“‘Absurdes et héroïques’”: L’Association des Israélites pratiquants and the Rescue of Jewish Children in France”
Tianna Voort is a recent graduate from the University of Toronto where she completed her M.A. in History and Jewish studies. She received her B.A. in History at Western University. Tianna is the recipient of a CGS-M SSHRC grant (2019-2020). She has also been awarded the Sonshine Graduate Scholarship In Holocaust Studies (2019), Irving (Itche) Himel Yiddish Award (2020) and the Irving (Itche) Himel Yiddish Award (2020). Tianna has language skills in French and Yiddish. Her current research focuses on the rescue of Jewish children in France.
During her tenure, Tianna will research the Association des Israelites Pratiquants (AIP), an Orthodox aid organization founded in France in 1936 that participated in the vast underground network of Jewish and non-Jewish organizations that rescued Jews - especially children. This research will explore the divergent postwar testimonies of the staff of the AIP and the rescued children. Fractures between members of the AIP highlight the divergent priorities between secular and religious Jews. This research further highlights that although the task of rescuing Jewish children brought together secular and Orthodox Jews, arguments over the maintenance of Hasidic traditions and customs over the course of the war created divisions within the AIP itself. What is particularly significant about the cooperation between Jewish organizations in France is that it encompassed many groups who before the war would have been hesitant to work together. As such the history of the AIP’s work during the Second World War highlights both the unity and division in the fight to rescue Jewish children from the Holocaust.