By Aron Rodrigue
The Alliance Israélite Universelle, a French-Jewish association based in 1860, occupies a very important position within the historical past of Sephardi groups within the smooth interval. within the fifty years after its construction, the Alliance tested an unlimited community of faculties within the lands of Islam for the aim of "civilizing" the neighborhood Jewish groups and remaking them within the idealized self-image of French Jewry.
This research, drawing at the author's vast examine within the documents of the Alliance in Paris, specializes in the paintings of the Alliance between Turkish Jewry, one of many groups so much strongly stricken by the agencies' actions. even though the Alliance performed a conclusive position within the Westernization of Turkish Jews, it used to be additionally the unwitting catalyst for the emrgence of latest political hobbies equivalent to Zionism, which became clear of the Alliance's ideology and finally threatened the survival of its colleges. This ebook illuminates a huge episode within the background of Sephardi and French Jewries as they interacted in the course of the Alliance Israélite Universelle and attracts vital conclusions concerning the transformation of ecu in addition to center japanese Jewries within the smooth era.
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Additional resources for French Jews, Turkish Jews: The Alliance Israelite Universelle and the Politics of Jewish Schooling in Turkey 1860-1925
In short, for European Jewish public opinion of the mid-1850s, a clear agenda had emerged. The task at hand was the “regeneration” of the Jews of the Ottoman Empire in general and those in Palestine in particular by the introduction of modern schooling, modern trades, and agriculture. Palestine and Turkey were part of one large picture. The Central Consistory could not act with complete freedom; wealthy philanthropists could open schools here and there (as they continued to do in Jerusalem), but they could not sustain a long-term project of education on a mass scale.
Edgar Mortara, a Jewish boy in Bologna, had been secretly baptized by a Christian servant of his family while a baby. When the servant revealed the fact to the Church authorities, the seven-year-old boy was taken away to be brought up as a Christian. The case soon became a cause cetebre for the Jews of Europe who appealed to all Western governments for justice, to no avail. Edgar Mortara remained with the Church and eventually became a priest. The whole episode was a rude shock to the self-confidence of European Jewry.
80 The term coreligionnaire or nos freres en religion expressed the link between the Jews united by a common memory of suffering. This tie meant that other Jews in distress had to be helped. ”81 Paradoxically, the consistorial system created by Napoleon I to fuse the Jews of France with the rest of the population was perhaps the single most important factor in the creation of a sense of unity and purpose among French Jews. Its overarching organizational structure, its activq intervention in the administration of the communities, and the institutions of charity that it cre ated or took under its wing developed a certain cohesion in French Jewish life which was lacking elsewhere.