LA-ROCHELLE: (Charente-Maritime département, Southwest) Print
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La-Rochelle, a town and commune of western France and a seaport on the Atlantic Ocean, is the capital of the Charente-Maritime département (17 with a population of 76,500. The city is connected to the Île de Ré (island) by a 2.9 km bridge, completed in 1988 and includes naval, aircraft, and automobile construction industries. As the principal French fishing port on the Atlantic coast, the town was founded during the 10th century and became an important harbor from the 12th century. The most ancient trace of Jews living in Rochelle is that of NAMED HAYYIM BEN ISAAC who, in 1216, copied the Tanakh for SALOMON BEN YOSSEPH HACOHEN and DAVID BEN MESCHOULAM. It is in this manuscript that Rochelle is indicated as the Hebrew name ROKILLAH ". The small Jewish community in 1242 saw the exploits of one of its own named Nicholas Donin, who, after having converted to Christianity, brought persecutions upon the Jews of Brittany and caused the burning of the Talmud. An edict of expulsion was issued in 1249 against the Jews of La Rochelle by Alphonse of Poitiers. The banishment was of short duration since Jews were again in the city at the close of that same century. A Jew named Avinus, living in Toulouse in 1307, was designated a native of La Rochelle. Later, after the expulsion of the Jews of Rochelle and vicinity by Alphonse, Count of Poitou, and the confiscation of their property, Jewry returned in the région. In 1307, one finds a Jew named MAVINUS OF RUPELLA (RUPELLA being the Latin name of Rochelle). Synagogue - Centre Communautaire at M.C.I. 40, cours des Dames - 17000 LA ROCHELLE, Tél 05-46-41-17-66. Answering machine.  [January 2008]

 

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