Prior to World War II, a small number of Jews, mostly originating from France, lived in Monaco, numbering approximately 300 people. During the Holocaust, the government protected the local Jewish citizens by falsifying records to hide their Jewish identity. It even refused to dismiss Jewish civil servants.
However, Monaco’s police arrested and turned over 42 Central European Jewish refugees to the Nazis.
In the post-war period, Jewish families have come to settle in Monte Carlo primarily as retirees from France and the United Kingdom.
In addition, North African and Turkish Jews have joined the community.
It is estimated that almost 1,000 Jews live today in Monaco, but most of them are not citizens of the country.
The Association Culturelle Israelite de Monaco, established in 1948, is recognized as the official Jewish representative body. The community maintains a synagogue and a Hebrew school. A kosher food store operates in Monte Carlo under community´s oversight. The community rabbi, Isaac Amsellem, leads weekly services on Shabbat and teaches classes at the community’s Hebrew school. B’nai B’rith, WIZO, and several other organizations are active.