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Virtual Jewish World: Fontainebleau, France

FONTAINEBLEAU, town in the Seine-et-Marne department, approximately 37 mi. (about 60 km.) S. of Paris, France. The Jewish community in Fontainebleau dates from 1799. During the 19th century, two important porcelain factories there were owned by Jews: Jacob Petit and Baruch Weil. At the time of the 1941 census, there were 58 Jews in Fontainebleau.

Holocaust and Postwar Periods

During the German occupation of World War II, Fontainebleau's synagogue, dating from 1857, was looted and destroyed; its eight-branch candelabrum, made of blue Sèvres porcelain and donated by Napoleon III to the Jewish community, was also smashed. After the war, a new Jewish community, composed mostly of North African Jews, settled there, numbering about 400 persons in 1969. The synagogue was rebuilt in 1965 and a new candelabrum was contributed by Allied (SHAPE) officers stationed in the town.


Sources:Z. Szajkowski, Analytical Franco-Jewish Gazetteer (1966), 267.

[Bernhard Blumenkranz]

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