Page 61 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 30

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THE J E W I S H P R E S S I N F R A N C E
A Review of the Contemporary Scene
*
By C
h a r l e s
B
erlin
T
he
J
e w ish
press
in France has a long and distinguished his­
tory. The first Jewish periodical appeared in France at the
time of the French Revolution, and by the end of the nineteenth
century over fifty periodicals in French, Yiddish and Hebrew had
made their appearance. This number increased to almost four
hundred on the eve of the Second World War. During this
period the French Jewish press could boast of two journals whose
publication spanned a century.
L’Univers Israelite
(1835-1940)
and
Les Archives Israelites
(1840-1935). Today the Jewish press
in France numbers some seventy publications dealing with all
aspects of French Jewish life.
Political Press
While most Jewish communities in the Diaspora now find it
almost impossible to support Jewish newspapers of any frequency,
especially dailies, the French community continues to support a
number of active newspapers, including several dailies and week­
lies. As in the case of newspapers in Israel, so here the proliferation
of newspapers and newspaper-type publications is a reflection of
the political polarization within the community, for each paper
is published by a different political group and is, in effect, a party
organ. There are three Yiddish dailies:
Unzer Vort, Naye Prese
and
Unzer Shtime. Unzer Vort (Notre Parole)
is a Socialist Zionist
paper, with Poale Zion-Mapai leanings;
Naye Prese (La Presse
Nouvelle)
is a leftist paper, and
Unzer Shtime
is published by the
Bund. These newspapers have been on the scene for many years,
the first since 1945, the second since 1934, and the third since
1935. While general and world news is covered, special attention
is given to news of Jewish interest both in France and elsewhere.
In addition,
Unzer Vort
devotes much space to developments on
the Israeli scene, while
Naye Prese
carries many items pertaining
to the Soviet Union and leftist groups.
Naye Prese
also has a
French language weekly magazine,
La Presse Nouvelle Hebdome-
* This survey is based upon the holdings of the Judaica Collection of the
Harvard University Library.
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