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Synagogue, Batna, Algeria

The synagogue in Batna (باتنة, ⵜⴱⴰⵜⴻⵏⵜ), Algeria. 

Description

The modern city of Batna was established in the 1840s as a French military garrison. Jewish merchants from Constantine soon settled around the garrison, and a significant Jewish community grew as Batna became a regional capital. The father of the famous singer Raymond Leyris (Enrico Macias’s father-in-law) was a Batna Jew. A large modern synagogue, constructed in the center of the new town, still stands on what is today called Rue Grine Belkacem.

During the Algerian independence struggle, a grenade was thrown in the synagogue, wounding two Jews. The chief rabbi left for France in 1961 and was replaced by a rabbi from Constantine. The last president of the Jewish community, Jacob Saksik, left in 1963. On July 2, 1968, the synagogue was official declared state property and converted into an education center. By 1975, only three Jews remained in town.

Batna, Algeria

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