CAEN , capital of the department of Calvados, France. The medieval Jewish community of Caen lived in the Rue des Juifs between Rue Desmoneux and the Rue de l'Eglise Julien, in the vicinity of which a property called "Jardin aux Juifs" (perhaps the medieval cemetery) still exists. In 1252 the Jews were expelled from Caen but they returned later in fairly large numbers, and in 1301 the Jews paid a total of over 700 livres in tallage, as compared to a little more than 462 livres in 1217. They were expelled once more by Philip the Fair in 1306. The chief rabbinical authority of Caen was R. Joseph Porat (or Joseph b. Moses; mid-12th century), also called Don Bendit, author of a commentary on the Talmud and perhaps also of a commentary on the Pentateuch.
There is no precise information on the fate of Jews of Caen during World War ii, but one street bears the name of a Jewish physician, Peker, deported in 1943.
In 1951 a Jewish community was established which provided religious services and instruction for its approximately 30 Jewish families. Since that year, the Jewish population has grown rapidly, with an estimated 700 persons living in Caen in 1969. A combined synagogue and community center was inaugurated in 1966.
Gross, Gal Jud, 541–5; G. de La Rue, Essais historiques sur … Caen, 1 (1820), 319–20; P. Carel, Histoire de la ville de Caen (1886), 31; Histoire littéraire de la France, 32 (1898), 208.