Paris suburb shuts down unlicensed Jewish preschool


(JTA) — A suburban Paris municipality ordered the closure of an unlicensed Jewish preschool.

City officials in Charenton, south of the French capital, closed the preschool there last month following complaints and a surprise inspection, the Le Parisien daily reported last week.

The preschool, which served about 50 toddlers since its opening about one year ago, was run by the Association of the Jewish Community of Charenton, known locally by the acronym ACIC.

Philippe Danilo, a city official in charge of preschools, told Le Parisien that the preschool had corroded walls, faulty electrical infrastructure, unqualified staff and “deplorable hygienic conditions.”

Danilo also said traces of toxic lead were found in the indoor paint of the space used as a nursery and that medical checkups of the toddlers who used the space may be necessary.

“In the beginning we just wanted to help people out from time to time,” ACIC Vice President Martine Saada told Le Parisien, “but we became victims of our own success.”

Saada said that most parents did not pay anything for the preschool’s services, but some donated money to keep it running.

“Now they are calling me to ask if I can help them with a solution,” Saada said.

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