France / Lorraine

Boulay

Synagogue of Boulay. Photo by Aimelaime – Wikipedia

Jews from Germany settled in Boulay at the beginning of the 17th century. It is in this city that Raphaël Lévy lived, falsely accused and executed in 1670 for “ritual crime”.

Duke Leopold confirmed the authorization of the settlement of 19 Jewish Boulageois families, which had a synagogue, built in 1670, a Jewish school and a cemetery. But their discretion is imposed and taxes put in place. A large part of Boulay Jews were expelled in 1721.

Following the emancipation, fruit of the Revolution of 1789, the population increased in the 19th century. Thus, there are 137 Jews in 1808 and 265 twenty years later. A new synagogue was built in 1857. His hazan in the 1930s was Charles Lichtenstein.

Jewish cemetery of Boulay. Photo by Aimelaime – Wikipedia

Of the hundred Jews present in the city on the eve of the Second World War, 11 were deported during the Shoah.

The synagogue was destroyed by the Nazis and rebuilt in 1955. A plaque is affixed there in memory of the dead of the two wars.

A prominent figure in the Jewish community, Léon Paul Lazard, whose company produced the famous Boulay macaroons from 1854.

About thirty Boulay Jews resided in the city in 1968. Only a few families live there today. The synagogue was closed in 2023.