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Dominique Bourel
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1This last bulletin before the year 2000 provides our regular update on research conducted in the Center. Archeology is once again in the forefront thanks to Silvana Condemi, research associate at the CNRS who joined us at the beginning of the year. She presents her work in this issue on the Mousterian populations of the Near East. Keep in mind that the preparations are underway for a major symposium and exhibit in the year 2002, in conjunction with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of French scientific presence in Israel – since the first (small) formal CNRS structure dates back to 1952. This will be the opportunity for a comprehensive overview of the extensive work undertaken by archeologists and prehistorians over this entire period of time. For the moment, however, major efforts are being made in the direction of our colleagues in social sciences and humanities. The article devoted to the French collections in the Jewish National and University Library in Jerusalem focuses on very contemporary aspects of cultural history. Not enough has been done to publicize the fact that a considerable amount of documents from all fields, written in French, lie dormant in a whole series of collections of Israeli archives in the Library. There is a pressing need to inventory these documents and to prepare catalogues listing the contents of classic collections. It is equally crucial to go through the hefty folders devoted to the first Jewish settlements, where France played a major role, as it is to examine the rich collections in religious and political institutions. This issue presents a sample of letters drawn from the archives of the Jewish National and University Library, namely from the papers of Martin Buber (1878-1965) and Gershom Scholem (1897-1982). This provides an additional opportunity to extend our grateful thanks to the librarians of the National Library for their constant and extremely helpful assistance.

2The CRJF continues its work on the history of the French and European presence in the Mediterranean and in Palestine in the nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries. Dominique Trimbur (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) reports on the last workshop devoted to this subject, which was held on June 7, 1999. He will also be the scientific secretary for an international conference entitled “France, Europe and Palestine, 1917-1948” which will be held in the Center from November 29 to December 1, 1999 in conjunction, as is traditional, with the cultural services of the French Embassy.

3Lisa Anteby, who is finishing her book on Ethiopian Jews in Israel analyzes the issues discussed during the 25th conference of the International Society for the Sociology of Religions, (Leuven, July 26-30, 1999).

4It is well known that one of the main activities of the Center is to regularly invite colleagues who are called upon to do research in Israel for a “researcher’s month.” Within this framework, Catherine Poujol has provided us with extracts from her work on Aimé Pallière (1875- 1949), the first composite view on this topic.

5Always on the lookout for recent Israeli historical and anthropological publications, Florence Heymann reviews a major book (Sexuality and the Family in History) edited by our friends Professors Israel Bartal and Isaiah Gafni.

6In line with the wishes of the scientific board, the Center is continuing to grow. We have just welcomed Mrs. Sossie Andezian, research associate at the CNRS who is working on the mysterious and fascinating Armenian Quarter in Jerusalem. Sylvie Ann Goldberg (EHESS) and Jeffrey Barash (University of Amiens) have also joined us to continue their work, the former on Jewish history and the latter on Judeo-German hermeneutics and secularization. I am sure that they will find ample material in Jerusalem to enrich their investigations.

7I would like to thank all the members of the Center who assist Eva Telkes in preparing and producing this Bulletin as well as Alexandre Defay, the attaché for cultural affairs and cooperation at the French Embassy in Israel, for his continuous support.

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Dominique Bourel, « Editorial »Bulletin du Centre de recherche français à Jérusalem, 5 | 1999, 5-6.

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Dominique Bourel, « Editorial »Bulletin du Centre de recherche français à Jérusalem [En ligne], 5 | 1999, mis en ligne le 27 mai 2008, consulté le 10 juin 2023. URL :

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Dominique Bourel

Director of the CRFJ

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