SAINT-DENIS (Heb. דיאוניזאן), a suburb N. of Paris. In 1111 King Louis VI granted the abbot of Saint-Denis jurisdiction over the five Jewish families who lived there. Jews played a considerable role in the economy of the abbey and contributed toward the development of its estates. A special officer, the "provost of the Jews," was in charge of all Jewish affairs. The tax paid by Jews amounted to 40 pounds in 1302. On the eve of World War II several hundred Jewish families lived in Saint-Denis, and in 1941, 325 Jews were still accounted for. A community was reestablished after the war, and its size increased, especially with the arrival of Jews from North Africa. In 1971 there were about 2,000 Jews in Saint-Denis. In the early 2000s it was the scene of a number of antisemitic attacks.


A. Grabois, in: Zion, 30 (1965), 115–9; G. Lebel, Histoire… de l'abbaye de Saint-Denis (1935), 212; Z. Szajkowski, Analytical Franco-Jewish Gazetteer (1966), 265; Gross, Gal Jud, 151.

[Bernhard Blumenkranz]

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.