Esther Benbassa

Esther Benbassa (born 27 March 1950) is a French-Turkish-Israeli historian and politician. She is the author of many books of Jewish studies. She serves as a member of the French Senate, where she represents Val-de-Marne.

Esther Benbassa
Esther Benbassa - Meeting Eva Joly.jpg
Member of the French Senate for Val-de-Marne
Assumed office
1 October 2011
Personal details
Born (1950-03-27) 27 March 1950 (age 70)
Istanbul, Turkey
Political partyEurope Ecology - The Greens
Alma materTel Aviv University
University of Paris

Early lifeEdit

Esther Benbassa was born on 27 March 1950 in Istanbul, Turkey.[1][2] She immigrated to Israel at age 15 and graduated from Tel Aviv University in 1972.[3][4] She moved to France in 1972 and became a French citizen in 1974. She earned a doctorate from the University of Paris and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.[3] She holds Turkish, Israeli and French citizenships.[2]


Benbassa is the author of many books about Jewish history. In 2002, she founded the Centre Alberto-Benveniste; she serves as its director.[3]

Benbassa has served as a member of the French Senate since 2011, where she represents Val-de-Marne.[1] In 2011, she supported a bill to let foreign residents in France vote in French elections.[2]

Benbassa is a Knight of the National Order of Merit.[3] She was awarded the Prix Seligmann from the Fondation Seligmann in 2005 and the Prix Guizot from the Académie française for La Souffrance comme identité in 2008.[5]


  • Benbassa, Esther (1990). Un grand rabbin sépharade en politique, 1892-1923. Paris: Presses du CNRS. ISBN 9782876820418. OCLC 21920341.
  • Benbassa, Esther (1993). Une diaspora sépharade en transition. Paris: Editions du Cerf. ISBN 9782204046688. OCLC 29798950.
  • Benbassa, Esther (1997). Histoire des Juifs de France. Paris: Éditions du Seuil. ISBN 9782020295048. OCLC 416080177.
  • Sephardi Jewry: A History of the Judeo-Spanish Community, 14th-20th Centuries with Aron Rodrigue, (University of California Press, 2000) [6]


  1. ^ a b "Mme Esther Benbassa". French Senate. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Benbassa: "j'ai été une étrangère"". Le Figaro. December 8, 2011. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d "Directrice du Centre Alberto-Benveniste, directrice d'études à l'EPHE". Centre Alberto-Benveniste. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
  4. ^ "English Summary".
  5. ^ "Esther BENBASSA". Académie française. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
  6. ^ Rosenstock, Bruce. The Sixteenth Century Journal, vol. 32, no. 1, 2001, pp. 256–258. JSTOR, Accessed 7 Jan. 2020.

External linksEdit