RENNES: (Ille-et-Vilaine département, Bretagne région, Basse Loire) Print
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A city of northwestern France in the east of Brittany, Rennes is the capital of the Bretagne région, as well as the capital of the Ille-et-Vilaine département. Built on a hill, with the north side more elevated than the south side, the population is 195,000. JEWRY IN BRITTANY: Little is known about the history of Jewry in Brittany. They first are recorded in the Cannons of the Concile de Vannes between 461 and 465. They were present throughout the Middle Ages in the main cities of trade on the trade routs between the southern Europe and Flanders. The 13th century, marked by Crusades, saw expulsion and massacres. The Spanish Inquisition sent some Jewry to Brittany where they were favorably received. But Louis XIII, in 1615, expelled them. They will be found in 17th and 81th centuries, notably in Saint-Malo where things went less happily than to Rennes. In 1899, during Dreyfus trial in Rennes, Victor Basch was professor of German at the Faculté des Sciences and secretary of the Rennaise section of the League of Human Rights which also consisted of Henry Sée, Pierre Weiss, master of conference in the Faculty of Sciences, and 18 other members. Several stores were the object of damage during activities of anti-dreyfusards. The presence of Jews during WWII is authenticated by the memorial plaques installed in the Community Centre, remembering of the names of the 70 families deported from Rennes or from Brittany. In 1960, the Jewish community was reorganized with the arrival of several Jewish families of North African birth and Holocaust survivors. The first synagogue of Brittany with a mikvah (also first of Brittany), a cultural center (multimedia library and library specialized in Judaism, open to the public), conference center, meetings and various activities, is finally dedicated on January 21st, 2002. The mayor of Rennes, Edmund Hervé, and municipal authority, SAFRA foundation, members of the community and its officers (president is Professor Bernard LOBEL) all worked at this creation. A.C. I. Synagogue at Centre Communautaire Edmond Safra, 5, allée du Mont Dol - La Héronnière - 35700 RENNES, Tél / Fax 02-99-63-57-18. [January 2008]

 

Jewish Section of cimetière de l'Est: [January 2008]