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France: Jewish guide points to museums, synagogues and other sites

February 02, 2011|By Benoit Lebourgeois | Special to the Los Angeles Times
  • Get beyond the cliche sights of Paris and other places in France with an online guide to Jewish sites there.
Get beyond the cliche sights of Paris and other places in France with an online… (Richard Derk / For The Times )

If you'd like to view a familiar destination from a new perspective, turn to the FranceGuide for the Jewish Traveler for an unexpected window on centuries of culture and history in the country with the world's third largest Jewish population. The guide, long available as a printed book, is now online at the website of the French Government Tourist Office.

For each of France’s regions, the guide provides an account of museums, monuments, synagogues, neighborhoods and other notable sites, with tips on visiting them.

One of Western Europe’s oldest preserved Jewish monuments, a Medieval structure in Rouen, perhaps a yeshiva or school for Jewish instruction, points to more enlightened times. But other memorials reflect on a history of discrimination that culminated in the sinister events of the 20th century,  when Nazis invaded France. 

A downloadable podcast narrates a walking tour of the Pletzl, the Marais neighborhood in Paris that is home to many Jewish residents and businesses. And because this is France, the guide has a section on dining with a kosher twist.

The author, native New Yorker Toni Kamins, wrote "FranceGuide for the Jewish Traveler"  in English,  but several of its links go to pages available only in French.

Info: FranceGuide for the Jewish Traveler

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