HAVRE, LE , major port, N. France. From about the beginning of the 18th century, Jews, especially from *Bordeaux and its environs, wished to settle in Le Havre. In 1714, *Louisxiv ordered the town to expel all foreign Jews except "those who call themselves 'Portuguese.'" Around 1725, however, two Jewish families of German origin, the Hombergs (who were converted after a while) and the Lallemends, settled in Le Havre and obtained letters of naturalization. In 1776 the town once more refused several Jews permission to reside there in spite of their "royal passports" (actually valid for Paris). An organized community was founded in the mid-19th century. A new community, reconstituted after World War ii, had a population of about 1,000 in 1969 and possessed a synagogue and community center.
A.-E. Borely, Histoire de la ville du Havre…, 3 (1881), 441ff.
Le Havre (lə ä´vrə), city (1990 pop. 195,932), Seine-Maritime dept., N France, in Normandy, at the mouth of the Seine River on the English Channel. It was founded in 1517 as Le Havre-de-Grâce by Francis I. Le Havre became a major seaport in the 19th cent. and is now the second-most-important port in France after Marseilles. It was a major port for transatlantic travel until the advent of widespread commercial air travel in the 1970s. Among the city's industries are oil refining and the manufacture of automobiles, cement, synthetic rubber, and fertilizers. During World War II the British bombed the city to prevent its use by the Germans for an invasion of England.