BIARRITZ, coastal town in southwestern France. The Jewish community dates to the beginning of the 17th century. In 1619, after disorders in St. Jean-de-Luz, many *Marranos left that town to settle in Biarritz; according to the contemporary Pierre l'Ancre they numbered 2,000. In the census of Jews taken in 1942, 168 families were registered in Biarritz. The present synagogue, built in 1904, contains the Torah scrolls, the Ark, and the silver candelabrum from the former synagogue of Peyrehorade. In 1968, the Biarritz community had 150 members, many of whom originated from North Africa.
Roth, Marranos, 223ff.; Laborde, in: Le Républicain du Sud Ouest (1963); Loeb, in: REJ, 22 (1891), 111; Z. Szajkowski, Analytical Franco-Jewish Gazetteer (1966), 241.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.