Unusual Parisian School





This small school is located in The Pletzl, the Jewish quarter in the fourth arrondissement of Paris. It was founded in 1844 by the city of Paris when it became clear that it was necessary to set up a secular school to cater for the numerous Jewish children who lived in the district.

The École élémentaire des Hospitalières-Saint-Gervais had several unusual features:
– although it was a secular school, it received some funds from the Central Consistory, the institution set up by Napoleon I to administer Jewish worship in France, but religious education was forbidden within the building.
– unlike other French schools, it was closed on Saturdays and Sundays, instead of Thursdays and Sundays, as was the case in all other French state schools.
– it used the Monitorial System of education
– the school was organized for Jewish children but not all students were Jewish.

9 thoughts on “Unusual Parisian School

  1. I like that first shot with the sun shining down!

    It’s interesting that a school geared for Jewish children would have a very Christian-sounding name. Was that the original name?

    • The name of the school is in fact the name of the street, as is often the case with French secular schools. Apparently it is the original name although it is not written on the front which reads “ÉCOLE PRIMAIRE COMMUNALE DE JEUNES GARÇONS ISRAÉLITES – MODE MUTUEL – FOND MUNICIP. JUIN MDCCCXLIV”.

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