Two flights above the only synagogue in Aix-en-Provence, the famed birthplace of Paul Cézanne, a bit of Jewish educational history is unfolding. Two years ago, l’Ecole Juive d’Aix en Provence, or EJAP, became the first trilingual elementary school in France to include classes in Hebrew and in English.
Inaugurated 40 years ago by Darius Milhaud, the only Jewish cultural center in Aix-en-Provence is named after the famous composer and native son. At the time, it was built as a synagogue, yeshiva and social club for a community growing exponentially thanks to waves of emigrants from North Africa. Close to the Rotonde, the fabled fountain at the heart of the city, it rests on the site of a former Jewish cemetery abandoned in the 19th century.
As Moni Ovadia prepares to come to New York, we ask, “Why would several hundred elegant Italian theatergoers choose to spend New Year’s Eve at a one-man show about Jewish humor and angst?”
In the south of France, two religious leaders are taking steps to heal the rifts between Jews and Muslims in their country. Rabbi Haïm Harboun and Habib S. Kaaniche, an imam, are planning to launch an unusual dictionary in three languages: Hebrew, Arabic and French, followed by biographical sketches of great figures of Judaism and Islam.