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Jewish Quarter in Budapest
Budapest Jewish Quarter
#About the Jewish Quarter that has Become the Center of Nightlife in Budapest

Neither the Holocaust nor the Communist rule succeeded in destroying the Jews from Budapest, certainly not from the Jewish quarter, in the city's seventh district. There are about 25 active synagogues in the city, and in the Jewish quarter itself, there are many shops that sell kosher food, with signs in Hebrew that emphasize this in their windows.

On Friday nights, you can still see in the Jewish Quarter in Budapest, those who are wearing Shtreimels, who have finished their prayers in the synagogue. On Saturdays, one can still see children wearing skullcaps and girls in long dresses.

Today the Jewish Quarter belongs to others. Since many young people moved here, mainly due to the low prices of apartments, it is considered a trendy and pleasant entertainment place, attracting a young and high-quality crowd from all over the city.

In 1900, the Jewish population in Budapest numbered 170,000 - a quarter of the city's population. Today, the city has less than half of that population, even though it is the largest Jewish community in Central Europe, the proportion to the city's population is minimal.

The Jewish quarter, Budapest's seventh district, is today not only the city's trendy entertainment center, but also has the great concentration of street art and graffiti.

A Closer Look:


Street Art in the 7th quarter:

The Orphanage of Janusz Korczak
The Orphanage of Janusz Korczak
#About the Great Educator's Orphanage

There is not much of the original institution at the orphanage of Janusz Korczak. This is a fairly clear fact, given the tragic history that led to his death in the Holocaust.

Korczak, a Jewish educator, physician and writer, was a famous figure in Europe, with a well-balanced radio program and a well-known children's book author. At the orphanage he founded in Warsaw in 1912, he employed pioneering educational methods and examined and advanced educational ideas.

In the courtyard of the orphanage stands a monument to Korczak. It commemorates his death in the gas chambers, together with his students, but also the educational life of the "old doctor," as they called him in better times.

The orphanage operated here until the establishment of the Jewish Ghetto. With the issuance of the Nazi order, which required all Jews to move into the Jewish Ghetto, the entire orphanage moved to 33 Chlodna Street, where it worked for some time before moving to its last residence on Sliska Street.

From the orphanage in the Ghetto, the children were taken in early August 1942 together with their teachers to the Umschlagplatz. Korczak himself, a famous man of international standing, refused the Nazi proposal to be released from death and went with his students to Treblinka extermination camp. There, they were all murdered in the gas chambers.

In the last place of the orphanage, on Sliska Street, nothing can be seen. In its place, there is today a green park, which was created after the war. In fact, the park was built on the ruins of the building and adjacent buildings, all destroyed when the Nazis liquidated the entire Jewish Ghetto.

#Lines for the Character of Janusz Korczak

The Jewish educator Dr. Janusz Korczak was the director of a Jewish orphanage in Warsaw and an admired educator. Before the war he was a real radio star who hosted a regular program on education and children. The Nazis, who recognized his name, freed him from having to go on the trains to the concentration camp, but Janusz Korczak refused and decided not to leave his students even in their deaths, and he accompanied them in a long convoy to the trains, which led them all to their deaths.

And not only his courage and love for his students and the children of his orphanage stand in the merit of this great educator. Korczak was one of the first educators in the world to introduce democratic education. His orphanage gave the children a sort of self-administered automaton. The orphanage included a parliament, a legislative committee, a weekly newspaper and even a rabbinic court, headed by child judges, who changed every week. Every Saturday, the children's courts met to discuss complaints that were filed that week against children and adults alike, teachers and other workers. The children had the right to prosecute even Korczak himself, who was very often tried ...

In the orphanage he led, each child received an older mentor. Thus the young children drew a personal example and constant instruction, while the older ones assumed responsibility and became young and thoughtful teachers. This method is currently implemented in educational institutions throughout the world. Korczak conceived it.

Video Presentation on Janusz Korczak:

Dohny utca Synagoga
Dohány Street Synagogue
#About the Big Synagogue of Budapest

Dohány Street Synagogue (Dohány utca Synagoga) was built in 1859. This is without a doubt the most prominent and important place in the Jewish quarter of the city.

The "Tabakgasse Synagogue" as it is sometimes called, is the largest synagogue in Europe. Why "Tabakgasse" you ask? It means tobacco in Hungarian. The three floors of the synagogue can hold up to 3,000 worshippers. It is interesting to note the contrast between the design of the building, which includes Islamic features, and what was introduced into it, which included Christian and church characteristics, such as an organ, a stage at the front and more.

On top of it being an operating synagogue, the building is also the site for the memorial of the 565,000 Hungarian Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust. During the Nazi occupation of Hungary, the synagogue was included in the Jewish Ghetto, and it became a central location for detaining many Jews.

The building includes also the Jewish Museum of Budapest, and many Jewish graves of the Jews from the quarter. There is a monument and a plaque for the memory of the Hungarian Jews who were killed during World War I and were murdered during the Holocaust by the Nazis.

The entrance to the synagogue is with a paid ticket, with the funds being used for the upkeep of the building.

#Architecture of the Synagogue Building

The synagogue was designed in the Mori style, Islamic and Northern-African, characterized by arches and decorations that repeat themselves. The style here combines Gothic elements with varied Islamic characteristics.

The architect Ludwig Förster placed at the exterior of the building two towers 43 meters tall. At the head of the towers are domes shaped like onions. In the center of the facade is a window in the shape of a flower and next to it are decorated windows.

The Islamic characteristics are also reflected in the colorful ceramic tile in which the synagogue is built from the outside, and the synagogue floor, where you can see a mosaic with geometric illustrations. Its walls are also decorated with gold and colorful geometric shapes.

The interior of the synagogue contains, as mentioned, various elements borrowed from Christianity. The most prominent is the organ, which was added to ease the atmosphere in the synagogue and make it happier. This was the practice in the synagogues of the Neolog movement, which grew stronger at that time. Another characteristic of this type is the placement of the synagogue stage at the front rather than the center of the synagogue, as has always been the case. Notice also the two huge and impressive chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.

#History of the Synagogue

The synagogue was built after the Jewish community of the city grew quickly during the 18th century and the 19th century, and reached 30,000 people.

This is how the new synagogue was built during 1854-1859. It was built in the Mori style, the North African style, an exotic decision that was interesting and even trendy at the time. Different from other synagogues, an organ was installed inside, reminded more of a Christian church than a traditional synagogue. The organ has 5,000 pipes. Among others, musicians such as the composer and piano genius Franz Liszt and composer Camille Saint-Saëns.

In 1939 Nazi supporters burned the synagogue, and during the war the remains were used for the Nazi radio station. Throughout the war the synagogue continued to be damaged from allied air raids.

After the war, the building was returned to the ownership of the Jewish community of Budapest, however resources for the reconstruction were limited.

In the 1990's, with the fall of the Communist rule in Hungary, the building was renovated and rebuilt. This is also when the monument for the memorial for the Jewish Holocaust victims was added, including the memorial for the Hungarian Jews and Raoul Wallenberg.

#The Uniqueness of the Big Synagogue of Budapest

Inside the synagogue, you can see many elements borrowed from Christianity. The most prominent of these is the organ, of course, added to a more joyful atmosphere. This was the practice in the synagogues of the Neolog Movement, a movement of Hungarian Jewry that aspired to assimilate into the general Hungarian society. Its most prominent characteristics were the introduction of synagogue organs and mixed choirs, boys and girls together.

Another prominent feature here is the position of the stage at front of the synagogue, rather than at its center.

Some things that cannot be seen during the visit here are as follows:

The language of the prayers, which, as the practice of theologians, is the local language, in this case, Hungarian.

The choir of the mixed synagogue - a choir of men and women together.

#Herzl's Childhood Neighborhood

In fact, you are in the childhood neighborhood of Theodore Herzl, the visionary of the State of Israel. It is here that the future of the Zionist movement and the establishment of the State of Israel grew.

Theodor Herzl was born here in the house next to the synagogue on Dohany Street. The surrounding neighborhood was the area where he grew up, played and studied. In this synagogue, imagine Binyamin Ze'ev Herzl, a Torah scholar, at his Bar Mitzvah ceremony in 1873. Incidentally, Herzl mentions the event several times in his book "The Tabakgasse Synagogue."

Indeed, the small square in front of the synagogue is now called "Herzl Square."

A Closer Look at the Synagogue with the Sounds of the Organ in the Background:

Neus Synagoge Berlin
New Synagogue Berlin
#About the Synagogue that was Restored After it was Burned on Kristallnacht

As early as the 19th century, the New Synagogue (Neus Synagoge Berlin) was one of the brightest buildings in the city. Its large gold dome, 50.2 meters high, one can spot from all over the city. On both sides of the dome, you will see two smaller domes that remind of Muslim mosques. The synagogue was built between 1859 and 1866, and was initially the largest and most beautiful synagogue in Germany.

During Kristallnacht, between November 9th and 10th, 1938, the Nazis tried to set the building on fire. One policemen standing in the neighborhood managed to prevent the fire, claiming that the building was for preservation. However, the fate of the building haunted him. In 1943, the synagogue was destroyed by Allied bombings. Its reconstruction began only a few decades later, in 1988.

Today the synagogue is not active, but you can find the Centrum Judaicum, which is a Jewish Cultural Center. The museum also has a permanent exhibition that presents the life of the Jews in the city, changing exhibitions that teach about Jewish history and contemporary art, as well as a historical archives. In the main hall there are 3,200 seats for worshipers who used to come here in the past.

#Architecture of the Synagogue

In April 1857, an architectural competition was held in the city of Berlin to design the new synagogue. The architect Eduard Knoblauch was in charge of the competition, but since he was not able to choose any of the plans, he designed the building himself. Two years later in 1859, Knoblauch fell ill, and the building continued by Friedrich August Stüller, a friend of Knoblauch. The construction was complete in 1861, but the interior was delayed and concluded only in 1866. The cost of all the construction amounted to about 750,000 thaler.

The design of the synagogue is a tribute to the architecture of the Iberian Peninsula. On the façade of the building you will see colored stones and terra cotta, and the caption: "Open the gates and bring the righteous, the guard of the faithful" (Yeshayahu 26:2) The width of the front is 29 meters and the length of the synagogue is 97 meters. This building is one of the first built in Berlin in the modern era using modern construction methods.

#The Organ Quarrel

The community leaders of Berlin wanted to install an organ in the new synagogue, a musical instrument that was very closely associated with the church. Jewish leaders forbade the introduction of the instrument, for reasons of "following in the laws of the gentiles." In order to try to resolve the dispute, the committee invited the opinion of well-known rabbis in Germany, and here too the opinions were split into two:

The Orthodox Rabbis did not allow any kind of organ use in the synagogue, neither on the Sabbath nor on weekdays.

Reformist Rabbi Abraham Geiger, on the other hand, ridiculed the situation. In 1862 it was determined that playing an organ on the Sabbath by a gentile does not violate or contradict the Halakhah.


It has recently been reported that the synagogue is temporarily closed. If you intend to enter it, try and find out if it has reopened first.

A Closer Look:



Museum Judenplatz
Museum Judenplatz
#The Museum of Jewish History in the Middle Ages

The Jewish Museum is located in Judenplatz, Jewish Square. The Jewish Square has always been a central place for the Jews of Vienna and today is the symbol that connects the heritage of the Jews of Vienna from the past, to the present and the future.

The Jewish Museum opened in 2000 with the aim of commemorating the Jews of Vienna who perished in the Holocaust and the anti-Semitic events that have been afflicted on the Jews in Vienna since 1938. The museum is built of different layers dealing with the Jewish history of Vienna in the Middle Ages.

In the lower basement, for example, you can see the remains of the ancient medieval synagogue. These are remnants of the synagogue that once stood here, before it was destroyed in the fire of 1421. Alongside them there are exhibits that reflect the way of life, culture and society of the Jews in Vienna. It is important to know that before the Nazi occupation there was a large and influential Jewish community in the city.

To summarize the experience, you can also see here a film about Jewish life in the present period - a fascinating film worth watching.

The museum also has a database of all the Jewish victims who died between 1938 and 1945.

May they rest in peace.


Entrance is free for children up to the age of 14.

On Saturdays the museum is closed.
The Shrine of the Book
The Shrine of the Book
#About the Shrine of the Book in the Israel Museum

In the Israel Museum is the Shrine of the Book, built in 1965, and its purpose is to preserve and display the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Qumran Scrolls.

The shrine has a unique design, which over the years has become a symbol of the city.

This is a treasure for the Jewish people. In the shrine are handwritten ancient writings, very rare and special, especially the Dead Sea Scrolls -the most important archeological findings of the 20th century.

The scrolls are extremely delicate, what makes displaying them for a long period of time very problematic. So, each scroll is displayed for a few months, up to six, and then it is replaced by another, and the first scroll is put into storage, to let it 'rest' from its exposure to light.

Near the shrine is a very specific model of Jerusalem from the period of the Second Temple. The model gives a connection between the handwritten scrolls and the history of Israel. There are many treasures here, like the Aleppo Codex, a precise and authoritative manuscript written in Tiberias in the 10th century CE.

Through these texts, these scrolls give us information about the lives of the big Jewish communities of the past who wrote them.

#What are the Dead Sea Scrolls?

The Dead Sea Scrolls, also called the Qumran Scrolls and the Judean Desert Scrolls, seem to be the greatest archeological discovery to be made in Israel.

The first scrolls were discovered inside ceramic vases in a cave near the Qumran ruins, on the northwest cliffs of the Dead Sea, in the Judean Desert. The one who discovered them was Mohammed a-Deeb, a Bedouin shepherd, who was looking for a lost sheep, in 1947, and saw the vase with three scrolls inside. From 1947 up to 1958, hundreds of scrolls were found in other caves in the same area.

These are scrolls that contain texts from Biblical books, or other books that were not included in the Bible called external books. Other scrolls contained identities and letters, mostly written about Papyrus.

Researchers estimate that these scrolls were written between the 3rd century BC and the 1st century, right before the destruction of the Second Temple in the year 70 CE. They are considered the earliest Hebrew texts that have ever been discovered.

#The Structure's Architecture

The original purpose of the structure was to preserve and display the first seven scrolls to have been found in 1947 in the Qumran. It was designed in the 1960's as a building with the feeling of a shrine, and was opened in 1965. It is considered a stepping stone towards modern architecture.

The building's design was made by Jewish-American architects Armand Bartos and Frederick Kiesler. They decided to design the building, with a white dome-like top, a reminder of the vase covers the scrolls were found in. The white color contrasts with the black wall put next to it, what fits with the description about the "sons of light," as these writers saw themselves, against the "sons of darkness," their enemies. The corridor on the way to the entrance reminds a cave, again reminding the location of the scrolls.

The structure is located next to impressive and official places for the State of Israel, like the Knesset, Government buildings, and the National Library, indicating the importance of the scrolls, and the structure that contains them.

A Closer Look at the Inside of the Shire on the Book:


A Closer Look at the Outside of the Shire on the Book:

SS and Gestapo Headquarters
SS and Gestapo Headquarters
#About the Terror Center of the Nazi Gestapo in World War II

The building where you are standing hosted the headquarters for the Gestapo and SS until the end of World War II. Initially, this headquarter connected the Jewish Ghetto with the Polish part of Warsaw. From here the orders were issued and here the Jewish suspects were interrogated.

When the termination of the Jewish people started, what was called the "Final Solution," the Nazis were able to observe high up from their windows, onto Umschlagplatz Square. From there the SS oversaw the loading of thousands of Jews onto train cars and to their deaths, towards Treblinka Death Camp.

At the end of the war, the Nazis destroyed the entire Ghetto and its buildings, besides a few buildings used by the Gestapo. This is how this building was not damaged at all, being the headquarters.

Since the war and until now, the building was used as research labs for the University of Warsaw. At the entrance is a sign in memory of the history of the place.
Balat Ahrida
Balat Ahrida Synagogue
#About the Oldest Synagogue in Istanbul

The Balat Ahrida Synagogue, located in the Balat district on the Golden Horn, is the oldest synagogue in Istanbul. The neighborhood in which it is built is a relatively poor neighborhood, with quite a few impressive historical buildings. It was originally built by the Jews of the Ottoman city of Arida, in today's Macedonian territory.

This is the synagogue of the Sephardic Jewish community in the city, most of whom emigrated to the city with the expulsion from Spain. Here we can still hear the Ladino language being spoken from Spain.

The synagogue was renovated in 1992 to mark the 500th anniversary of the arrival of the Jews of Spain in the Ottoman Empire, and the fact that it was damaged quite a bit by a fire in the 17th century.

From the outside, on the long wall along the street, it is difficult to discern that this is a Jewish prayer house. Only the doors hint at the Jewish origin. The interior of the synagogue, however, is beautifully restored. Spanish Jewish elements are clearly visible. One of the most impressive and impressive things is his beautiful wooden dome.

Pay attention in the synagogue to the "stage," the place from which the cantor reads. The shape of the stage, which is called a "box," is like the bow of a ship. The resemblance of the prayer stage to the front of an ancient ship that crosses the water comes from the tradition of the Jews of Turkey. In their eyes, it symbolizes and recalls the Ottoman ships that in 1492 collected the expelled Jews from Spain and took them to a new home in Turkey, where they would receive protection for centuries as a religious minority.

#What is the Connection to the False Messiah Shabtai Tzvi?

Historically, the synagogue here is known as the only synagogue in Istanbul where Shabtai Tzvi, the founder of the Jewish Shabtai movement, prayed.

The man, a young and charismatic Jewish man, came from his hometown of Izmir and proclaimed himself the Jewish Messiah. Quite quickly, many believers gathered around him, who were known among the Jews as the "Sabbatean cult." Shabtai Tzvi's name spread rapidly and was followed by many Jews. Throughout the Jewish world and in the corners of the Balkans, Europe, and even India and Yemen, the Jews spoke of the magic of the Jewish Messiah.

Of course, many opposed him and saw him as a false messiah, but no one predicted what would happen in 1666, the year 666 would get the nickname "Satan's Year." Shabtai Tzvi stunned his followers and decided to convert to Islam. What happened behind the scenes was that the Ottomans arrested him and presented him with two alternatives - either converting to Islam or being killed. The Jewish "messiah" chose to convert to Islam and received the name Aziz Muhammad Effendi.

There was tremendous shock in the Jewish world. It was as exciting, no less than the magic that Tzvi had had upon the Jews before. The Messiah converted to Islam!!! No less astonishing the Jews was the fact that many of his followers, the hard core of his movement, chose to follow him, and convert to Islam as well .

Thus Shabtai Zvi was later nicknamed "a false Messiah." Despite the fact that there are scholars who describe his historical role as a great converter who shook Judaism, and after his conversion he never returned to Judaism.

What is interesting is that the converted Jewish Messiah is now also considered a Muslim saint, many of whom go up to his grave and ask for a blessing. After all, he chose Islam. It was not entirely his choice, but he did choose ...

#A Visit:


Neve alom Sinagogu
Neve Shalom Synagogue
#About the Italian Synagogue in Istanbul

The "Neve Şalom Sinagogu" in Istanbul is the largest and most famous synagogue in the city. Its main hall is the most luxurious and beautiful of the other synagogues in the city.

It is a wonderful synagogue, located at the northern end of the Golden Horn in the center of Istanbul, a 2-minute walk from Ortkoy Mosque, on the Bosphorus.

Notice here the arabesque-like decorations on the stained-glass windows of the synagogue's ceiling. They remind decorations undignified Muslim mosques and interesting to be understood in the context of the mutual influences that take place over the years between Judaism with a ban "will not make you a graven image," and Islam, which developed arabesques to beautify their mosques without trying to imitate the god, what the religion considers forbidden.

#History of the Synagogue

This synagogue, once one of Istanbul's most important synagogues, was founded in 1885 by members of the Italian Jewish community of the city. The community, founded in 1862, was then called the foreign community, Cal di los Francos. Until then the community had used synagogues in several other buildings, and here had been the permanent place of prayer.

Until 1922, the Maftirim Choir of Istanbul sang in the synagogue. Here Rabbi Yitzhak Algazi also served as cantor in the 1920's and 1930's. He was considered one of the greatest Turkish cantors of all time.

In the 1930's, the Arab Revolt took place, where the Arabs in Palestine perpetrated riots against the Jews. At that time, rioters destroyed the original synagogue that stood here. A new synagogue, where you are now, was built.

In 1980 the synagogue was renovated, and in 1998 a central heating system was installed. Today there are not many worshipers, but Jews visit the place to get an impression and remember the warm community that lived here in the past.

#A Wedding in the Synagogue:


#A Closer Look:

Prozna Street
#About the Warsaw Ghetto's Memorial Street

About one year after taking control of Poland in a lightning war, the Nazis established the Jewish Ghetto in Warsaw. Prozna Street (Próżna), where you are now, was part of the Warsaw Ghetto, also one of the few streets where Jews lived even before the war and the establishment of the Ghetto.

Prozna Street survived the destruction sown by the German planes on Warsaw towards the end of the war. Even today, the atmosphere of the old Jewish Warsaw has been preserved. On the street, a Jewish cultural festival called "Singer's Warsaw" takes place every summer, named after the Jewish writer Isaac Bashevis Singer.

During the festival, aiming to restore the historical and cultural heritage of Warsaw Jewry, Jewish music and Klezmer music are played, theater plays are performed in Hebrew and Yiddish, alongside traditional dance performances, exhibitions, films and discussions on Jewish subjects. Kosher food stands offer much of the Jewish food that is identified with Polish Jewry to this day.

Particularly interesting is the annual performance of the festival, under the name "And I Still See Their Face." In the exhibition, scenes of Jewish life in Warsaw from the days before the war are projected on the facades of buildings on the street, especially on the facade of the house that was left as it was during the war. Here and there you can see on the street pictures on the buildings, which bring back the Jewish people of the past, to today's streets.

#The House on Prozna Street

One of the buildings that survived the pre-war period, has been left behind since World War II, without being renovated. The old brown building is located in Grzybowski Square, right at the exit from the Jewish area, to the Polish area of ​​Warsaw. The pictures hanging on the building belongs to families who lived there in the early 20th century, most of them, Jewish families.

A Closer Look at the Street - Then and Now:


A House from the Ghetto Days:

Chlodna Street
#About the Street that Separated the Two Ghettos

During World War II, Chlodna Street symbolized the separation between the "big" Ghetto and the "small" Ghetto. Here on Chlodna Street the Nazis built a wooden bridge above the street that connected the two Ghettos.

The Nazis kept Chlodna Street out of the Ghetto walls, to be used as a way to move around supplies, and better control the "city."

Today, in memory of the wooden bridge from the Holocaust, there is a site called "Memorial Bridge," that displays the tragic events that occurred here during the Holocaust with multimedia.

Here, on July 1942, one big tragedy happened among the many of the time. This happened when the Nazis announced the liquidation of the Ghetto, with residents being moved to a new settlement in Eastern Europe, which of course was a big lie, and the plan was to send the entire Jewish population to death camps. At a school at 20 Chlonda Street, Czerniaków, the leader of the Jewish community committed suicide. He did this after hearing the announcement, and refusing to agree to give the Nazis the names of those meant to be deported, as he was forced to do in the past.

The house was maintained in its original form, and oddly enough was not destroyed while the Nazis were burning down the whole Ghetto, when trying to stop the Ghetto Uprising.

A Closer Look at the Street:

#About the Ancient Jewish Quarter in Prague

Today the quarter is nicknamed Josefov, but some will always call it the Jewish Quarter of Prague. The Old Jewish Quarter of the city is one of the most toured areas in the city, the most ancient part of Prague. There are old and ancient buildings filled with history, including the Jewish Museum, the old Jewish Cemetery and a number of synagogues.

Though Jews were settling in the city from the 10th century, the Jewish Quarter in Prague exists from the 12th century. In the past Jews were allowed to only live within the Quarter limits, which received the name "The Jewish Ghetto."

More than any other city in Europe, the Jews of Prague received a high status in the financial and cultural life of the city, and made strong ties with the rulers. Here too in the Czech Republic, there were difficult stories of blood libels, accusations of arson, fires, poisoning of wells, and persecution of Jews for any reason.

The location of the Jewish Quarter is between the Old City Square to the Vlatava River Banks. The name of the Jewish Quarter, Josefov, was given after the ruler of the Joseph II, who set a reform that greatly elevated the living status of the Jews in Prague.

#Jewish Quarter Constructions

The ghetto is a merger of two Jewish centers in the city - the first is the center of the "Ashkenazi" Jews, which centered around the Old New Synagogue (Altneuschul), the famous Maharal Synagogue, and the Sephardim, which were located around the Spanish Synagogue.

In the past, the Jewish Ghetto was one of the poorer parts of the city. It was repeatedly hit by floods from the river, a story that was resolved only in the early 20th century, when the batteries were lifted to prevent flooding from the river. Until then, the ghetto was one of the less well-tended neighborhoods in Prague.

Try not to look here only at graves on the ground. Look up and see the special buildings of the Quarter. Here is the world's largest concentration of buildings decorated with Art-Nouveau decorations. There are also representatives of Art-Deco and cubist architecture, two other interesting styles, which were also in fashion in the first half of the last century.

A Closer Look at Prague's Jewish Quarter:

Museum at Eldridge street
#About the Museum that was Dedicated to Jewish Emigrants

The Museum at Eldridge Street is dedicated to the Jewish immigration to the Lower East Side, at the start of the 20th century. It is located in a building from 1887, that was originally a synagogue.

The synagogue, of the oldest in the United States, was established in 1887 in the Lower East End, by Jews from Eastern Europe, who immigrated to the United States. For six years community members from the congregation of the Kahal Adath Jeshurun collected the money to build the synagogue, that was built with 3 wings. After the money needed was collected, they turned to Peter and Francis William Herter, the architects, to design the building in the Mori-style.

The synagogue was a successful Jewish Center, especially between 1900-1940. In those years, the synagogue was used as an absorption center for immigrants who were just arriving in the United States. In addition to religious services, community-oriented events took place here as well, like the collection and donation of money the Jewish State of Israel.

With time, many of the community members left the area, and immigration limits limited the number of immigrants who were arriving in New York. The Great Depression did not help the situation of the Jewish community, and with time the synagogue was closed for lack of resources to take care of it.

In 1986 a non-profit organization was established called "Project Eldridge Street," to return the building to its former educational, cultural, and community activities. The renovation ended on December 2, 2007, at the cost of $20 million. It was open to the wide public under the current museum name. The Jewish community worked hard to get it to its current situation so it can be accepted as a National Historic Monument.

Today, the building has a modest synagogue and a wonderful museum with guided tours and activities for children. You can also look through the museum archive of genealogy, and see if any of your relatives were members of this synagogue.
Szenes Hanna Park
#About the Park in Memory of the Brave Paratrooper and Poet

Szenes Hanna Park is located in a junction of streets Jósika and Rózsa, and was dedicated especially to Hanna Szenes. She was a Jewish fighter against the Nazis during World War II. Szenes made Aliyah to Israel in 1939 and was one of the young people that built the kibbutz Sdot Yam.

Beyond being a poet with a lot of talent, Hanna Szenes was part of a paratrooper unit who volunteered to serve in the British army during World War II. In the frame of her actions as a combat soldier against the Nazis, she jumped along with her unit over occupied Hungary. However, during the line of duty she was caught by the Hungarians who surrendered her to the Nazis. She was tortured and executed, at only 23 years old.

After her death, among Szenes's things were found the songs she wrote in secret. Some have gained a lot of popularity like Ashrei Hagafrur, A Walk to Caesarea with the famous lyrics - "My God, my God,
may it never end."

The park won't tell you about this history, which is why you have us!

May her memory be blessed!
Hungarian Jewish Museum and Archives
#About the Jewish Museum of Budapest

The Hungarian Jewish Museum and Archives (Magyar Zsidó Múzeum) was built in 1930 in the childhood home of Benjamin Ze'ev Herzl, in the neighborhood of the Big Synagogue in Budapest. The museum presents the story of the Jewish community in the city, a community that was destroyed and almost completely erased in the Holocaust.

The museum, the second largest Jewish museum in Europe, includes many display items from the daily lives of the Hungarian Jews, and in Budapest in general. It exhibits very well the wealthy community that lived here for hundreds of years.

In the museum there are 4 wings. Each focuses on a different aspect of the daily lives of the Jews in the community. The themes are; daily Jewish lives, Jewish holidays, the Hungarian Jew's Holocaust and Judaica items used for the Sabbath. The Judaica items on display were collected from all around the former Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Like in the next-door synagogue, the Jewish Museum also took on itself the job of preserving and commemorating. It includes a dark memorial room with many photos from World War II, like the Hungarian Jewish community experienced it. There is a column that tells the tale and commemorates the poet Hannah Szenes. In the courtyard of the building is an impressive monument for the Jews of Budapest, to the diplomat and Righteous Among Nations Raoul Wallenberg, and others who helped the Hungarian Jews hide from the Nazis.

#History of the Museum

The museum, built in 1930 in the childhood home of Theodore Herzl, and filled an important and brave job in the years when antisemitism in Hungary grew, and prevented Jewish artists from showcasing their work. This is when the museum stood strong, who back then didn't even have to do with art. The museum began displaying exhibits by Jewish artists, whose religion prevented them from displaying in other museums or galleries around Budapest.

In the tough years of the war, the National Museum employees helped hide displays from the Jewish Museum in the basement of the National Museum. This is how items were saved from the tough bombings of the allied air raids and from the hands of the Nazis themselves.
POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews
#About the Museum Named Poland

The POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews (Muzeum Historii Żydów Polskich), also known as the Polish Museum, is a museum that tells the history of the Jews in Poland, from the first immigration to Poland, to present day.

The museum was built in what was the only area in the former Jewish Quarter that was left without construction. Here, in the past, the Warsaw Ghetto was situated, right at the site where the Judenrat headquarters stood during the war. It is right next to Anielewicz Street and opposite the monument of the sculptor Nathan Rapaport, in memory of the heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto.

Even if the museum dedicates a significant part to the Holocaust, it also deals quite a bit with other periods in the history of the connection between the Jews and Poland. In fact, the museum tells about the history of Polish Jewry, starting in the 13th century, and does it right through innovative technology that creates interest.

Although it has an interactive part, which offers activities with computer screens, the museum is not really intended for young children.

#Museum Exhibits

The museum has a permanent exhibition that presents 1,000 years of Jewish history, formerly the largest Jewish community in the world.

The permanent exhibition is divided into 8 spaces representing different historical periods, beginning with the Middle Ages of Polish Jewry, the Jews in the Polish-Lithuanian Union, the Second Polish Republic, the Holocaust and the postwar period.

Here are the museum's wings:

Forest - the escape of the Jews from persecution in Western Europe to Poland, which was the largest house for Jews in Europe.

Middle Ages- the first Jewish settlers in Poland. Descriptions of Abraham ben Jacob, from the 10th century of the Polish state under the first ruler of Yashko, the first ruler of Poland.

Golden Age - in the 15th and 16th centuries, the rich culture of Polish Jewry, which enjoyed religious tolerance, and developed. It ended with the pogroms of the Khmelnytsky revolt, which is represented as a symbolic flame of fire.

Towards a State - In the 17th and 18th centuries, typical suburbs develope near cities with a Jewish majority.

Modernity - Polish Jewry divided in the 19th century succeeds in the industrial revolution in Poland, developing and meeting modern anti-Semitism, which will accompany them from here.

The Street - Between the two world wars, the second golden age of Polish Jewry was created, and a developed Jewish culture was created in Poland.

Holocaust - the horrors of the Holocaust, which puts the Jews of Warsaw in Ghettos and annihilates 90% of Polish Jewry.

Post-War - after 1945, with the departure of most Holocaust survivors from Poland, the Soviet takeover and the anti-Semitic campaign sponsored by the Communist authorities, until the end of communism and the revival of the small Jewish community in Poland.


Admission to the museum on Thursdays is free.

Entrance is until 4:00 pm.

The tour lasts about two hours.

A Closer Look at the Museum:

Keret House
#About the Narrowest House in the World on Chlonda Street

The Keret House (Dom Kereta or Etgar Keret) on Chlodna Street in Warsaw is the narrowest house in the world. It was designed by the Polish architect Jakub Szczesny. He dreamed of a house that would be very narrow but would still serve as a home. He was inspired by the stories of the Israeli writer Etgar Keret, who he says writes the shortest stories that give a full feeling.

This is a tall, multi-story house built in a space between two buildings in Warsaw. It is tall, long and bright in the sun, thanks to the transparent roof and ceiling. It has a bed, kitchen, bathroom and study (or at least a writing corner). It was especially important for the architect to keep the home at the maximum width of 122 centimeters, while making it not to feel claustrophobic, like an enclosed place, even though it was so narrow.

The house is situated at the corner of the streets between Chlodna 22 and 74 Zelazna Street, meters away from the bridge connecting the "big ghetto" with the "small ghetto."

The house is full of famous branded electronics donated by sponsors and commercial financiers who decide to give away for free. They do this for advertising purposes and also prove that their products are suitable for small apartments.

The house belonged to the Warsaw municipality and artists from around the world have been invited to stay here from time to time, or rent it for short periods. Of course, Keret was the first of them invited to stay there.

Why Etgar Keret? - Beyond his most popular works in Europe, the house was dedicated to the Israeli writer because it was built in the area that was the Jewish ghetto of Warsaw during World War II. This is the same ghetto where Keret's mother lived with her family during that terrible period. She is the only survivor of her family.


You can visit the house only at certain times, which must be checked out before at the website linked below.

Inside the Keret House:


A Section of the Ghetto Wall
#About the Surviving Jewish Ghetto Wall

When World War II was over, Warsaw was left in pieces, with ruins as symbols of the old Jewish Ghetto. The wall has remained the same up to today, on Zlota Street behind a house on 55 Sienna on Walicow Street, where remains of destroyed houses can be seen from the war, as evidence to the horrible historic atrocities to the Jewish community.

On the sidewalks, in many of the points where the Ghetto wall once stood, metal plates can be seen with historical explanations maps and photos.

A Closer Look at the Jewish Ghetto Wall Remains:

Nożyk Synagogue
#About the Synagogue that was not Destroyed Because it was Used as Stables for the Nazis

Until World War II, Nożyk Synagogue was among the five large synagogues in Warsaw.

It is the single only synagogue to survive the Holocaust and is active until today. The synagogue has actually been active since its establishment in 1902, and managed to survive the Holocaust.

The synagogue was established in 1902, by a couple with no children, Zelman and Rebecca Nozyk. The well-off couple, a textile merchant and his wife, asked only one request - that whenever the Mourner's Kadish was prayed, their names will be mentioned. Up to this day, the request is etched in stone next to the Holy Ark.

With the Nazi occupation, the Jewish community was still allowed to pray here, but in 1941 the Nazis took over and used the spaces as horse stables and a food warehouse. It survived the war up to May 6, 1943, when the Germans bombed the synagogue with a ceremonial final blow to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

By 1948 the place was once again a synagogue. In the 1980's there was a Jewish awakening in Poland, and the synagogue was restored, with the encouragement of the Polish government, with Jewish funds. It was rebuilt in 1983, and since then it has served as the central synagogue in Warsaw.

In the Nożyk Synagogue is the original Torah scroll that used to be in the Great Synagogue of Warsaw, which operated before the war on Tlomackia Street. Apart from a place of prayer, the synagogue became the main meeting point of the Warsaw Jewish community and a place of major cultural events, such as concerts, exhibitions and public discussions.

A Closer Look at the Synagogue:

Forward Building
#About the Building

This building, located at the center of Manhattan, was for 62 years the house for the newspaper The Forward. It was designed by architect George Boehm and has 10 floors, its building was complete in 1912. The building was used by the popular Jewish newspaper, until 1974. For many years it stood here, and today the building is residential.

Though the building is not particularly tall (with only 10 floors), it is still very tall for its area. You can see the restored colonnade with a wide entrance arch that is a little reminiscent of the glorious past of this place.

The building's facade used to have plaques with portraits of the Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, and August Bebel who were the founders of the German Social Democratic Party, and the heads of the party during the construction of the building.

In 1974 the building was sold, and the newspaper moved to a more modest building in the center of Manhattan.

#About the Newspaper 'The Forward'

The Jewish-American newspaper was first published in 1897, as a daily newspaper, written and edited by 50 Jewish people. In the beginning, the newspaper protected professional unions, and protected socialism and democracy. It supported the American Socialist Party, as part of its radical opinion. In 1912 the newspaper circulation reached 12,000 copies, and in 1915 it reached 200,000.

Until 1917 the newspaper took a hard anti-zionist stance, however after the Balfour Declaration, together with many American organizations, they began letting go a little.

In 1932, the newspaper promoted its readers to vote for Franklin Roosevelt. Even with the increase in readership, in 1962 sales dropped. So the editors decided to change the format of the paper, and make it a weekly publication instead of a daily one. Also, an English publication was added.

In 1990 the editors decided to deal with the news that was occupying the Jewish world in English, and they managed to place the paper as a leader. With that, in 1974 the newspaper left the nostalgic building for a more modest location in the center of Manhattan.
Bialystoker Synagogue
#The Synagogue that was Once a Refuge for Slaves

The ancient building was built in 1826 and is located on the lower East Side. This neighborhood used to house mostly Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. The majority of the Jewish community abandoned the neighborhood around the 20th century, however, remains of the community remain, among the remains the Bialystoker Synagogue.

Originally the building of the synagogue was used as a Methodist church, and it was a hiding location for slaves who fled from the South. If you look closely, in the deck you will see the door and ladder towards the attic, where the slaves hid during the Civil War.

The building became a synagogue in 1905 when the Jewish community from Bialystoker brought over a two-story Holy Ark, made of wood and covered in gold. On the ceiling here you will see drawings of the zodiac paintings according to the Jewish calendar. To the prayer house arrive about 500 people on a weekly basis.
Katz's Deli
The Verona Synagogue
Jewish Museum Vienna
Jewish Cemetery

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