During this 3-hour tour, you will explore the Jewish history of Paris from the 12th century to WWII. You will be guided by a local historian who will take you through the city's Jewish Quarter and show you the hidden Jewish history that most people don't know. The tour begins at King Philippe Auguste's city wall, which formed the first of many barriers that expelled the Jewish population from the city. Here, you'll hear the story behind why the Jews were expelled, when they were let back in, and how these events created tension between the king and the Jewish community for the entirety of King Philippe Auguste's reign.
As the tour gets into the center of the Marais, the guide will cover several issues that the French Jews faced such as the Dreyfus Affair from 1894 to 1906. The tour also makes a stop to the Memorial of the Shoah, which stands as a reminder of the horror the Jews faced during the Holocaust. You will hear stories about the Jewish people being rounded up, their fate at the concentration camps, and the effect this genocide had on the Jewish population in France. Several other stops will be made along the tour and at the end, you will have a better idea of the cultural and historical influence that the Jewish community had on the city. The tour will end the Jewish Quarter where you will learn about the waves of immigration, famous French Jewish figures, and current and past issues. It is important to note that this tour does not take you inside any of the synagogues. Because many of Marais' synagogues have been a target for antisemitic attacks, several synagogues are now closed to the public for security issues. The ones that remain open are mostly for Orthodox Jews and the tour company believes it would not be appropriate to enter with a mixed group of non-Jewish men and women.