Éclaireurs Israélites de France

  • French Jewish Scouts
  • EIF
Type of Entity
Corporate Body

Dates of Existence

Founded in 1923


The Éclaireurs Israélites de France was a French Jewish scouting movement, created by Robert Gamzon in 1923, which rescued thousands of Jews in France during the Second World War. Soon after war broke out in 1939-09, the Éclaireurs Israélites de France established several children’s homes in southwest France. After France fell to the German army in mid-1940, the EIF moved south to the unoccupied zone of France while still continuing to function illegally in Paris. Its children’s homes soon began to take in the children of Jews imprisoned in Nazi camps. In 1941 the EIF was forced to join the Union Générale des Israélites de France, the organization established by the Vichy government to consolidate all French Jewish organizations into one unit. However, the EIF’s status was improved when Gamzon was appointed to the UGIF’s administration and the EIF became the UGIF’s young department. The Germans began deporting the Jews of France in 1942-03. That summer the EIF established a social service that evolved into a rescue organization; it supplied Jewish children with forged identity papers, placed them in safe homes, or moved them out of France. During the winter of 1943 the EIF set up an underground fighting group, which participated in the liberation of southwest France.


  • Founded and active in France.


  • Encyclopedia of the Holocaust / R. Rozett, S. Spector. – Jerusalem, 2006. – p. 225, 226