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Kehillat Haharedim Records

Identifier: RG 340

Scope and Contents

The records reflect the Kehillat Haharedim's activities during and after the World War II.
Post War Records: Circulars sent to municipalities in France inquiring about the fate of Jewish children. Responses of the municipalities, written on the returned questionnaires. Correspondence with the OSE. Correspondence with organizations in England and Poland relating to the fate of rescued Jewish children. Correspondence regarding the return of children sheltered in Catholic institutions. Correspondence with the Commission on the Status of Jewish War Orphans, with the Federation de Societes Juives de France, Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine, AJDC, HICEM. Letters from children in children's homes. Lists of children, reports on their condition, on the fate of their parents. Statistical reports on children's homes. Lists of students, programs of studies and financial records from educational institutions in Eragny, Boissy-St. Leger, Tragny.

Scope and Contents

This finding aid covers the folders of the Records of the Kehillat Haharedim (Association des Israelites Pratiquants) which were microfilmed, which are folders 1-280. These records reflect the Kehillat Haharedim's underground rescue activities, particularly of children, during and after World War II. Materials include correspondence related to the provision of food for children's homes and youth homes in Seignebon-Demu, St. Etienne-de-Crossey, Brout-Vernet, and St. Gervais-les-Bains; correspondence with internees of concentration camps in Le Vernet, Gurs, Rivesaltes, Les Milles, Barcares, Recebedou, Aubagne, Rieucros, and Argeles-sur-Mer; correspondence regarding relief work in the camps, including the sending of provisions, clothes and religious articles; lists of refugees and internees; correspondence with rabbis, including Rabbi Elie Munk, Rabbi David Chaim Met, Rabbi Shlomo Kunstlinger, and Rabbi Shlomo Fuchs; correspondence with organizations such as Union Generale des Israelites de France (UGIF), the Commission on the Status of Jewish War Orphans, the Federation de Societes Juives de France, Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine, Comité Juif d'Action Sociale et de Reconstruction COSAJOR (Jewish Committee of Social Action and Reconstruction), American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), World Union OSE, and Hias-Ica Emigration Association (HICEM); the bulletin of the Kehillat Haharedim; materials on yeshivot in Marseilles, St. Etienne-de-Crossey, and Heide, Belgium, including lists of students and materials on vocational courses offered by the Kehillat Haharedim; and financial records. Materials related to the Kehillat Haharedim's post-war activities include circulars sent to municipalities in France inquiring about the fate of Jewish children and responses of the municipalities, often written on the returned questionnaires; correspondence with organizations in England and Poland relating to the fate of rescued Jewish children; correspondence regarding the return of children sheltered in Catholic institutions; letters from children in children's homes; lists of children and reports on their condition and on the fate of their parents; statistical reports; financial records from educational institutions in Eragny, Boissy-St. Leger, and Tragny, and materials relating to the Kehillat Haharedim school in Paris; and reports and other materials from schools and Talmud Torahs such as "Chaim L'Yisrael," and Talmud Torahs in Mulhouse, Metz, Grenoble, Brussels, and Limoges. These documents often show the difficulties Orthodox Jews faced in the post-war period when trying to return to their pre-war way of life. Materials on religious topics include requests to government schools to free children from writing on the Sabbath; religious activities, synagogues, Jewish burials, provision of matzah and kosher wine, kosher slaughter, mikvot, and kashrut; lists and correspondence relating to providing relief packages of kosher food; correspondence and minutes of the Coordinating Committee of the Synagogues of Paris, 1945; and correspondence of the Vaad Harabonim, 1944-1945. Synagogues represented in the collection include the Rashi Synagogue, Ezras Yisroel Synagogue, Beit Yisrael Synagogue, and Adath Israel Synagogue. Materials relating to Nazi victims include a project to found an Association of Victims of Nazism, correspondence with the Comite d'Aide Immediate aux Deportes et Victimes de la Guerre, and lists of deportees and survivors. Materials are mainly in French, with some German, Yiddish, Hebrew, Russian, and English. The total processed container list is available upon request. This finding aid contains only those folders which were microfilmed. Some confidential folders were not microfilmed. Return to the Top of Page Arrangement The collection is organized into 11 series. The various series may have overlapping subject matter. Many of the items that were originally in one folder have been divided into several folders, which retain the original folder number. For example, materials which were originally in folder 8 have been divided into twenty-eight folders, now labeled 8.1 through 8.28. In other instances, materials that relate closely to each other have been placed in adjacent folders and labeled accordingly, such as folders 31 and then folders 31A through 31G. Series I: General Administrative Records, 1936-1944 Series II: Child Care and Maisons d'Enfants, 1941-1945 Series III: Correspondence with Internees and Refugees in Concentration and Labor Camps in the Unoccupied Zone, 1940-1946 Series IV: Correspondence about Various Matters, 1939-1946 Series V: Finances, 1940-1944 Series VI: Post-War Location and Care for Saved Children, 1944-1947 Series VII: Maisons d'Enfants, Schools, and Other Post-War Activities to Benefit Children and Youths, 1944-1950 Series VIII: General Religious Activities, 1936, 1944-1947 Series IX: Kashrut and Orthodox Burials, 1941, 1945-1947 Series X: Victims of Nazism, 1944-1947 Series XI: Correspondence with Organizations about Post-War Aid, 1944-1949


  • Creation: 1939 - 1947


Biographical / Historical

French name: Association des Israelites Pratiquants. Association of Orthodox Jews organized in 1936 by Rabbi Schneur Zalmen Schneersohn (Chneerson), to conduct religious and educational activities throughout France. During the German occupation, the organization engaged in underground activities, rescuing and supporting Jews, especially children. Originally centered in Paris, its headquarters were moved to Marseilles in 1940, to Demu in 1942, and to St. Etienne-de-Crossey in 1943. After the war, the organization concerned itself chiefly with searching for children hidden in Christian homes throughout the French countryside and with working for their return to a Jewish environment. A questionnaire was distributed by the Kehillat Haharedim to numerous municipalities in France, inquiring about the existence of Jewish children and expressing the organization's willingness to take custody of such children and to provide for them.


17.5 Linear Feet (35 5"lgl)

Language of Materials






Immediate Source of Acquisition

Rabbi Schneerson donated the collection to the YIVO Archives in 1955. In January 2009, Rabbi Schneerson's daughter, Hadassa Carlebach, donated additional materials, including some original documents given in copy form by Rabbi Schneerson.

Related Materials

The YIVO Archives has the Records of Union Generale Des Israelites De France (UGIF), RG 210; the Records of the World ORT Union, RG 252; Territorial Collection, France II, RG 116; Records of HIAS-HICEM Main Office in Europe, RG 245.5; René Hirschler Correspondence Collection, RG 221; the Records of the American ORT Federation, RG 380; Records of the American OSE Committee, RG 494; and the records of several other aid organizations.

Legacy Finding Aid

A digitized version of the legacy finding aid is available at

Processing Information

Collection processed by YIVO Archives Staff circa 1960. Finding aid edited and collection reorganized and prepared for microfilming by Harriet Jackson and YIVO Archives Staff, 2007- 2009. Microfilmed in 2010 by YIVO in partnership with the Memorial de la Shoah-Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine (Paris) with a grant from the Fondation pour la Memoire de la Shoah (Paris) and with support from the USHMM (Washington, DC). Additional processing and encoding completed by Rachel S. Harrison in 2018.

Kehillat Haharedim Records
December 2018
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States