for free. Rer A Vincennes / Métro Château de Vincennes (ligne 1), Bus ligne N°112.

"Les étés de la danse"

8th edition of the festival from June 25 to July 21 in théatre du Chatelet. This year, the guest is the ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER. The price varies from 15 to 80 euros. More informations on

Dozens of exhibitions:

Among which:

"Eugene Atget and Emmanuel Pottier: old Paris (1896-1924)", the Carnavalet Museum, from April 18 to July 22, 2012.

"Tim Burton" (exhibition from the MoMA in New York): March 7 to August 5, 2012, the French Cinémathèque

"Shamans, the masters of chaos", from April 11 to July 29, 2012 and "The seductions of the palate: cooking and eating in China" from June 19 to September 30, 2012, the Musée du Quai Branly

"Flowing. Mobility and Architecture" at the Cité de l'architecture from April to August 2012.

"Robert Crumb" at the Musée d'Art Moderne in Paris, from April 5 to August 19, 2012.

"Gauls, a stunning exhibition" at the Cité des Sciences de la Villette, until September 2, 2012. How did our ancestors live.

"Twilight of the Pharaohs. Masterpieces of Egyptian dynasties." Jacquemart-André Museum from March 23 to July 23, 2012.

"Gerhard Richter" at the Pompidou Centre, from June 3 to September 24, 2012.

"Rodin, the flesh, the marble" at the Rodin Museum on 8 June 2012 to March 3, 2013

 "Modigliani, Soutine and the adventure of Montparnasse", Jonas Netter Collection , Paris Pinacotheque from April 4 to September 9, 2012

"The hidden children, deportation and rescue of Jewish children in Paris - 1940-1945"; at the Town Hall from June 26 to October 27, 2012 (free entrance)