Jewish Quarter: 4e

Paris Jewish QuarterThe Jewish Quarter of Paris lies along Rue des Roisiers (street of rosebushes), with Pletzl being its central square. This long-standing neighbourhood has a strong sense of identity, due to its architecture and string of stores with Hebrew names. The Jews have been living here since the 13th century (known as Old Jewry back then) - precariously of course, as there were times when they were exiled from the nation. Naturally, the neighbourhood became a prime target during the Second World War, with Nazi soldiers even entering schools to deport the students to concentration camps. But the neighbourhood has restored itself since then and today, you can feel the tradition in the air as you walk along the many kosher shops serving delicious food and sight the numerous bookstores that carry reading material in Hebrew.   Many ex-colonial Sephardic Jews from North Africa have settled here in search of a more stable life.  Hauntingly, these have replaced many of the Ashkenazi  Jews who were tragically deported to concentration camps during the Nazi era.





Housed in the 17th century Hôtel St-Aignan, Musée D’Art et D’historie du Judaisme [71 Rue du Temple +33 153018653 ad/ch €6.80/Free], is a fairly new establishment. Aiming to educate the public with documentation of the long history of the Jewish community, the museum borrows much of its collection from an earlier Jewish museum called Musée d’art Juif de Paris (1948). While displaying historical artefacts such as legal documents, tombstones, wall carvings and religious items; the museum pays specific attention to presenting the Jewish community’s history through art. Hence, it exhibits the works of Jewish artists like Marc Chagall and Christian Boltanski, who was responsible for the 2 part tribute to those who lost their lives in the Holocaust, on an outer wall of the museum. The museum also foregrounds the Jardin Anne Frank.