MELUN, capital of the department of Seine-et-Marne, 26 mi. (42 km.) S. of Paris. The first explicit reference to Jews in Melun dates from the middle of the 12th century: in his will, Simon of Beaugency mentions a Jew of Melun among his creditors. From the beginning of the 13th century, there is evidence of a Rue des Juifs and an "escole des Juis" (the synagogue). There is no record of a medieval Jewish community after the expulsion of the Jews from the Kingdom of France in 1306. Scholars of Melun took part in the *synod convened by *Samuel b. Meir (Rashbam) and Jacob b. Meir *Tam. Meshullam b. Nathan of Melun, previously from Narbonne, lived in Melun from 1150. During the second half of the 12th century, Jedidiah of Melun also lived in the town. Judah b. David of Melun was one of the four rabbis who confronted Nicholas *Donin at the famous *disputation organized by *Louis IX (St. Louis) in 1240. Preserved in the municipal library of Melun is a maḥzor of the 14th century for the New Year and Day of Atonement according to the French rite (Ms. No. 14): it had previously been in the possession of the Carmelite monastery of Melun and is possibly of local origin. On the eve of World War II there was a very small community in Melun. It increased in the postwar period, mainly as a result of the arrival of Jews from North Africa, and numbered over 500 in 1969.
S. Rouillard, Histoire de Melun (1628), 352f.; M. Schwab in: REJ, 13 (1886), 296–300; G. Leroy, Histoire de la ville de Melun (1887), 126, 167: Gross, Gal Jud, 351–5; J. Thillier and E. Jarr, Cartulaire de Ste-Croix d'Orléans… (1906), 13.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.