The New International Encyclopædia/Alliance Israelite Universelle

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ALLIANCE ISRAELITE UNIVERSELLE, ȧl'yäns' ḗs'rā'ắ'lēt' ụ'nḗ'vắr'sĕl'. An association founded at Paris in 1860 for the amelioration of the condition of the Jews throughout the world. The original members of the society were Jews, and by far the largest number of its members at present belong to that faith; but the association has enjoyed at all times the sympathy and coöperation of many prominent Christians. As outlined in its prospectus, the programme of the society included the emancipation of the Jews from oppressive and discriminating laws, political disabilities, and defense of them in those countries where they were subjected to persecution. For the attainment of this object the society purposed to carry on a campaign of education through the press and by the publication of works on the history and life of the Jews. In the beginning, however, the course of action adopted by the society for bringing relief to their oppressed brethren in other countries was to secure the intercession of friendly governments in their behalf. Thus, as early as 1867 the governments of France, Italy, Belgium, and Holland made the renewal of existing treaties with Switzerland conditional upon that country's granting full civil and political rights to the Jews. In 1878, representatives of the Alliance laid the condition of the Jews in the Balkan Peninsula before the Congress of Berlin, as a result of which the Treaty of Berlin stipulated that in Rumania, Servia, and Bulgaria no discrimination should be made against any religion in the distribution of civil rights. Of late years the activity of the Alliance has tended to become more educational than political, and the chief problem with which it was occupied at the beginning of the twentieth century was the improvement of the condition of the Jews in the Orient. Schools have been established in Bulgaria, European and Asiatic Turkey, Persia, Tunis, and Morocco. In 1899 the number of such schools was 95, with a teaching staff of 400 and an attendance of 24,000. Instruction is carried on in the language of the country or in the dialect employed by the majority of pupils. In addition to the cultural schools, 32 manual training workshops have been established for boys, and 18 schools of domestic science for girls, the encouragement of handicrafts among the Jews being one of the chief aims of the Alliance. Two farm-schools have been established, one near Jaffa in Palestine, the other at Djedeida. near Tunis; the former of these has supplied the Jewish colonies in Palestine with skilled agriculturists and supervisors. At Paris there is a normal school for the education of teachers who are exclusively drawn from the schools of the Alliance, and are sent back after a thorough training to carry on in their turn the work of instruction in their native countries. In 1899 the Alliance numbered 32,400 members. The central body of the Alliance is a committee of sixty-two members, with its seat at Paris. Only twenty-nine, however, are resident, the rest being scattered all over the world, six of them residing in the United States. The central committee stands in constant communication with the regional and local committees, of which there are a number in the United States, the principal ones being at New York and Philadelphia. The Alliance publishes monthly bulletins and a semi-annual report in French and German, and at intervals issues reports in English, Hebrew, Hungarian, and Judeo-Spanish. These bulletins are the chief authorities for the history of the Alliance. See Chémieux, Isaac Adolphe.