Clermont-Ferrand - Small
20, rue des 4 Passports
63 000 CLERMONT-F ERRAND , France
Last updated on: October 24, 2010
Please update us!
Ass Cultuelle Israelite
Clermont-Ferrand - Synagogue
6 Rue Blatin
+33 4 73 93 36 59
Fax: +33 4
73 34 06 33
Last updated on: October 24, 2010
Please update us!
the Jewish Community of Clermont-ferrand:
The Jewish presence in CF can be traced back to antiquity.
Moreover, some names of neighborhoods or streets remind:
Fontgiève Street (fountain of the Jews)
Montjuzet hill (Mountain Jews)
Rue du Faubourg-des-Jews, etc. ..
In the Middle Ages, Jews leaving Clermont city belonging to the Bishop
and they derisively call "Dark Mountain" (Har Hanefel).
However, Montferrand, a royal city, they will remain until the Jews are,
collectively, driven from the Kingdom of FRANCE.
The community was restructured in the late eighteenth century because of
the integration of fellow arrived in this order:
the south of France
the south of France
A medieval Jewish cemetery has been updated in the town of Ennezat, a
few km from Clermont-Ferrand.
The community has recently acquired, through the gift of a generous
benefactor, the building's old synagogue where restoration is under
Currently, the community represents about 150 families
Jews of Clermont
Written by JS
Can we really speak of a Jewish community?
Yes and no.
It seems more accurate to use the plural, as it is true
that several communities have succeeded without any real
The Jews of Clermont with a fragmented story (1),
Dominique Jarrassé (2) makes an important contribution
to the formation of the collective memory of the city.
of the Rue des Quatre-Passports is a heritage
of the Jewish community Clermont.
On what date was the first implantation Clermont?
Hard to say, both materials are rare and discontinuous.
The existence of a group of Jews is attested from the
fifth century and its dispersion in 576, when Bishop
Avitus imposes the choice between conversion and
However, there is no written record of persecutions
caused the Crusades, epidemics and the Hundred Years
This silence, in contrast to the glut of stories on
other provinces raises questions, especially as the
presence of Jews in the thirteenth century is located in
Fontgiève at the foot of Montjuzet.
They are rabbis, craftsmen carpenters, wine merchants,
spices, wax, horses and cattle.
The Enlightenment is not totally free of prejudices
against them, the revolutionaries accusing them of
having done nothing for freedom and away from public
The community, of medium height, with over one hundred
members in 1872.
They live on streets Gras, the hosier, St. Peter's
Square and the surrounding suburbs, streets Fontgiève,
Sainte-Rose and Champgil are hawkers, (but all hawkers
are non-Jews) or traders.
City councilors insist they are "blameless", they get
the right to install their cemetery in the neighborhood
of the Morea and learns, in 1862, a
rue des Quatre-Passports, all signs of a successful
The revival of Catholicism that accompanies the Second
Empire, resulting in a contempt of Judaism, and faced
with the rapid success of some Jews, anti-Semitism is
growing, fueled by the Dreyfus affair.
It goes tragically proliferate under the Vichy regime,
which applies from 1940 a five-point program: census
(the lists are sent to the occupier), house arrests,
expulsions, and deportations Aryanization property.
The first affected are foreigners and naturalized Jews
of recent date, but 1942 sounds the hour of danger for
The "pickups" the most important taking place in August,
February and March of next year, others are the
University of Strasbourg and Clermont folded isolated
The prisoners were taken to school and Amedee-Gasquet F
Camp, located near Gerzat then loaded into cattle cars.
Branch Drancy, Auschwitz: the same itinerary disaster
While not entirely yours, the response should be nuanced
Auvergne, Clermont since have often expressed their
solidarity, especially after 1942 and saved lives.
After liberation, the life of the community was
enlivened by the arrival of Jews from Algeria, the
acquisition of a large local street Blatin, became
and the creation of the cultural center John Issac.
It is anchored around the traditional Judaism.
(1) published by Presses Universitaires de
France, collection Studies in the Massif
Central, 278 pages, 180F (e 27.44).
professor at the University of Bordeaux III,
he taught several years of art history at the
Faculty of Arts,
About Synagogue de la rue des 4 Passports
A presence that dates back to ancient times:
After the destruction of the Second Temple of Jerusalem
(in 70 CE), Jewish communities implanted in Marseille,
then along the Rhone valley before reaching Clermont-Ferrand.
In the fifth century, the Jewish Quarter is located
around the current street Fontgiève (meaning fountain of
Jews) and at the foot of the hill Montjuzet (which means
mountain of the Jews).
Fontgiève remains the area of Jews during the Middle
From the fourteenth century, we lose track of them.
It is likely that following the plague and persecution,
they disperse before leaving the Kingdom where they are
banned in 1615.
In the late eighteenth century, they settled back, still
in the neighborhood Fontgiève ...
A modest place of worship:
Under the Second Empire, the Jewish community in
Clermont entrust the care Jarrier Louis François
(1829-1881), architect of the city, transforming the
"home Roger" in place of worship.
The synagogue of the Four-Passports will be inaugurated
March 20, 1862.
Modest size (6m 11m), the building would pass almost
unnoticed if not Jarrier had tripartite facade with a
central body with a fake stone of Volvic.
The door, flanked by two pilasters, is surmounted by the
inscription "Temple" and crowned with a pediment at the
center of which is a decorative inlaid in white marble
surrounded by foliage.
Above, two bays pierced the wall in the tables are
topped by the Act.
They are maintained and enhanced by two side curls which
a string is attached.
The breath of Safed mysticism:
In the early days of the occupation, the synagogue
underwent regular attendance.
Rabbi Andrew Chekroun says:
"The rabbinical seminary of Paris had fallen to
Chamalières under the leadership of Rabbi Maurice Liber,
with a handful of students (including André Chekroun)
... Around the seminar and the humble synagogue
Four-Passports, regrouped families Alsatian refugees
often ... Despite or because of the tragedy, Judaism has
rarely been so at Clermont-Ferrand-occupied such a
degree of fervor and excitement ... For those who lived
through that unforgettable atmosphere, Four-Passports
synagogue was the first breath of mystical Safed masters
that hung over the Auvergne. "
With the first roundups of Jews in late 1942, the
synagogue ceased to be popular.
It opened its doors at the end of the war.
The synagogue today:
In 1966, the Shrine is transferred into an apartment
Blatin Street and the synagogue of the Four-Passports is
It then undergoes big changes: a floor is installed at
the rostrum while the furniture is shipped Blatin
In 1990 the synagogue was sold again.
One patron bought it as a gift to the Jewish community
of Clermont-Ferrand, too poor it can not be
Only existing synagogue in Auvergne, located almost
midway between Bordeaux and Lyon, this building should
become a memorial dedicated to the memory of the
righteous Auvergne and development of Jewish culture in
Now high in 2006 of obtaining its inclusion in the
inventory of historical monuments, it expects a revival
in which a whole team working for ten years.
Renaissance worthy of its status as true place of Jewish
memory of Auvergne.