||Monograph recording an address delivered by M. Sylvain Levi commemorating the centennial of the birth of Narcisse Leven a founder and president of the Alliance Israélite Universelle. There is a full page portrait of Levin is at the beginning of the book. Narcisse Leven (1833–1915) was a French philanthropist and public figure. He was born in Germany, and his family settled in Paris during his childhood. In 1855 he graduated from the Sorbonne in law. A staunch republican, Leven acted as secretary to Adolphe Crémieux , minister of justice during the Franco-Prussian War (1870/71). After the war he practiced law, and in 1879 was elected member of the Paris municipal council and was its vice president in 1882. However, he was defeated in the elections in 1887, as a result of an antisemitic campaign directed personally against him. Leven had been deeply stirred as a child by the Damascus affair (1840) and later by the Mortara case (1858). This influenced him to found the Alliance Israélite Universelle , together with Charles Netter , Jules Carvallo , and others. He was successively secretary, vice president, and, from 1898 until his death, president of the Alliance central committee. Together with Zadoc Kahn , Leven also assisted Baron de Hirsch in formulating his colonization plans and was the first to preside over the council of the Jewish Colonization Association (ICA) . Leven was a member of the Central Consistory of French Jews for over 50 years. He wrote Cinquante ans d'histoire: l'Alliance Israélite Universelle, 1860–1910 (vol. 1, 1911; vol. 2, 1920, posthumous).
The Alliance Israelite Universelle (All Israel are comrades), first modern international Jewish organization, founded in 1860, centered in Paris. The foundation of the Alliance expressed the renewal of Jewish cohesiveness after a short period of weakening in the second half of the 18th and up to the forties of the 19th century. Its inception was stimulated by ideological trends and political events in the national and international spheres in the second half of the 19th century. From the outset the Alliance labored under a built-in tension; it was conceived to be a world organization of "fortunate" Jews, who had achieved emancipation and assimilation in their own countries, to help their fellow-Jews, wherever they were suffering for or discriminated against because of their religion.