Renaître sous les auspices américains et britanniques. Le mouvement libéral juif en France après la Shoah (1944-1970), par Laura Hobson Faure
Rebirth under American and British Auspices: the French Jewish Reform Movement after the Shoah (1944-1970), by Laura Hobson Faure
After the Shoah, French Jewish institutions struggled to rebuild with the help of American and international organizations. In light of this overseas aid and the traditional marginalization of non-consistorial Jewish life in France, the author raises the question of the reconstruction of the French Jewish Reform movement and its synagogue, the Union Libérale Israélite. This article, based on original archival research and oral history interviews, analyzes the reconstruction of this community. We see how local tensions with the Consistory, a diminished membership, and a dire financial situation were overcome after the war. Determinant in the synagogue’s reconstruction were its strong prewar youth movements, which provided a source of postwar leadership, and its institutional affiliation with the World Union for Progressive Judaism. This latter organization, based out of London and later New York, served not only a precious source of funding, but as an international anchor to which the ULI could attach its survival. The ULI’s most ambitious project, the Institut international d’études hébraïques, a rabbinical seminary and teacher training institute that operated in Paris from 1955 through the 1960s, is analyzed, demonstrating the dynamics within the Jewish diaspora that allowed for the creation and eventual closure of this institution.