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44°50?19?N, 00°34?42?W. 2007 population estimate: 230,600.

Also see Bayonne

3 cemeteries.


REFERENCES [January 2009]

  1. France, Bordeaux, Dictionnaijournal, review du judaisme Bordelais aux XVIIIe et XIXe siècles , 3271, book, 12/29/1997.
  2. Cavignac, Jean. The Dictionnaire des Juifs Bordelais
  3. CAVIGNAC Jean, title: Biographies, genealogies, professions, institutions", archives Departimentale de la Gironde , 1987, 305 p., French, 2-86033-036-4. Source: Contact: Daniel Dratwa; email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
  4. Cavignac, Jean. Les Israélites bordelais de 1780 à 1850, published 1991. NOTE: many inaccuracies.
  5. BOOKS :
  6. Blamont, Jacques. Le Lion et le Moucheron, Histoire des Marranes de Toulouse, ed. Odile Jacob, 2000, with a few genealogical trees from seventeenth century.
  7. 1808 declarations of the family names chosen in Bordeaux are available has been microfilmed for Bayonne-Saint-Esprit, Peyrehorade and Toulouse and can be found at the Gen-Ami web site. GenAmi Jewish census of 1808: http://www.chez.com/genami

Bordeaux is a port city major port accessible to ocean liners of the European Atlantic cost and industrial center on Garonne River, a few kilometers from its long estuary, the Gironde in SW France and the capital of the Aquitaine région, as well as the préfecture (administrative capital) of the Gironde département. The city is built on a bend of the river Garonne and is thus divided into two parts. Historically, the left bank is the more developed. With a population of 1,200,000 inhabitants in the Bordeaux-Arcachon-Libourne metropolitan area, the fifth metropolitan area in France, Bordeaux is a wine industry capital and considered Europe's main military space and aeronautics research and construction complex. Bordeaux inhabitants are called Bordelais. Around 300 BC, it was the settlement of a Celtic tribe who named the town Burdigala. The city fell under Roman rule around 60 BCE to exploit commerce in tin and lead. Later it became capital of Roman Aquitaine, flourishing especially during the 3rd century. In 276 and 409, Vandals sacked it, then the Visigoths in 414 and the Franks in 498, beginning a period of obscurity for the city. In the late sixth century, the city reemerged as the seat of a county within the Merovingian kingdom of the Franks. The city fell into obscurity as royal power waned in southern Gaul in the late seventh century. The city was plundered by the troops of Abd er Rahman in 732 before he was killed during the Battle of Tours. Under the Carolingians a series of Counts of Bordeaux were appointed to defend the mouth of the Garonne from the Vikings. Eventually, the city was inherited by the Dukes of Gascony in the late tenth century. From the 12th to the 15th century, Bordeaux regained importance under English rule following the marriage of Duchess Eleanor of Aquitaine with the French-speaking Count Henri Plantagenet, born in Le Mans, who became, King Henry II of England within months of their wedding. The city flourished, primarily due to wine trade. It was also the capital of an independent state under Edward, the Black Prince (1362-1372), but after the Battle of Castillon (1453) it was annexed by France. The Châteaux Trompette (Trumpet Castle) and the Fort du Hâ, built by Charles VII of France, deprived the city of its richness by halting the wine commerce with England. In 1462 Bordeaux obtained a parliament, but regained importance only in the 16th century when it became a center of distribution of sugar and slaves from the West Indies along with the traditional wine. The 18th century was the golden age of Bordeaux. Many downtown buildings (about 5,000), including those on the quays, are from this period. Baron Haussmann, a long-time prefect of Bordeaux, used Bordeaux's 18th century big-scale rebuilding as a model when he was asked by Emperor Napoleon III to transform a then still quasi-medieval Paris into a "modern" capital that would make France proud. The French government withdrew to the city during the wars of 1870, World War I and World War II.  In medieval times as the capital of Guienne, Bordeaux was home to Aquitaine’s oldest and largest Jewish community, where evidence of Jewish settlement dates back to the 4th century. According to a legend, Jews settled at Bordeaux shortly after the destruction of the Second Temple. Supposedly, a considerable number settled in the sixth and seventh centuries because of the commercial advantages of the city. Under Louis le Débonnaire, they were allowed to trade freely (828). They had their own administrative and judicial systems and officials. The slave traffic, however, in which many Jews were involved, was interdicted by royal decree in 829. From this period, baptismal records contain no entries of conversions made among the slaves of the Jews. In 848, the Jews were accused of having delivered Bordeaux to the Normans to be pillaged and destroyed, the Normans having entered by means of the "Rue Juifve" (a street not in the Jewish quarter). Without proof, the bigoted populace accused the Jew. The first definite evidence of Jews in Bordeaux is a deed of 1077 mentioning the "Montemque Judaïcum," residence of the Jews in the suburb of Saint-Seurin with the church of Saint Martin as center. There was also a "Porta Judaïca," a "Rue du Petit Judas," or "Puits des Juifs," and a "Rue Judaïque," the last still existing. The dwellings of the Jews were extra muros at this period. A chronicle of the year 1273 mentions them as continuing their residence in Saint-Seurin. "Rue Caphernam" was then the main street in the Jewish quarter. In this early period the Jews enjoyed comparative freedom, though the practice of usury was forbidden in 1214 and 1219. Under English (Angevin) sovereignty from 1154 until 1453, France’s decree of expulsion in 1082 and the permission accorded Christians to repudiate debts due to the Jewish merchants (1182) did not affect the Jews of Bordeaux. Certain taxes were imposed. Thus, about 1150 the Jews paid the archbishop of Bordeaux a poll-tax of eight livres, being considered an estate in mortmain. The English kings sought to confirm the Jews in their ancient privileges; but persecutions instituted by royal agents were cruel. The city was an important place of migration owing to the arrival of Jewry from Spain after the expulsion. These formed at about the 18th century into separate communities and undertook to send funds to Eretz-Israël to support the existence of the four Jewish cities of Safed, Tiberias, Hébron and Jerusalem. ABRAHAM FURTADO and LOPES DUBEC, of the Portuguese community, intervened in front of the Commission Malesherbes to acquire the same rights as other Frenchmen: for the Portuguese Jewry, the Spanish Jewry, and those of Comtat Vénaissin. The Jews of Aquitaine introduced chocolate to France. Toward the end of the 15th century, many Marranos left Spain and Portugal for Bayonne, Toulouse, and Marseille and at the end of the seventeenth and beginning of the eighteenth century under a grant from King Henry II. They gradually practiced Judaism more openly and even established a Jewish section of the parish cemetery. At the beginning of the sixteenth century the well-known Gradis family came to Bordeaux, and within one hundred years, the Marano community comprised fifty to sixty families. The merchants, however, continued to molest the Jews. and in 1604 the earlier letters patent were again confirmed and royal protection of Jewish rights and liberties (i.e, of the Spanish and Portuguese settled at Bordeaux) decreed. This measure proved to be of no avail and by chance only did the Jews at Bordeaux escape the effects of the decree of expulsion of Louis XIII dated May 23, 1615, ordering all Jews to leave France within one month. The Bordelais Parliament came to the rescue of the Jews in 1625, when an embargo had been laid on all vessels in port. The Jews of this period enjoyed not only the protection of the Parliament and "jurats," but the favor of the queen, whose Italian physician, De Montalte, was professedly a Jew and interested particularly in the welfare of the Maranos at Bordeaux. On Dec. 4, 1636, a census was taken at Bordeaux, which enumerated 36 families and 167 individuals, together with 93 paupers, resident in the Portuguese community and "faithful Catholics at the time." Of the heads of families five had been born in France and six naturalized. By an order of the council, Aug. 9, 1662, many of these were admitted to full rights as citizens of Bordeaux. The most prominent Portuguese families were those of Alvares, Cardozo, De Cisneros, Da Costa, Dias, Lacoste-Furtado, Lopès, Machado, Mendes, De Moura, Oliveira, and Sasportas. Jews from Provence began to settle in Bordeaux so that by 1753, though practicing Judaism in public was still against the law, the Jews of Bordeaux gathered for prayer in seven private locations. By the beginning of the 18th century, Bordeaux was home to 1,422 Jews of Portuguese origin and 348 Jews from Provence. In 1734, 1740, and 1748, expulsion orders were issued, but each time the community found a way to have the orders postponed. Not much remains of the Jewish district, but remnants can be seen on the Rue Cheverus just off the Rue Ste-Catherine pedestrian mall (once known as Arrua Judega). Turn left onto Rue de la Porte-Dijeaux to go to the city gate once known as Jews' Gate. During the 19th century, Jews were active in the municipal, commercial, and intellectual affairs of Bordeaux. Also at that time, two of Bordeaux’s great wineries were established by Jews: Baron Nathaniel de Rothschild, of the English branch of the family, founded Château Mouton-Rothschild in the Médoc in 1853, and his cousin Baron James founded Château Lafite-Rothschild in 1867. Bordeaux’s Grande Synagogue was consecrated in 1882. Early in World War II, in May and June 1940, thousands of Jews fleeing the German occupation of northern France came to Bordeaux. The Franco-German armistice on June 21, 1940, placed Bordeaux in the occupied zone and two-thirds of its Jews were deported. The Grande Synagogue was used as a detention center for Jews awaiting deportation. Although French fascists vandalized the Grande Synagogue in January 1944, Bordeaux’s few Jewish survivors rebuilt it. By 1960, the Jewish population was about 3,000. By 1970, the population was almost 6,000. Bordeaux has many streets named for noted Jews: Rue David-Gradis, a shipping magnate; Rue (Abraham) Furtado, treasurer of Bordeaux and chairman of Napoléon's Assembly of Jewish Notables; and Avenue Georges-Mandel, Minister of the Interior, who was assassinated in 1944. Several streets are named for Léon Blum, France’s first Jewish prime minister. The present community principally composed of Jews from North Africa numbers 6000 souls. The synagogue dating from 1882 was restored in 1956 and is majestic. Landmarked in 1998, it was illuminated in September 2000 on the occasion of the ‘light plan of the City of Bordeaux. http://www.viejuive.com/associations/communautes/bordeaux/bordeaux.htm has photos. Ongoing renovation is directed by the Bâtiments de France. Access to Jewish monuments can be obtained by calling the Secretariat of the Bordeaux Consistoire, tel. [January 2008]

When the Jews were banished from Spain (1492) and Portugal (1496), the Jewish population at Bordeaux increased, for the refugees fled to the cities of southern France. No taxes had been paid by Jews as foreigners for some years, by virtue of their position as "Christian" residents. They continued to reside at Saint-Seurin, and the cemetery was known from early times as "Plantey deus Judius." [January 2008]


CEMETERY: In 1710 the Jews were interred in the cemetery of the Franciscans. Although numbering one hundred families, they had no public synagogues. [January 2008]

176 cour de l’Yser Cemetery: Pauline and Hans Herzl, children of Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern political Zionism, are buried in this 17th-century cemetery. 176, cours de l’Yser - BORDEAUX. Tél 05-56-91-64-26, Responsible: Roger DRAI, Tél 05-56-31-22-63. On 9 August 2006, two Arabs tossed large stones (curb stones from the sidewalk) into the cemetery in Bordeaux. The attackers were arrested. [January 2008]

74, cour de la Marne Cemetery: private at  was established in 1725  [January 2008]

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