The Napoleonic Sanhedrin: 1807-1808

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On 6 October 1806 a body appointed by Napoleon and known as the assembly of Jewish Notables invited members of the Jewish communities of Europe to participate in a "Sanhedrin." The term, which dates back to Roman rule, originally referred to the supreme Jewish court in Jerusalem called the Great Sanhedrin. The French Sanhedrin convened in Paris on 9 February 1807, charged with adapting French civil statutes affecting the secular lives of Jews within the Napoleonic state. This exhibition presents the event through archival materials from the Napoleonic government and from the court itself, reflecting its social role in the Napoleonic era, alongside books treating the subject. The materials for this exhibit are drawn from the Ludwig Rosenberger Library of Judaica.