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TOURAINE, former province of W. central France whose territory corresponded to the present department of Indreet-Loire. The earliest information on the presence of Jews in Touraine is from about 570. Gregory of Tours mentions their presence in Civray and in Tours itself. Jews were subsequently to be found in several places in Touraine, more specifically in Loches, Amboise, and Chinon. During the second half of the 11th century, Philip I, king of France, held several rights in Touraine, including the right to one half of the tenure paid by the Jews of Tours. An agreement of 1215 between the Abbey of St. Martin of Tours and the squire of Loches stipulated that not a single Jew would be authorized to reside in the locality of Longueil. The common law of Touraine of 1246 declared that upon his request a Jew of the feudal lord or the king would be judged by that lord or the king because they were the actual owners of his belongings. In an entry for the year 1306 on the subject of the expulsion of the Jews from France, the "Abridged Chronicle of Touraine" relates that the Jews left Touraine on August 26. They returned in 1315, and in 1321 were among the first victims of the accusation that the Jews had poisoned the wells in collaboration with the lepers. It appears that with the next return of the Jews to France in 1359, none settled in Touraine.


L. Lazard, in: REJ, 17 (1888), 210–34; A. Salmon (ed.), Recueil des Chroniques de Touraine (1854), 198.

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