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Nahon, Moïse

(367 words)

Author(s): Colette Zytnicki
Moïse Nahon was born in 1870 in Tangier to a family of notables. He attended the school of the Alliance Israélite Universelle, and was trained as a teacher at the École Normale Israélite Orientale in Paris. His first position was in Fez in 1889, and in 1899 he inaugurated a new AIU school in Casablanca. He was then sent to Algiers to head continuing education programs. In 1900, he became director of the farming estate of the AIU in Regaia, Algeria, which trained young Jews in agricultural work. While in Algeria, he published a long, detailed article on Moroccan Jewry in the French journal Revue de…

L’Information Juive (Algiers)

(253 words)

Author(s): Colette Zytnicki
L’Information Juive was founded in 1948 by Jacques Lazarus, the director of the Comité (Juif) Algérien d’Études Sociales, to defend the interests of the Jewish community in Algeria. Lazarus edited the publication along with Haïm Cherki and Emile Touati. L’Information Juive welcomed contributions from Jewish intellectuals in Algeria ( Raymond Bénichou, Henri Chémouilli) and France ( Emmanuel Lévinas, Arnold Mandel, Armand Lunel,  André Neher). It took a nuanced position during the Algerian War: it favored peace and a solution that would take legitimate Musl…

Cahen, Abraham

(354 words)

Author(s): Colette Zytnicki
Abraham Cahen was born in Metz in 1831, into a family of notables established in that city since the sixteenth century. After earning his high school diploma, he attended the Central Rabbinical School and was ordained in 1861. He was appointed rabbi in Constantine, Algeria, in 1863, and was named chief rabbi in 1867. In 1877, he became chief rabbi of Algiers. Cahen’s rabbinate in both cities was marked by opposition from local rabbis and community leaders. Their dissatisfaction was provoked in part by his ignorance of local traditions—he learned Arabic onl…

Bénichou, Raymond-Joseph

(517 words)

Author(s): Colette Zytnicki
Raymond Bénichou was a leading Algerian Jewish intellectual, philosopher, and advocate interfaith dialogue among Jews, Muslims, and Christians in Algeria.  He was  born in Oran in 1890 to Mardochée Bénichou and Adelaïde Azoubib, distantly related members of two distinguished Algerian Jewish families that piously maintained the memory of their famous fourteenth-century rabbinical ancestor  Simon ben Semaḥ Duran. Raymond was the brother of the playwright and poet Berthe Bénichou-Aboulker. Educated in Paris, Raymond Bénichou earned a literature degree, a diploma fr…