VILLEFRANCHE-DE-CONFLENT, village in the department of Pyrénées Orientales, S. France, which formed part of the former county of Roussillon. There was a small Jewish community there during the 13th century, most probably founded by Jews who came from *Perpignan. There is evidence of continual migratory movement between the two localities, in addition to regular commercial relations. At the end of the 14th century, the Jewish community of Villefranche ceased to exist. The theologian *Levi b. Abraham, who is known for his participation in the polemics of the early 14th century on the subject of philosophical studies, originated there. Villefranche-de-Conflent is not to be confused with two localities in Spain, called Villafranca, which were inhabited by Jews during the Middle Ages, or with Villefranchesur-Saône, whose municipal charter of 1260 prohibited the residence of Jews.
Gross, Gal Jud, 199f.; R.W. Emery, The Jews of Perpignan (1959), index; M. Meras, Le Beaujolais au Moyen Age (1956), 214.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.