Translated Title: Holocaust education in Jewish schools
Translated Title: From the Heder to Contemporary Schools: Jewish Education as a Reflection of a Community’s Fate
Abstract: This paper shows how from the start of the modern era to today, Jewish education always depended on the successive identity types to which the Jewish minority in France chose to belong. Following the heder of Jewish groups under the Ancien Régime, the consistorial schools followed Emancipation in the face of a concomitant and difficult challenge, namely promoting Jewish individuals in the community while acknowledging each individual’s religious specificity. Primarily a favorite means of regeneration for the poor and immigrants, this means of improvement reached the end of the 1930s in an unhappily weakened state as a result of the success of assimilation and the social secularization of society in general. Between the two world wars but mainly on the eve of World War Two, weaknesses began to appear in French Judaism as a whole along with yearnings for a more religious dimension of Jewish identity as well as a more favorable perspective on Zionism, even if many remained convinced Israelites. These yearnings were manifested in the emerging youth movements, mostly the French Israelite Boy Scouts, and the creation of the Maimonides College in Paris, which during the Occupation, experienced favorable conditions for their growth and the birth of new structures. However, this renewal was transient. Not until the 1960s and even more so in the 1970s did the development of Jewish educational opportunities flourish. The collapse of the French Israelite model was the fundamental cause of this new growth.