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Kaplan, Jacob


KAPLAN, JACOB (1895–1994), French rabbi and author. Born in Paris, Kaplan served with distinction in World War i and later graduated from the Sorbonne (1919) and the Séminaire Israélite de France (1921). He held rabbinical posts in Mulhouse, Alsace (1922), and in Paris (1929). During the German occupation he worked with the resistance movement. He served briefly as interim chief rabbi of France (1944) and later became chief rabbi of Paris (1950). He participated in the creation of the Jewish-Christian friendship movement (1948) and in 1953 negotiated the return to their family of the *Finaly children. He was appointed to the post of chief rabbi of France in 1955. He retired as chief rabbi of France at the end of 1980 and was appointed honorary chief rabbi. Kaplan openly proclaimed French Jewry's solidarity with the State of Israel during the period of the Six-Day War and after, when French official policy was hostile to Israel. Apart from his Jewish scholarship, Kaplan was also a lecturer at l'Institut d'Etudes Politiques and a member of the Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques in Paris (1967). His published works include Le Judaïsme et la justice sociale (1937), Racisme et Judaïsme (1940), French Jewry under the Occupation (1945–46), Le Judaïsme dans la société contemporaine (1948), Témoignages sur Israël (1949), Les Temps d'Epreuve (1952), and Notice sur la vie et les travaux de Georges Duhamel (1968).

[Lucien Lazare]

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