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ALPES-PROVENCE CONSISTOIRE RÉGIONAL, Grand Rabbin Régional, M. Charles BISMUTH.

Jewish culture has thrived since the early Middle Ages. When Provence came under Catalonian rule in the 12th century, literature, science, poetry, and philosophy of the Jews and non-Jews of Catalonia enriched the Jewish culture. Avignon, Carpentras, Cavaillon and L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue had marked Jewish culture. The Vaucluse région, known historically as the Comtat Venaissin, was a relatively safe haven for Jews. Ceded to the Vatican in 1274, it remained in the Vatican's hands until 1791, when it reverted to France. Jews in the Comtat spoke a Judeo-Provençal dialect and developed their own liturgy, Comtatdin. Under the protection of the Avignon Popes, the Jewish community flourished. Jews were permitted to live in Avignon, Carpentras, Cavaillon, and L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, known at the time as the Arba Kehilot. With the exception of L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, these cities still contain fine vestiges of old Jewish quarters. See The Road to Jewish Heritage in the South of France, Vaucluse Département Tourist Office, B.P. 147, 84008 Avignon Cedex, tel. 04.90.80.47.00, www.provenceguide.com. [January 2008]

http://us.franceguide.com/info-and-publications/Franceguide-english-2007/Provence.html?nodeID=926&EditoID=86633: The Vaucluse région, known historically as Comtat Venaissin, has always been a relatively safe haven for Jews. Ceded to the Vatican in 1274, it remained in the Vatican's hands until 1791, when it reverted to France. Jews in Le Comtat spoke a Judeo-Provençal dialect and developed their own liturgy, Comtatdin. Under the protection of the Avignon Popes, the Jewish community flourished. Jews were permitted to live in Avignon, Carpentras, Cavaillon, and L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, known at the time as the Arba Kehilot. With the exception of L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, these cities still contain fine vestiges of their old Jewish quarters. [January 2008]

 
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