ALTARAS, JACQUES (Jacob) ISAAC (1786–1873), French merchant, shipbuilder, and philanthropist. Born in Aleppo, Syria, Altaras spent his early years in Jerusalem, where his father was a rabbi. In 1806 Altaras settled in Marseilles, and there prospered in shipbuilding and the Levant trade; he became an influential member of the Marseilles Chamber of Commerce. A member of the French Consistoire and president of the Marseilles Jewish community, he founded a Jewish school in Marseilles and was a member of the Legion of Honor. In 1846 Altaras visited Russia to negotiate the resettlement of Russian Jews in Algeria. The project failed because of the harsh Russian terms – the payment of 60 rubles in taxes and fines for each Jew. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: S. Dubnow, Neueste Geschichte des juedischen Volkes, 2 (1920), 206. (Joachim O. Ronall)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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