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POITIERS: (Vienne département, Poitou-Charentes région) PDF Print E-mail
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Located in west central France, this commune and the capital (préfecture) of the Vienne département and of the Poitou-Charentes région has a population of 86,000. Poitiers is situated on the Clain River. Capital of the Pictons, a Gallic people, under the Romans, Poitiers was called Limonum. In 1236 the Jews of Poitiers and the adjacent country were harrassed by the Crusaders, although Pope Gregory IX, in a letter to the bishop, strongly condemned their excesses. Four years later (1240), Nathan ben Joseph engaged in a debate with the Bishop of Poitiers. Alphonse de Poitiers, yielding to the demands of the Christian inhabitants, ordered the expulsion of the Jews from the city (1249) and the cancelation of all debts due them from the Christians. He was not disdainful of their knowledge of medicine, however; for when he was attacked in 1252 with a serious affection of the eyes he called in a celebrated Jewish physician of Aragon named Ibrahim. In 1269 he compelled all Jews remaining in his dominions to wear the badge of the wheel on their garments. In 1273 the council of Poitiers forbade landed proprietors to make any contracts with the Jewish usurers and ordered Christians generally not to lend money to the Jews or to borrow from them except in cases of extreme necessity. In 1296 all Jews were expelled from the city by Philip the Fair. Poitiers had no Jewish community since Philippe Le Bel (at the end of the 13th century). In 1940, at the arrival of refugees from the east of France, a strong, unstructured community of hundred of families was formed and acquired a room from the Municipality in the Town Hall for worship. This community was happy to have at its head (until deportation), Rabbi Elie BLOCH (Z"l), father of Jewish Youth in Metz. A camp was created on the road to Limoges, where more than 600 Jews were deported. After 1945, a Jewish community became official on January 22nd, 1978. There is the ancient rue de la Synagogue, a relic of the medieval ghetto. Synagogue and Centre Communautaire at 30, Bd Jeanne d'Arc - 86000 POITIERS. [January 2008]


Carré au Cimetière Communal de la Pierre-Levée: [January 2008]


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