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GRENOBLE ():

Capital of the department of Isère, France. It possessed a Jewish community from the end of the thirteenth century. Jacob ben Solomon, a Grenoble Jew (Zunz, "Z. G." p. 208, erroneously calls him "Isaac"), died a martyr to his faith in 1296.

When the Jews were driven out of France (1306) by Philippe le Bel, a certain number of them fled to Grenoble, where they were hospitably received by the dauphin Humbert I., who allowed them to establish banking-houses there. Two of them especially, Amyal of Tours and Morel of Amboise, obtained important privileges on paying an annual tax of 10 livres. In 1388, in consequence of numerous accusations against the Jewish bankers of the region addressed to the governor of the Dauphiné, all the Jews of the province were called together at Grenoble, and on their refusal to comply with this summons the dauphin condemned each of them to pay a silver mark annually. Further, he imposed a fine of 10,000 francs on all the Jews, for the payment of which the "maistre de la loy," Rabbi Samuel, addressed an urgent appeal to all the Jewish bankers of the Dauphiné. Among the most important of these were Moses Aaron and Samson of Yenne, residents of Grenoble. In 1396, during the dauphinal council at Grenoble, a criminal suit was instituted against three youths, Samson of Jerusalem, Crescent of Voiron, and Perret Levi, who were accused of having committed a crime against a Christian and of having blasphemed Jesus. They were condemned to pay a fine of 200 francs in gold.

On March 4, 1413, at the request of the states general of the province, the council decided that Jews should be obliged to keep their places of worship, their ovens, their wells, and their markets separate from those of the Christians. In addition, the men were required to wear as a badge a round piece of variegated cloth, placed upon the outer garment at the chest, and the women to put a distinctive token in their head-dress. It was forbidden for either men or women to appear in public or to keep their doors and windows open on Passion Sunday or during Holy Week; and they were not allowed to employ Christian servants.

During the reign of Charles VII. the Jews of Grenoble and its environs were accused of having associated with the enemies of the dauphin during his exile and of having used disrespectful language concerning him. They were therefore condemned by him to pay a fine of 1,500 crowns in gold. It wasat this period that the Jews left Grenoble definitively. Only a few Israelite families now reside there (1903).

Bibliography:
  • Valbonais, Histoire du Dauphiné, i., ii.; Preuves, No. 131;
  • Ordonnances des Rois de France, xi.;
  • Prudhomme, Les Juifs en Dauphiné, pp. 12, 51, 54, 58;
  • Depping, Les Juifs dans le Moyen Age, pp. 162 and 196;
  • R. E. J. ix. 239, 254, 256, 260, 261;
  • Gross, Gallia Judaica, p. 143.
G. S. K.
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