A close-up on: the Great Sanhedrin: Jews during the Empire

Napoleon took but little interest in the Jews when he came to power. It was only in 1806 that, when faced with mounting hostility to the Jews in France, Napoleon turned to the problem of Jewish integration in the Empire.

  • Introduction

    Napoleon took but little interest in the Jews when he came to power. It was only in 1806 that, when faced with mounting hostility to the Jews in France, Napoleon turned to the problem of Jewish integration in the Empire. Having already built the Empire on the religious peace brought about by the Concordat, Napoleon then decided to form an assembly of Jewish notables who would represent the Jewish community and be a consultative body with the aim of bringing Jews over to his policies. This finally became the Great Sanhedrin, created in the image of the Sanhedrin which met in ancient Jerusalem. This was the beginning of Jewish emancipation.

  • Documents

    Imperial decree of 17 March, 1808, prescribing measures for the execution of the regulation of 10 december, 1806, regarding the Jews
    Imperial decree of 20 July, 1808, concerning Jews with no fixed first or family names

  • Commentary

    – Emanuel Papot: Napoleon and the Jews
    Napoleon and the Jews (External link on Wikipedia)

  • Biographies

  • Images

  • Bibliography

    Schwarzfuchs, Simon, Napoleon, the Jews and the Sanhedrin, London, Boston, Henley: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979.