Cahen, Isidore

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CAHEN, ISIDORE (1826–1902), French scholar and journalist, son of the Hebraist Samuel Cahen (1796–1862) who translated the Bible into French. After studying philosophy with Taine and About, Cahen was appointed in 1850 professor of philosophy in a lycée of the ultra-Catholic Vendée. However, the intrigues of the Catholic faculty forced him to resign and he returned to Paris. He then began writing for the Journal des Débats and Le Temps. On his father's death (1862), he assumed the editorship of the monthly Archives Israélites and held it until his own death. Under Cahen, the journal assumed a radical-liberal point of view. In the wake of the *Mortara affair, Cahen published an appeal in November 1858 for the creation of an international committee for the defense of the Jews. The name he suggested for it, *Alliance Israélite Universelle, was adopted when the organization was established in 1860. From 1859 to 1879 Cahen taught at the rabbinical seminary in Paris. His writings include Esquisse sur la philosophie du poème de Job (1851) and Deux libertés en une, in which he pleaded the cause of freedom of conscience and of tuition (1848).


ai, 63 (1902), 81–85, 97–100.