The nature of philanthropy in nineteenth-century France and thementalité of the Jewish elite

  • Lee Shai Weissbach


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  1. 1.
    Zadoc Kahn, “Le Dieu du judaïsme” inSermons et allocutions, 2nd series (Paris, 1903), 191ff. The Hebrew quotation is from tractate Sota 14a.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Emile Lévy,La morale religieuse et la morale laïque (Bayonne, 1905), 9–10. The Hebrew quotation is from Deuteronomy 14:1.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    See, for example, Patrick Girard,Pour le meilleur et pour le pire: Vingt siècles d'histoire juive en France (Paris, 1986), 286–87, 300–01, 304–05, 320; Phyllis Cohen Albert,The Modernization of French Jewry: Consistory and Community in the Nineteenth Century (Hanover NH, 1977), 124–28, 135–40, 196, 237–38, 313; Michael Marrus,The Politics of Assimilation: The French Jewish Community at the Time of the Dreyfus Affair (Oxford, 1971), 77–83, 157–61; Michael Graetz,Ha-periferyah haytah le-merkaz: perakim be-toldot yahadut Tsorfat ba-me'ah ha-tesha” esreh (Jerusalem, 1982), 65–71; and Michael M. Laskier,The Alliance Israélite Universelle and the Jewish Communities of Morocco: 1862–1962 (Albany NY, 1983), 31–34.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Aron Rodrigue,French Jews, Turkish Jews: The Alliance Israélite Universelle and the Politics of Jewish Schooling in Turkey, 1860–1925 (Bloomington IN, 1990), 7; Derek J. Penslar,Zionism and Technocracy: The Engineering of Jewish Settlement in Palestine, 1870–1918 (Bloomington IN, 1991), 16.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    See Office central des oeuvres de bienfaisance,Paris charitable et prévoyant (Paris, 1897). See also John H. Weiss, “Origins of the French Welfare State: Poor Relief in the Third Republic, 1871–1914,”French Historical Studies 13 (Spring 1983): 53.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    On the motives for charity under the Old Regime, see, for example, Olwin H. Hufton,The Poor of Eighteenth-Century France, 1750–1789 (Oxford, 1974), 131ff; Cissie C. Fairchilds,Poverty and Charity in Aix-en-Provence, 1640–1789 (Baltimore, 1976), 18ff; and Colin Jones,Charity and bienfaisance (Cambridge, 1982), 76ff. The quotations here are from Fairchilds,Poverty and Charity, 28.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Emile Cheysson, quoted in Ann-Louise Shapiro,Housing the Poor of Paris, 1850–1902 (Madison, WI, 1985), 84.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    See Joseph-Marie de Gérando,Le visiteur du pauvre (Paris, 1820).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Armand de Melun, quoted in Charles de Riancey, “Distribution des prix aux jeunes apprentis des quartiers Saint-Denis et Saint-Martin,”Annales de la charité 7 (1851): 507; Paul Decaux,Les patronages d'apprentis et les cercles d'ouvriers (Paris, 1874), 4.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    See Weiss, “Origins of the French Welfare State,” esp. 60n.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    On the specific subject of apprenticeship training for the poor, see Lee Shai Weissbach, “Oeuvre Industrielle, Oeuvre Morale: TheSociétés de Patronage of Nineteenth-Century France,”French Historical Studies 15 (Spring 1987). On thephilosophe's view of manual labor, see William H. Sewell, Jr.,Work and Revolution in France: The Language of Labor from the Old Regime to 1848 (Cambridge, 1980), 64–66.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Le patronage des jeunes ouvriers à Paris (Paris, 1865), 1–2.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    For a discussion of philanthropic activity that assumes a more organized plan of social control, see Jacques Donzelot,The Policing of Families, Robert Hurley, trans. (New York, 1979), esp. 55ff.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Compare Jan Goldstein,Console and Classify: The French Psychiatric Profession in the Nineteenth Century (Cambridge, 1987), 279. Goldstein, who chronicles the transformation of care for the mentally ill, observes that nineteenth-century “philanthropy” was “rational, methodical, and far-reaching,” in contrast to traditional “charity,” which had been “more personally fervent but less effective.” It is interesting to note that toward the end of the nineteenth century theAnnales de la charité changed its name to theRevue philanthropique; see Donzelot,Policing of Families, 67.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    On abandoned children see Rachel Ginnis Fuchs,Abandoned Children: Foundlings and Child Welfare in Nineteenth-Century France (Albany, NY, 1984). On child labor, see Lee Shai Weissbach,Child Labor Reform in Nineteenth-Century France: Assuring the Future Harvest (Baton Rouge, 1989). On housing reform see Shapiro,Housing the Poor. Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    See Donzelot,Policing of Families, 88–90.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    On thebureaux de bienfaisance, see Weiss, “Origins of the French Welfare State,” 49–51.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    See Léon Bourgeois,Solidarité (Paris, 1896). Weiss “Origins of the French Welfare State,” 55–58, provides a good brief description of Solidarism.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Edouard Guillon,Les colonies française, quoted in John L. Heineman, ed.,Readings in European History (Dubuque IA, 1979), 255.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    On France'smission civilisatrice in general see, for example, Henri Brunschwig,French Colonialism, 1871–1914, William Granville Brown, trans. (New York, 1966), 167ff.; Winfried Baumgart,Imperialism: The Idea and Reality of British and French Colonial Expansion, 1880–1914 (Oxford, 1982), 13–17; and Raymond F. Betts,The False Dawn: European Imperialism in the Nineteenth Century (Minneapolis, 1975), 150–56, 173–183.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    See Lee Shai Weissbach, “The Jewish Elite and the Children of the Poor: Jewish Apprenticeship Programs in Nineteenth-Century France,”AJS Review 12 (Spring 1987).Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Zadoc Kahn, “Instruction et travail,” inSermons et allocutions adressés à la jeunesse israélite (Paris, 1878), 162.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    See, for example, “De l'oeuvre des apprentis,”Annales de la charité 1 (1845): 473; and “Du patronage des enfants employés en manufacture,”Annales de la charité 3 (1847): 115.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Société protectrice de la jeunesse israélite et des arts et métiers de Bayonne (Bayonne, 1867), 4–5.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Compte-rendu de l'école de travail ⋯ de Paris, années 1884, 1885, 1886 (1887), 12; Decaux, “Les patronages d'apprentis,” 4.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Virgile Léon, quoted inSociété protectrice, 20; Abbé de Poterat,Le patronage des apprentis d'Orléans (Orleans, 1902), 24.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    For the example of opposition to vocational training programs for poor children, see Albert,Modernization, 137, and Jonathan Isaac Helfand,French Jewry during the Second Republic and Second Empire (1848–1870) (Ph.D. diss., Yeshiva University, 1979), 142.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Compte-rendu de la Société de patronage des apprentis et ourviers israélites de Paris, année 1877 (1878), 3.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Archives israélites 64, 9 (26 February 1903). Emphasis added.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    See the brochureSociété de l'orphelinat de la Seine pour l'assistance et l'apprentissage des orphelins et des enfants abandonnés in the Archives nationales, Paris, carton F17–12530;Patronage de l'enfance et de l'adolescence: Société de protection des enfants en danger moral (Paris, c. 1905), 9;Bulletin de la Société de protection des apprentis et des enfants des manufactures 1 (1867): 39–44, and 5 (1872): 8; and Weiss, “Origins of the French Welfare State,” 517.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Simon Schama,Two Rothschilds and the Land of Israel (New York, 1978), 16.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Ibid., 13.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Perhaps even Rothschild himself did not comprehend how fully his work reflected the nature of nineteenth-century philanthropy; “I am not a philanthropist,” he objected in explaining his intense involvement in the work of Palestinian settlement; ibid., 17.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Ibid., esp. 52, 81–84, 343.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Robert Cohen,Jews in Another Environment: Surinam in the Second Half of the Eighteenth Century (Leiden, 1991), passim.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Haifa University Press 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lee Shai Weissbach
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LouisvilleUSA

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