The Alliance Israélite Universelle: 160 Years Educating Jewish Children
ENGLISH CORNER, CON LINDA JIMÉNEZ – This week’s trivia question: About how many Jewish children in the Muslim world did the Alliance educate during its first 100 years in existence?
The Alliance Israélite Universelle is an international Jewish organization founded in Paris in 1860 to safeguard the human rights of Jews around the world. It is noted for establishing French-language schools for Jewish children throughout the Mediterranean, Iran and the Ottoman Empire in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Georges Bensoussan is a French historian who was born in Morocco. He has written extensively on a number of subjects, notably the Holocaust and antisemitism in the Arab world. His book Jews in Arab Countries: The Great Uprooting, which was published in English in 2019, is part of the 17-book series Studies in Antisemitism. Bensoussan has recently published a history of the Alliance Israélite Universelle and this week he is speaking with us about the history and work of the organization. Bensoussan spoke with us in French, and we would like to thank Andrew Halper, the translator of Jews in Arab Countries, for translating this interview for us.