November 8, 2010 Early Modern French-Jewish Communities in Louisiana Are Subject of Dec. 8 Book Talk at the Library

Press Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022
Public Contact: Peggy Pearlstein (202) 707-3779

During the 19th- and early-20th-centuries, approximately 10,000 Jews from Alsace-Lorraine came to the United States. Approximately one-fifth of them settled in Louisiana, in small towns along the Mississippi River.

Author Anny Bloch-Raymond explores the history and culture of these French-Jewish communities in her book “Des berges du Rhin aux rivages de Mississippi: Histoire et récits de migrants juifs” (“Jewish Migrants from the Banks of The Rhine to the Banks of the Mississippi”). She will discuss the book at the Library at noon on Wednesday, Dec. 8 in the African and Middle Eastern Division Reading Room, located on the second floor of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building at 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C.

Sponsored jointly by the Hebraic Section and the European Division, the event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required but seating is limited.

Among the issues the author will discuss are why the Jewish immigrants migrated, how long they continued to speak French and what types of religious, social and culinary habits they preserved.

Bloch-Raymond teaches Jewish culture at the University of Toulouse and is a member of the National Center of Scientific Research in France (CNRS). She earned her doctorate in the social sciences from Marc Bloch University in Strasbourg. From 1988-2001, she was editor-in-chief of La Revue des Sciences Sociales. In addition to her book on the French Jews of Louisiana, she is the author of numerous articles.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at and via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at

The African and Middle Eastern Division furthers this mission as the Library’s center for the study of some 78 countries and regions from Southern Africa to the Maghreb and from the Middle East to Central Asia. The division’s Hebraic Section is one of the world’s foremost centers for the study of Hebrew and Yiddish materials. For more information on the division and its holdings, visit


PR 10-256
ISSN 0731-3527