PHALSBOURG, little town in Moselle department, N.E. France. Between 1680 and 1691, Louis XIV's minister, Louvois, authorized two Jewish families to settle there; these increased to four in 1702, eight in 1747, and 12 in 1770; on several occasions they were threatened with expulsion. Two Jews acquired merchants' licenses in 1768 and this right was ratified by the Conseil d'Etat. The synagogue was erected in 1772 and rebuilt in 1857; the cemetery dates from 1796. From 1807 until around 1920 Phalsbourg was the seat of a rabbinate (which also served the neighboring communities of Sarrebourg, Mittelbronn, Lixheim, etc.) whose incumbents included Mayer Heyman (1827–37), the model for the Reb-Sichel of Erckmann-Chatrian, and Lazare *Isidor (1837–47), future chief rabbi of France. From the close of the 19th century the Jewish population decreased from 159 in 1880, to 89 in 1931, and 48 in 1970. During World War II, nine Jews of Phalsbourg died when they were being deported and two were shot.
D. Kahn, in: Revue juive de Lorraine, 8 (1932), 253–6.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.