Jewish Heritage tour of Paris

The city's most famous Jewish neighborhood is in the Marais and is known as the Pletzl, Yiddish for little Place. 

This 4th arrondissment district (Metro: St. Paul) has been home to Jews on and off since the thirteenth century. Today, though gentrification has made this one of the city's most fashionable quarters, it is still heavily Jewish and has been for nearly one hundred years. 

Explore and learn the history and culture of the world's fourth largest Jewish community, visit the Jewish Documentation Center and Holocaust Memorial. 

The Museum of Jewish Art and History opened in December 1998, is dedicated to the celebration of Jewish life in the extensive picture exhibits and collection of ritual objects. At number 10 is Agudath Hakehilot, an orthodox synagogue. Designed by Hector Guimard, the Art Nouveau architect and decorator famous for the Paris metro stations, and built in 1914, this is the largest synagogue in the Pletzl. Guimard's wife, an American, was Jewish and with the rise of Nazism they left France for the United States. 

On Yom Kippur 1940 it was dynamited by the Germans, but has since been restored and is now a national monument in addition to playing a key role in the community Rue des Rosiers continues to rue des Ecouffes (street of kites, a bird of prey and an archaic and derisive term for pawnbroker). There are a number of orthodox synagogues along this short street. You will see the posters of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson. Many Lubavitcher Hasidim live in this neighborhood and their worldwide followers are a strong presence here and elsewhere in Paris. The Synagogue des Tournelles adheres to the practices of Sefardic Judaism, the building was constructed in 1876 with assistance by the internationally known Gustave Eiffel.

Nissim de Camondo Museum hosts an exceptional collection of art objects. The family de Camondo had a tragic history. Comte Moise de Camondo was born in Istanbul in 1860 into a Sepharadic Jewish family that owned one of the largest banks in the Ottoman Empire, established in France since 1869. Moise de Camondo meant to give his mansion and collection to his son Nissim. 

But World War I broke out, and Nissim was killed in an air battle June 1917. After this tragic loss, he decided to bequeath his property to the Arts D'coratifs, in memory of his son. The museum opened the year after Moise de Camondo died, in 1935. During World War II, his daughter, Beatrice, his son-of-law Leon Reinach and their children, Fanny and Bertrand, died in the nazi camps.  Art lovers can discover the studio and home of Ossip Zadkine and the Montparnasse Museum at home of the School of Paris: Chagall, Soutine, Modigliani...

If your preference is for art, you can visit the Montparnasse studios of Chagall, Man Ray, Soutine and Pascin, the Montparnasse Museum, the Zadkine Museum (above)  Dina Vierny-Auguste Maillol Museum, commissioned by Russian-Jewish gallery owner Dina Vierny. She was a model who inspired the sculptor Aristide Maillol. 

Private walking tours we offer are usually 3 Hours of Jewish walking tour .

Start at outside the exit of Metro Saint-Paul, rue de Rivoli, where the tour begins, around what was called the Pletzl direction the old middle aged-12th century surrounding wall, where the Jews first settled, and the old village Saint-Paul.  Visit to the one and only private memorial done in the area by a family of righteous gentiles, history of the area where the community was living, mostly immigrants from Russia and Poland, discovering what the modern architects have done out of these old and poor Jewish houses and workshops. 

Then a walk to the old market Place du marche Sainte Catherine, where the poor Jews, Pedlers ,worked, and to Rue Pavee: visit the splendid Synagogue Guymard, build for the Russian Jewish Orthodox community in the early 20th century (we make all appointments), tour around the Jewish streets, visit of the Fleichman synagogue and the Beth Yosseph oratory, kosher shops. 

Your tour ends in Rue des Franc-Bourgeois, where you will discover the marvelous 17th century noble mansions, just renovated and where the Jews had their workshops and lived a difficult life. Now this area has now been transformed in one of the most fashionable and most expensive place in Paris: THE MARAIS.  

4 Hours Jewish walking tour The tour consists of what you have visited in the 3 hours tour, plus: PLACE DES VOSGES: the example of the architecture of the early 17th century, and it's surroundings, where the novel 'Sarah's key', took place. 

Hotel de Sull : one of the important area, where hard workers had their workshops before the terrible rounds-up done between 1942 and 1944. The end of the tour will take you rue Francois Miron: you will discover the HOTEL DE BEAUVAIS: taken from a rich family, by Petain and the Vichy government, after they had sent them to Auschwitz. Your tour ends in the MEMORIAL OF THE SHOAH, wall of the righteous gentiles, wall of the names, center of archives, the crypt, and the different exhibits.

The itinerary is customized for each client.