JEWISH PARIS NATALIE KENNARD
WITH 310,000 Jews, Paris has the third largest Jewish population in the world, after Israel and the US. There are awesome shuls, a vibrant Jewish culture and plenty of supervised restaurants.
But how do you find it all if you are visiting for a weekend. A good starting point is Les Ailes, the wonderful Sephardi restaurant in rue Richer in the 9th arrondissement. Pre-pay for your Friday night dinner and Shabbat lunch and enjoy the works: white linen, challah, wine and more courses than you can eat.
You’ll find many kosher restaurants as well as hotels offering kosher breakfasts. One, Hotel Touring, is opposite Temple Buffault, a vast traditional synagogue dating from 1877. Another local shul is Temple Victoire, on rue de la Victoire. Also called the Rothschild shul, the chief rabbis of Paris and France have their own seats on the bimah.
The Marais, in the 4th arrondissement, is trendy and upmarket. Its narrow streets are crammed with designer boutiques, cafés and BCBG Parisians. At its heart is rue des Rosiers, with its kosher delis, restaurants and shops stocked with religious artefacts. Nearby, is the Holocaust Memorial, commemorating July 16 1942 when French police arrested most of the city’s Jews.
We rented an apartment here and, with Les Ailes too far for our seven-yearold to walk, we ate Shabbat meals in our apartment.
We attended Shabbat services in a second-floor apartment on the Place des Vosges, the beautiful 17th-century square of arcaded buildings surrounding a garden with fountains. On Shabbat afternoon, we stumbled across Musée Carnavalet, which, like many of
Bread, baguettes and bagels: lunch on the move means you don’t miss any of the sights