Paris suburb closes unlicensed Jewish kindergarten

(JTA) — The municipality of a Paris suburb has ordered the closure of an unlicensed Jewish kindergarten.

The now-closed Jewish kindergarten at Charenton, south of the French capital, had served about 50 toddlers since it opened about one year ago, the Le Parisien daily reported last week.

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The kindergarten was run by the Association of the Jewish Community of Charenton, known locally by the acronym ACIC. Last month, city officials decided to close it following complaints and a surprise inspection.

Philippe Danilo, a city official in charge of kindergartens, told the newspaper that the Jewish kindergarten on Charenton’s Rue de Paris had corroded walls, faulty electrical infrastructure, unqualified staff, and “deplorable hygienic conditions.”

He 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 that were kept there 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.”

She said that most parents did not pay anything for the kindergarten services, but some donated money toward keeping it running. “Now they are calling me to ask if I can help them with a solution,” Saada added.