DIJON, capital of Côte-d'Or department, E. central France. The first explicit evidence concerning the Jews there dates from 1196 when the Duke of Burgundy placed the Jews of Dijon under the jurisdiction of the commune, which he authorized to admit additional Jews. Ducal charters of 1197 and 1232 specified the authority of the town over the Jews of Dijon. They lived in the Rue de la Petite-Juiverie (today Rue Piron), the Rue de la Grande-Juiverie (Rue Charrue), and the Rue des Juifs (Rue Buffon). The synagogue and a "Sabbath house" were situated in the Petite-Juiverie, while the cemetery was in the present Rue Berlier. In this cemetery, which was confiscated after the Jews were expelled from France in 1306, over 50 tombstones were found about a century ago, apparently dating to the 13th century. Some Jews returned to Dijon in 1315, but, after the readmission of the Jews to the kingdom in 1359, a more important community was reestablished. When finally expelled in 1394, the Jews of Dijon left for *Franche-Comté. The only known scholars of Dijon are a certain R. Jacob and Simḥah Ḥazzan.
After 1789 Jews again settled permanently in Dijon, mainly from Upper Alsace. The Jewish population numbered 50 families in 1803, 100 in 1869, and about 400 persons in 1902. The community belonged to the Lyons *Consistory. Construction of the present synagogue in the rue de la Synagogue was begun in 1873; it was dedicated in 1879. The community also acquired land for a cemetery northwest of the city in 1789.
Holocaust and Contemporary Periods
Dijon, an important railroad center, was under careful German surveillance during the Nazi occupation of World War II. The synagogue was emptied of its interior and served as a Nazi warehouse. Ninety Jews from Dijon perished in *Auschwitz. Dijon's returning Jews rapidly rebuilt their community after the war, and in 1960 the community was again flourishing. When Jews from North Africa settled in Dijon, the Jewish community increased to over 1,000 persons (1969) and owned a combined synagogue-communal center.
Gross, Gal Jud, 151ff.; J. Garnier, Chartes de communes … en Bourgogne 1 (1867), nos. 19, 20, 41; Armand-Calliat, in: Mémoires de la Société d'Histoire de Chalon-sur-Saône, 34 (1956–57), 68, 73; Marilier, in: Mémoires de la Commission des Antiquités de la Côte-d'Or, 24 (1954–58), 171ff.; P. Milsand, Rues de Dijon (1874), passim; Gauthier, in: Mémoires de la société d'émulation du Jura (1914), 143ff.; Berg, in: Journal des Communautés, no. 109 (1954), 1–2; M. Clément-Janin, Notice sur la Communauté Israélite de Dijon (1879); M. Schwab, Inscriptions hébraïques de la France (1898); M. Gerson, in: REJ, 6 (1883), 222–9, and index in vol. 50.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.