This week on The Earful Tower we’re taking a deep dive into Jewish Paris.
The podcast episode below features interviews with four people from the city’s Jewish community and my own thoughts of the places I visited. You can listen below, or wherever you get podcasts.
In summary, the podcast started with licensed tour guide and author Edith de Belleville who gave us a brief history of Jewish Paris. She then recommended a simple way to get an overview of Jewish Paris.
A falafel at L’As du Fallafel
This is the ridiculously popular Falafel restaurant on rue des Rosiers. I interviewed Yomi Peretz, the manager, to understand how his restaurant got so popular.
Rue des Rosiers in the heart of the Jewish Quarter
This bustling street runs right through the Jewish district and is great full of places to eat, from sit-down restaurants and bakeries to fast-food takeaways. It’s here you’ll find l’As du Fallafel, mentioned on the show.
A visit to the Shoah Memorial
This elegant museum is a memorial to the Holocaust from a Paris perspective. The archival center describes itself as “a place of mediation essential for the transmission of memory”.
A visit to the Museum of Jewish Art and History
This museum is inside a beautiful 17th century Parisian townhouse with a stunning inner courtyard. It’s worth a visit just for that alone!! But also it houses France’s biggest collection of Jewish culture, much of which was gathering dust in the storerooms of other museums until it opened in 1985.
While visiting all these places, I bumped into a Jewish man on the street playing a ram’s horn, and he showed me inside the city’s oldest synagogue on Rue des Rosiers.
I also bumped into tour guide Karen Reb Rudel, who gave us an insight into the inner workings of Jewish Paris and even the Deportation Memorial on the Ile de la Cité.
And lastly, I spoke with one of the head honchos at L’As du Fallafel to understand just why they’re so popular. Hint: Lenny Kravitz is involved.
The park off rue des Rosiers
In the episode, I talked about the Jardin des Rosiers too. Here’s an idea of what it looks like.
Other good places to eat
Even though I didn’t mention it in the episode, I want to give a shoutout to Miznon, an Israeli chain of restaurants. There’s one just off rue des Rosiers and their food is delicious. Just down the road is Schwartz’s deli, bringing the Kosher Jewish food experience to Parisians since 2009.
The art nouveau synagogue
It may have proved impossible to visit for the second time this year (I tried during my episode on architect Hector Guimard too!), but there’s no doubt it’s one of the more interesting buildings in the Marais. You can find it halfway down rue Pavée.
Listen to the episode to understand more. Book a Jewish tour of Paris with Edith de Belleville here, or Karen Reb Rudel at Sightseeker’s Delight here.
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Thanks to Augusta Sagnelli for photos from everything on rue des Rosiers.