Halphen, Alice (1878-1963)

Biography written by Georges and Henriette Halphen, the children of Alice Halphen

Born in 1878, Alice Halphen, born Koenigswarter, died in 1963. Officer of the French Legion of Honour, she was a member for many years of the Committee of the Israelite Universal Alliance. Affected in her youth by the Dreyfus affair, she was interested throughout her life in the problems of Judaism and had a large influence on the Israelite Community of France.

An art lover, she had an impressive "eye". A donor to the museums of the Louvre, of Tel-Aviv and of Haifa, she was in charge of the conservation of the beautiful synagogues in the "Comtat Venaissin" : Carpentras and Cavaillon.
A writer, under the pen name Orion, she wrote articles and books mainly on Jewish themes.
In a hotel of the Dumont d’Urville street, she held a very popular music salon, in which she often helped many musicians : Poulenc, Honegger, Darius Milhaud, Mihailovitz, Fauré, Gédalge, Enesco, Messiaen, Jolivet, Lesur… and the pianists Ania Dorfman and Monique Haas. She lent the famous Stradivarius owned by Fernand Halphen to several violinists, among them the young Isaac Stern.

Alice Halphen was a person with a big heart, cultivated, and also could sometimes express stinging lines that remained famous among the people who knew her.

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