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December 22, 1989 - Image 22

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-12-22

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

1 TRAVEL I

Our 10th Annual

XMAS DAY
SALE

75% OFF

Open Monday December 25
11 A.M. 4 P.M.

6692 Orchard Lake Rd. • W. Bloomfield
In the West Bloomfield Plaza

851-4410

Mon.-Sat. 10-5:30

Great Synagogue of Lyon

XMAS DAY SALE
5 HOURS ONLY
11-4 PM

50 0/0 OFF ALL SHWORSROTS

15% OFF NEWSPRING SHOES

* Previous Sale Items & Layaways excluded

SHOE GALLERY

15 Mile and Orchard Lake Road — West Bloomfield Plaza

851-5470

22

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 22, 1989

City Of Two Rivers:
Lyon, France

RUTH ROVNER

Special to The Jewish News

T

he windows of Rabbi
Itsak Eledad's third
floor office in Lyon of-
fer a view of the Saone River,
the hills on the opposite side
of the river, and the spires of
the Basilica of Fourviere.
But I barely had time to ad-
mire this vista when the rab-
bi led me across the hall, and
from a window on this op-
posite side, I first saw the cen-
tral dome of the Great
Synagogue.
Outside on the street, only
the Jewish Community
Center building on Quai
Tilsitt had been visible. The
synagogue, built directly
behind, was completely block-
ed by the office building.
And that, the rabbi said,
was quite deliberate. In 1864,
when the Jews of Lyon
wanted to relocate to a new
synagogue, the Catholic
Church would not agree to
the transfer unless the
synagogue was hidden.
"This was because of the in-
fluence of the church at that
time," the rabbi said. "The
synagogue had to be con-

structed behind the office
building, so that it would not
face the church across the
river?'
As he talked, he led the way
downstairs and across the
courtyard to the synagogue. It
was designed by French
Jewish architect M.A. Hirsch,
who later went on to build the
University of Lyon. But the
Great Synagogue was one of
his first works — and he built
it with a central dome, arches,
Corinthian columns, and
glass chandeliers.
On one wall is a plaque
honoring the Jews of Lyon
who were deported during the
Holocaust. High above, on the
third balcoy, is the great
organ, soon to be restored, us-
ed for weddings that take
place here in Lyon's largest
synagogue.
It's a synagogue ap-
propriate for the city with
France's third largest Jewish
community, after Paris and
Marseille. The Jews of Lyon
are a minority of 30,000 in a
city of 1.2 million; but their
facilities include 20
synagogues, 15 kosher but-
cher shops, three kosher
Continued on Page 24

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