Jews of Algeria - Economy

Until World War II, Algerian Jews lingered on the lowest layers of the social and economic ladder. Typical Jewish occupations were artisan, jeweler or cobbler, petty merchant, and unskilled worker. Since their integration into the French education system, Algerian Jews began to move upward and to enter new occupations such as public service; some worked in the French postal system, others in the national police. The luckiest among them, children of wealthy traders who were sent to France to study in its universities, began to enter the legal and medical professions. Others enjoyed careers as teachers. The most significant change in the economic position of Algerian Jews after World War II was generated by the entrance of women into the secular education system and into the labor market. Traditionally, women had worked at home, as seamstresses, but in the postwar period nursing and clerical and administrative work became available. By the time of the large emigration to France, in the early 1960s, Algerian Jews had penetrated most sectors of the labor market—except the army and agriculture, where Jewish presence was insignificant. As native French speakers, Jews readily assimilated into the French economic and social system. Algerian Jews are now found in high positions in the French government (in some ministries, in the President's cabinet) and are quite visible also among the academic elite.

User Contributions:

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic: