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COHEN, JOSEPH:

French journalist; born at Marseilles Nov. 1, 1817; died in Paris 1899. After finishing his studies at Aix, he was admitted to the bar there in 1836. He founded the "Mémorial d'Aix," of which he was the editor until 1843. At this time he, with Jacques Isaac ALTARAS, was interested in the Jews of Algeria, publishing some articles on them in the "Archives Israélites." He thereby gained their friendship, and they elected him president of the newly founded Jewish consistory of Algiers. He assisted them in reorganizing their mode of worship, and later (1868) they sent him to Paris as delegate to the central consistory of the Jews of France

On returning to France in 1850, he resumed his journalistic work, writing on politics as well as on matters pertaining to Judaism. From 1860 to 1862 he was one of the editors of the first French Jewish weekly, "La Vérité Israélite," in which he published his famous work, "Les Déicides," an investigation into the life of Jesus, in which he attacks the originality of the moral teaching of the Gospels, and defends the Pharisees. The work appeared in book form in 1864 (a second edition in 1866), and was translated into English in 1874. Cohen subsequently published a supplementary work, "Les Pharisiens," 2 vols., 1877.

His reputation suffered somewhat in consequence of unfortunate financial transactions; but after some years of silence be reengaged in political journalism, and was editor of "La Liberté" to the close of his life.

S. J. W.
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