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Grenoble, France

GRENOBLE, capital of the Isère department, France, formerly capital of Dauphiné. A lamentation on the martyrdom of ten Jews from Grenoble was incorporated in the Bourguignon maḥzor in the second half of the 13th century. After the Jews were expelled from France in 1306, Dauphin Humbert I allowed a number of them to settle in Grenoble, offering them relatively favorable privileges. However, at the time of the *Black Death in 1348, 74 Jews were arrested and, after a trial lasting three months, were burned at the stake. After the general expulsion of Jews from France in 1394, there were no Jews living in Grenoble until after the Revolution. In 1717, a group from Comtat Venaissin attempted to settle there, but the city parlement drove them out. A new community was formed after the Revolution. The arrival of Jews from Alsace in 1874 significantly increased the size and importance of the Grenoble community.

Holocaust and Postwar Periods

During World War II, Grenoble was first occupied by the Italians, and then later by the Germans. It was an important center for various forms of Jewish resistance, including armed struggle, the rescue of children, and the hiding and "camouflage" of adults. The *Gestapo became especially active in the area from 1943 on, arresting, torturing, and deporting hundreds of Jews and members of the Resistance. Marc Haguenau (for whom a Jewish group of the French underground was named) was tortured and killed in Grenoble. Léonce Bernheim, a noted Zionist leader, and his wife were arrested in the vicinity of Grenoble. In 1943 at a secret meeting in the city, Isaac *Schneersohn helped lay the groundwork for the creation of the *Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine to collect material on the Nazi genocide. After the war, many refugees stayed in Grenoble, and by 1960 the Jewish population numbered over 1,000. Beginning in 1962, the Jewish population increased rapidly, thanks to the influx of immigrants from North Africa. By the late 1960s, it numbered 5,000; by 1971, it had reached about 8,000, but by the turn of the century it had dropped to somewhat less than 7,000. The community has both an Ashkenazi and a Sephardi synagogue, and maintains a range of institutions, including kosher butchers, a talmud torah, various youth groups, and a community center. A Jewish radio station, Kol Hachalom (Voice of Peace), has been in operation in Grenoble since 1983.



Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.