Community in Crisis: The Jews of France from Enlightenment to Macron

Arnold Ages
Jewish Culture & History / History

Course Description

This series will examine the experience of the French Jews from the period of Enlightenment to the current presidency of Emmanuel Macron. The effects of the emancipation on French Jews during the Enlightenment and the ways in which they welcomed the civil rights offered them will be examined. There will be an analysis of the undercurrents of religious and racial antisemitism in France in the 19th and 20th centuries which will include the implications of the Dreyfus Affair and a review of the ultra-Nationalist and Fascist parties which were active before the Vichy years and the Nazi occupation of France.  Finally, the series will focus on the way in which terrorism has affected the current Jewish population of France and the resources available to the community to resist the targeting of Jews.


1. What the French Revolution and Emancipation meant for French Jews in the 18th and 19th Centuries.
2. Tracing the Undercurrents which precipitated the infamous "Dreyfus Affair."
3. Fascist movements in France before the Nazi invasion and the Vichy years.
4. France in the last two decades: Terrorism and the targeting of Jews.

About the Instructor

  • Dr. Arnold Ages received his MA and PhD in Romance Languages from The Ohio State University. During his career at Waterloo, Dr. Ages was the recipient of many Canada Council grants including the Killam Fellowship, Canada's highest academic award. His book reviews, articles and essays have appeared in numerous Canadian, American and other publications. Dr. Arnold Ages, "Distinguished Emeritus Professor" University of Waterloo (Ontario) is the author of five books and 80 scholarly articles on aspects of French Enlightenment literature as well as 2,000 book reviews, essays, and belletristic studies in a wide variety of journals, newspapers and periodicals in Canada, the United States and Israel. He is also the Scholar-in-Residence at the Beth Tzedec Synagogue in Toronto.

Upcoming programs presented by Arnold Ages.

TypeNumberInstructorCourse TitleAdd to Cart
4wk S242 Arnold Ages Community in Crisis: The Jews of France from Enlightenment to Macron
Tuesdays, March 12, 19, 26; April 2: 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm