The Two-Minute Paris Passover

The Passover Seder on Rue de Saintonge

The Two-Minute Paris Passover

Parler Paris…
Your taste of life in Paris and France
Monday, April 21, 2008
Paris, France

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Thank you, Adrian

This Time Next Year, You Could Be Getting Paid to See the World…

“The Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop”
With Lori Allen and the AWAI
July 24-26, 2008
San Francisco, CA

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To register for the Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop call Terry Frank at (202) 370-6459 EST or toll-free at (866) 415-1425 or email her at:

Dear Parler Paris Reader,

Saturday night from my window I could see the Jewish family across the street seated around their enormous round table that fills their small living room. Clearly, eating is at the center of their lives, as there are only a chair or two in the corners of the room for other purposes. They are perpetually there.

That night, they were drinking their customary four glasses of wine, making crumbs of the “matzot” (that can’t be helped), reading from the “Haggadah” and satisfying themselves with a whole host of traditional Passover fare.

We were ‘sort of’ doing the same thing…well…it was just me and a gentile friend, some one-year-old stale matzah found in the storage cabinet, a hard-boiled egg to symbolize ‘something’ important (one source says ‘mourning,’ another says ‘festival sacrifice,’ another says ‘hope’ and yet another says ‘perpetual cycle of life’ — so go figure!), a roast chicken (yes, I made it myself) and my favorite thing about Passover, the “Charoset.”

Charoset is a concoction of apples, wine, nuts, cinnamon and honey (at least, that’s MY recipe — everyone has their own!) symbolizing the mortar with which the Israelites bonded bricks when they were enslaved in ancient Egypt. All the symbolic goodies I could muster up sat on the melamine “Seder” plate my daughter made in school at the age of seven that is more sentimentally beautiful than the hand painte

d Jerusalem pottery plate acquired in 1979 when we lived in Israel (now happily relinquished to my ex-husband).

Our seder was more like the “Two-Minute Haggadah,” except it didn’t even last that long. (Scroll down to read it. It only takes two minutes.)

It shocks me low large the Jewish community is in France. They aren’t wearing their religion on their sleeves and can be found in the most unusual places. People I’ve known for years made no point of divulging their affiliation or background, only to discover much later that we had this strong cultural tie in common. With so many having been deported and destroyed during the Holocaust, you’d be surprised to find there are still many Ashkenazi Jews (“Jews of the German rite” from central and eastern Europe) in Le Marais and elsewhere. Of course, there are large numbers of Sephardi Jews (Spanish and Portuguese Jews, as well as Jews of Arabic or Persian backgrounds and others), but they’re also here from Turkey, Israel, Canada, South Africa, Australia and yes, even the United States. In fact, I’ve observed that a large number of U.S. Expats…an unproportional number, are Jewish.

No, I don’t have any statistics nor proof of this. The consensus of 2006 reports that 1.78% of the U.S. population is Jewish compared to .81% in France. But, I’ll bet that the percentage of Jewish Expats is way above those percentages.

Why? Well, I have my own theories. At the core is the cultural and religious basis to question everything. No, I’m not talking about “On the Jewish Question” by Karl Marx. I’m talking about an insatiable desire to question and discover life. That’s what we’re doing here…discovering another way of life.

Tomorrow, I head for Berlin to visit the city for the first time while my daughter is there discovering it for herself over the course of a month. My 90-year-old mother who has lived through too many wars asked, “Why on earth would you want to go to Berlin!?” not realizing how much the city has changed. Last week my daughter visited the Saschenhausen Concentration Camp there. She said, “You don’t want to go. It’s too depressing.”

Wednesday I’ll be writing from the city that used to have 160,000 Jews (according to a census of June 16, 1933), the largest in Germany. Today it’s the fastest growing world-wide and third largest Jewish population in Europe after England and France with 12,000 in Berlin alone.

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris

P.S. Last night 20 French Property Insider subscribers tuned into our free conference call titled “How to Have Your Own Paris Pied-à-terre…and Let Someone Else Pay For It” with myself and John Rule, our Rental and Mortgage Manager. Subscribers can listen to the call as well as all the past calls offered as part of their FPI subscription by clicking here: /frenchproperty/insider/content/conference_calls.html To become a subscriber, visit /frenchproperty/insider

Getting a mortgage in France is easier than you think…

Let us show you just how hassle-free it can be to get a French property mortgage for your dream Paris pied-à-terre or villa in the country!

Visit /frenchproperty/loan or contact Mortgage Manager John Rule at

This Week in French Property Insider…

French wine tastingRetiring to France
By Adrian Leeds
Photo: International Living

I warn you now. If you decide to retire to France, it will be the last move you make. Not because retirement implies the end of your life, but because life in France can be so idyllic you will never want to move away from it!…Subscribers Read On…

Learn how to buy property in France!

French Property Insider is a weekly e-zine, sharing insights, recommendations, tips, and discoveries about Paris real estate and French property. Each information-packed issue is devoted to educating its readers on how to effectively, efficiently and profitably purchase property in France.

For more information visit /frenchproperty/insider or email

Eiffel Tower</p>
<p>Adrian Leeds, of Parler Paris and French Property Insider and John Howell, The International Law Partnership, Present the…

Living and Investing
in France Real Estate Conference

Upcoming Conferences in 2008:

Date: June 22, 2008
Location: International Law Partnership Offices, Holborn Hall, 193-197 High Holborn, London WC1V 7BD
Times: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with buffet lunch
Limit: 25 attendees
Registration Fee: £147 1st person, £97 2nd person
For more information, email

To reserve your place, click here /frenchproperty/conference/LIF_London_June_2008/fax_reg_london_2008.pdf
to download the registration form, print it, complete it, sign it and fax it to +1 (415) 520-1429.

To check the current rate of exchange, click here /frenchproperty/loanmoneycorpconvertor.html for the Moneycorp Currency Convertor.

San Francisco
Date: July 26-27, 2008
Location: San Francisco, Alliance Francaise, 1345 Bush Street, San Francisco, California 94109
Times: To Be Announced
Limit: 80
Registration Fee: To Be Announced
For more information, email

Date: October 11-12, 2008
Location: Paris Chez Jenny
Times: To Be Announced
Limit: 100
Registration Fee: To Be Announced
For more information, email

We wanted better guides. So we wrote them.

Insider Paris Guides are written for people who love the City of Light. You’ll get a Paris insider perspective on Good Value Restaurants… Making a Life… Black Culture… Expat Writers…plus the newest guide, Practical Paris!



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One-Bedroom, Sleeps up to 4

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Reserve now! Visit /parlerparis/apartments/rentals/aubergine.html
or email:

Parler Paris Après Midi

Come for a drink and to meet and chat with other readers in Paris…

The next gathering is May 13, 2008 and every second Tuesday of the month.

Parler Parlor French-English Conversation Group

Practice speaking French and English. Make friends, discuss interesting topics, learn about other cultures, progress in understanding and speaking, naturally and easily. Meets three times a week — come as often as you like!

Parler Parlor meets Tuesdays 6:30 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

23, boulevard de Sébastopol (at the corner of rue de la Reynie), 1st arrondissement

r/> 3rd Floor on the Left (read notice on door to obtain entry code)
Métro Châtelet, Les Halles

Wednesdays 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
14 rue Mabillon, 6th arrondissement
(at rue Guisarde and Le Marché Saint-Germain) 1st Floor
Métro Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Mabillon, Odéon

For further details, visit

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