DRAGUIGNAN (Heb. דרגינ״א), capital of Var department, S.E. France. Toward the end of the 13th century, when the poet *Isaac b. Abraham Ha-Gorni visited Draguignan, there was already an important community of wealthy Jews, who gave an unfriendly welcome to the poet, mistrusting his licentious behavior. The ancient synagogue, no longer standing, a beautiful building with a 23-m.(75.4-ft.)-long facade and a single spacious hall without the support of columns, was built during the same period. During the middle of the 14th century the community of 200 to 250 persons was governed by an administrative council and two bailiffs. In the 15th century, the number of Jews in Draguignan had increased so much that the accommodation in the Rue Juiverie had become inadequate. There were numerous Jewish physicians, one of whom received a salary from the municipality. In 1489 the Jews in Draguignan were among the first victims of the edict of expulsion from Provence. Five accepted baptism to avoid being expelled. During World War II, there were about 12 Jewish families living in Draguignan. A new community of Jews of
Gross, Gal Jud, 170–1; F. Mireur, Les rues de Draguignan, 1 (1921), 134; Monore and Mireur, in Bulletin de la Société d'Etudes scientifiques et archéologiques de… Draguignan, 60 (1941); Boyer, in: Evidences, 64 (1957), 23–24; Blumenkranz, in: L'Arche, 76 (1963), 48–51; Z. Szajkowski, Analytical Franco-Jewish Gazetteer (1966), 281.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.