French town; capital of an arrondissement in the department of Seine-et-Oise. It contained a Jewish community as early as the eleventh century. In 1179 (according to some authorities, in 1166 or 1171) the Jews of Pontoise were accused of the murder of a Christian child named Richard, whose body was taken to the Church of the Holy Innocents at Paris and there venerated as that of a martyr. A document of 1294 relates that the abbé of Saint Denis bought a house at Pontoise belonging to a Christian heavily indebted to the Jews there, who were paid the purchase-money through the provost Robert de Baan. The Jewish names which appear in this document are those of Magister Sanson, Meuns de Sezana, and Abraham de Novo Castello. In 1296 Philip the Fair made a gift to his brother Charles, Count of Valois, of Joce or Joucet, a Jew of Pontoise, and his children, David, Aroin, Haginot, Beleuce, Hanée, and Sarin. In the same year Joucet of Pontoise was appointed financial agent between the crown and his coreligionists of Amiens, Senlis, and Champagne, and in 1297 Philip the Fair made him arbiter in a litigation which had arisen between himself and his brother Charles regarding forty-three Jews whom the latter claimed as natives either of his county of Alençon or of his lands in Bonmoulins and Chateauneuf-en-Thymerais.
The principal Jewish scholars of Pontoise were: Jacob de Pontoise ("Minḥat Yehudah," pp. 4b, 24b), Moses ben Abraham (Tosef., Pes. 67b; Ḥag. 19b; Yoma 6b, 64a; Yeb. 61a), and Abraham de Pontoise ("Kol Bo," No. 108).
- Depping, Les Juifs dans le Moyen Age, pp. 93, 146;
- Dom Bouquet, Historiens de France, xxv. 768;
- Dubois, Historia Ecclesiœ Parisiensis, ii. 142;
- Moréri, Dictionnaire Historique, s.v. Richard;
- R. E. J. ii. 24, ix. 63, xv. 234, 250;
- Gross, Gallia Judaica, pp. 442-445.