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OULIF, CHARLES NARCISSE:

French lawyer; born at Metz July, 1794; died in Paris March 3, 1867; educated at the Imperial Lyceum of Metz and later at Strasburg, where he was the first Jew to receive a degree in law (Dec., 1815), being admitted to the bar at Metz. Two years later he became an officer in the National Guard, and later was an enthusiastic supporter of the revolution of 1830. Almost immediately after the inauguration of his legal career Oulif began his struggle to remove the disabilities of the Jews of France. For many years he strove to secure the abolition of the Jewish oath, and he was twice successful (1816 and 1827), at least within the jurisdiction of the court of Metz, while he also secured the suppression of the term "Jew" in all judicial measures and documents in the same court.

In the latter part of 1834 Oulif accepted a call to the chair of law at the University of Brussels, where he remained for over thirty years. The year after his appointment he was admitted to the Brussels bar.

The interest of Oulif in Judaism was unremitting. While at Metz he had established a school for Jewish youths, and had been one of the founders of a society for the encouragement of Jewish arts and industries which served as models for similar institutions at Nancy, Strasburg, Paris, and other cities. Later he became vice-president of the board of trustees of the Central Rabbinical School of France, which was originally situated at Metz, but was later transferred to Paris as the Jewish Seminary. The same keen interest which he always felt in this school was manifested by him in the Alliance Israélite Universelle. Later still he was one of the founders of the French Benevolent Society of Brussels. He was a member of the Legion of Honor (1837) and received the decoration of the Order of Leopold of Belgium.

The literary works of Oulif include: five volumes of the decisions of the court of Metz, begun by him and his colleague Paraut in 1818; a pamphlet, "Sur l'Etat de l'Enseignement Supérieur en Belgique";and numerous articles on important political questions in the Belgian liberal journals, the most striking being a series entitled "France et Belgique."

Bibliography:
  • Sarrut, Biographies des Hommes du Jour, v., Brussels, 1838;
  • Arch. Isr. March 15, 1867;
  • La Belgique Judiciaire, April 11, 1867.
S. J. Ka.
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