RELIGIOUS JEWISH LIFE IN CONTEMPORARY FRANCE THROUGH THE CASE OF A LARGE SOUTHERN CITY: NICE FROM 1860 TO 1980
Just after the annexation of the County of Nice by France in 1860, the ancient Jewish community is included inside the French jewry. From then on, the local Jewish lifestyle follows the model of Israelite consistorial cult. Nevertheless, from the end of the nineteenth century, this model is confronted to the Dreyfus Affair, then to the cultual reorganization due to the Law on the separation of the Churches and the State. In spite of the alert of the Dreyfus Affair, the Israelite cult in Nice is combined and even mixed up with a pious devotion to the homeland (France). From the first years of the twentieth century, the "Israelitism" is facing other Jewish religious models imported by immigrants from central, eastern and Balkan Europe. During the Second World War, the inclusion of the County within the Free Zone, then within the Italian occupation zone, causes a huge inflow of refugees and sparks off the reintroduction of a real religious lifestyle, which the "unexpected" arrival of the Nazis in September 1943 puts out. In the middle of the 1950s, new waves of migration from North Africa, Morocco and Tunisia, expanded the community. The repatriation from Algeria, the impact of the Six-Day War, the rediscovery of the Jewish roots by the young, the influence of strict observance communities, explain the comeback of significant sectors of the population to a traditional Judaism.
Fields of expertise: Jewish history, society and heritage