Gabriel Abensour

Gabriel Abensour

Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry

Subject: Between Halakhah and Civil Law: The Legal and Social Status of Jews in Colonial Algeria (1830–1914)

Supervisor: Prof. Yaron Ben-Naeh and Prof. Benjamin Brown

Abstract: My research will address the changes in the sociolegal status of Jews in colonial Algeria, focusing on the crisis of the traditional rabbinical leadership and its attempts to respond to these changes.The study will be based on three kinds of primary sources: French legal sources, native rabbinical literature, and archives. Within the broad history of French colonial rule in Algeria, I will focus on the years 1830–1914, spanning the French conquest of Algeria to the beginning of World War I, divided into two subperiods. The first subperiod (1830–1870) covers the organization phase, lasting until the completion of the Algerians Jews' legal emancipation process. The second subperiod (1870–1914) is the assimilation phase, during which the new civil status was integrated among Jews and French education, patriotism, and culture permeated all layers of Jewish society, while chauvinism and anti-Semitism grew among French settlers. 

Bio:  PhD student, Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry. I work on the history of Jews in Algeria the 19th century, under the supervision of Prof. Yaron Ben-Naeh and Prof. Benjamin Brown.



1) "God’s Plurality within Unity: Spinoza’s influence on Benamozegh’s Thought", Quest. Issues in Contemporary Jewish History. n.12, December 2017. 

2) "Orthodoxie moderne," Dictionnaire du judaïsme français depuis 1944, Ed.  Jean Leselbaum and Antoine Spire. Paris: Armand Colin, 2013, pp. 665-667. 

 3)   "'וסוד אין טעם כלל': יחסו של הרב יוסף משאש להלכה בקבלה," פעמים 157 (2019), עמ' 134-107. 


President's Scholarship 2020/2021

MA Honors Program 2017/18