9am – Meet your English speaking guide in the lobby of your hotel and departure for a full day Jewish history walking tour -
First stop for a visit of the Holocaust Memorial
The Holocaust Memorial of Paris was envisioned at the same time as Yad Vashem, but it was initiated by the Jewish community.
In 1961, France did sponsor a national monument to deportation, a crypt located by Notre-Dame Cathedral by the Seine River that indiscriminately honors all victims of deportation.
The Jewish memorial, initiated by members of the Jewish resistance, was unveiled in Paris on October 30, 1956 in the presence of European political and religious leaders. Similar to Yad Vashem, it is a crypt with an eternal flame burning amidst names of concentration camps. A year later, France's Chief Rabbi Jacob Kaplan solemnly deposited ashes from death camps and from the Warsaw ghetto in the crypt, changing the nature of the memorial to a holy place containing human remains. The main focus of the memorial is the archive and research center that was started during the war by members of the Jewish underground who tried to document the persecution of Jews as it unfolded.
In 2005, the French memorial underwent State-financed renovation and a monument was added to the site. Now, in the front patio, two white marble walls bear the alphabetically organized names of Holocaust victims deported from France. Visitors can touch the name of a relative, and leave yahrzeit (memorial) candles or flowers at the wall, an echo to Maya Lin's Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Lunch at leisure - Your guide will suggest you the best place to have lunch depending on your taste and request on site.
Then departure for a visit of the Paris Synagogue (Hector Guimard & Gustave Eiffel)
Also known as “La Victoire synagogue”, it is the largest synagogue in France, and impresses every visitor by its spectacular dimensions and sheer magnificence. Built in 1874 by the chief architect of the city of Paris, Alfred-Philibert Aldrophe, with the financial support of the Rothschild family, the synagogue provided Parisian jews with a place of worship that reflected the community’s tremendous demographic, economic and cultural development at the end of the 19th century. It can seat over 1,800 people, and since its inception, services have been conducted according to the Ashkenazi-Alsacian tradition.
End of the day with a visit of the Jewish art & History museum
The current museum is the successor of the Musée d'Art Juif de Paris, founded in 1948 to honor a culture that was all but destroyed by the Holocaust. Collections were acquired from various sources, including the National Museum of the Middle Ages in Paris. The Musée d'Art et d'Histoire d'Judaisme was founded in 1988.
The museum is located in the 17th-century Hôtel De St-Aignan. In a well-organized and user-friendly format, the museum displays Jewish ritual objects, historical items, and artworks by notable Jewish artists.
Included in the eclectic collections are menorahs, torah ornaments, and ark curtains in both the Ashkenazi and Sephardic traditions, illuminated manuscripts, Renaissance torah arks, paintings from the 18th and 19th centuries, and medieval Jewish gravestones. Also on display are documents related to the notorius Dreyfus case.
5pm – End of the tour at your hotel