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Ludovic Feldman

Ludovic Feldman (1893-1987), violinist and composer, born in Galati, Romania. He started his musical studies in Galati during 1903-1909, and then continued at the Conservatory in Bucharest until 1911, when he received an internship at Neues Wiener Konservatorium In Vienna, Austria, staying there until 1913. 

Feldman was the concert-master of the Zagreb Opera Orchestra during 1925-1926. He returned to Bucharest in 1926 as first violinist at the Romanian Opera Orchestra, a position he held until 1940. In parallel he was a member of the Teodorescu Quartet in Bucharest and violinist at the Romanian Philharmonic Orchestra until 1940, when he was fired as a result of the anti-Semitic policy of the Fascist regime in Romania. Feldman was defended by Mihail Jora and Geore Enescu, who intervened, in difficult moments, for the exceptional violinist of the Philharmonic.

After the Holocaust, he returned to the Romanian Philharmonic Orchestra serving as its concert-master for eight years until his retirement in 1953. From 1953 to 1963 Feldman was director of the Symphony and Chamber Music Bureau of the Romanian Union of Composers.

Many of his compositions contain a theme of folk inspiration translated into a modern language. His works include 4 Orchestra Suite (1948, 1949, 1952, 1960), Concerto for two string orchestras, celestial, piano and percussion (1958), Concert Symphony for String Orchestra (1971), Concertino (1975), Concert piece (1979), Ballad for violin and orchestra (1952), Miniatures, sketches, preludes for piano 2 and 4 hands (1959), In memoriam of Anne Franck, Tragic poem.

Feldman received the Prize of the Romanian Union of Composers (1968, 1970, 1972), the State Prize (1952), and the Prize of the Romanian Academy (1978).

Date of birth:
1893
Date of death:
1987
ID Number:
20676451
Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People
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FELDMAN

Surnames derive from one of many different origins. Sometimes there may be more than one explanation for the same name. Feld means "field" in Yiddish/German. Feld is a common artificial name that can be prefixed (Feldberg) or suffixed (Rosenfeld). In some cases Feldman is a toponymic (derived from a geographic name of a town, city, region or country). Surnames that are based on place names do not always testify to direct origin from that place, but may indicate an indirect relation between the name-bearer or his ancestors and the place, such as birth place, temporary residence, trade, or family-relatives. This surname is associated with a locality near Klagenfurt, Austria, called Feld. In other cases Feldman may also indicate that the original bearer of this family name lived or had any other connection with the countryside. Feldman was an especially common name among the Jews of Western Ukraine, Eastern Galicia and Bessarabia, areas that in the early 19th century used to have a considerable Jewish rural population.

Feld, literally "field" in Yiddish and German, is an element commonly used for creating artificial Jewish family names, i.e. names that do not refer to any feature of the first bearer of the family name, or as a prefix (Feldman) or a suffix (Ehrenfeld).

Distinguished bearers of the Jewish family name Feldman include the Polish author and critic, Wilhelm Feldman (1868-1919); the 20th century Russian-born American physician, Louis Feldman; and the 20th century Israeli educator and biologist, Michael Feldman.

Galati

Port on the river Danube, in Moldova, eastern Romania.

Jews first settled in Galati at the end of the 16th century. There are Jewish tombstones dating from between 1590 and 1595. A second cemetery was established in 1629 and a third in 1774. Until the beginning of the 18th century the chevra kaddisha was responsible for the communal administration.

Following a blood libel in 1796, outrages were perpetrated against the Jews. In 1812 Greek revolutionaries, who entered the town, set fire to several synagogues, and in 1842 there were renewed attacks on the community by local Greeks. In 1846 anti-Jewish outbreaks again occurred in which synagogues were looted and Jewish houses and shops were destroyed. In 1859, in a similar attack, many Jews were killed.

In 1867 a number of Jews among those expelled from catastrophe provoked a storm of protest throughout Europe. The Jewish bakers were expelled from Galati for refusing to break the strike of their fellow workers and party members in 1893.

The Jewish population numbered 14,500 in 1894, 12,000 in 1910 ( 22% of the total), 19,912 in 1930 (20%), and 13,000 in 1942.

Jewish artisans and merchants contributed considerably to the city's economic and commercial development.
Before World War II the community had 22 synagogues, a secondary school, two elementary schools for boys and one for girls, a kindergarten, a trade school, a hospital, an orphanage, an old-age home, and two ritual bathhouses. There was also a cultural- religious society, a Zionist society, a youth organization Tze'irei Zion, and a "culture" club.
The Jews in Galati were subjected to constant persecution by the pro-Nazi authorities during World War II. The community was not destroyed during the Holocaust, but subsequently diminished through emigration. It numbered 13,000 in 1947, 9,000 in 1950, and 450 families in 1969, with two synagogues.

Bucharest

Romanian: Bucuresti

Capital of Romania

The historic Jewish district of Bucharest used to be centered around the Choral Temple, and spread from Piata Unirii east towards Dristor. However, most of the Jewish buildings that stood there were destroyed during the 1980s in order to make way for the Bulevardul Unirii. As of 2015, there remain a handful of points of Jewish interest in Bucharest, serving the community of approximately 3,500. The Choral Temple, the Yeshua Tova Synagogue, and the Great Polish Synagogue, continue to hold services; the latter also hosts the city's Holocaust Museum. The Beit Hamidrash Synagogue, which dates back to the late 18th century, is abandoned and decaying, though the structure itself is still (barely) standing. Another abandoned synagogue whose building still stands is the Hevra Amuna (Temple of Faith).

The Jewish History Museum (Muzeul de Istorie a Evreilor din Romania) is located in what was once a synagogue called the Holy Union Temple. The synagogue building itself was constructed in 1836; it began serving as a Jewish history museum in 1978. Mozes Rosen, the chief rabbi of Romania from 1964 until his death in 1994, founded the museum and provided a number of items for its collection.

The State Jewish Theater, which is located in Bucharest, is the oldest uninterrupted Yiddish-language theater in the world. The theater features plays by Jewish playwrights, plays about Jewish topics, and Yiddish plays that run simultaneous Romanian translations through headphones. The theater is located next to the Lauder-Reut Jewish school, which has over 400 students enrolled in its kindergarten, elementary, and middle schools.

HISTORY

The Jewish community of Bucharest was formed both by Sephardic Jews who arrived from the south, chiefly from the Otooman Empire, and later by Ashkenazi Jews arriving from the north. A responsum by the rabbi of Solonika during the 16th century that mentions a Sephardic community is the first documented evidence confirming the presence of Jews in Budapest. The Jewish community began to grow and prosper; some were even the creditors of the ruling princes. This economic success, however, eventually came at a steep price (pun intended); when Prince Michael the Brave revolved against the Turks in November 1593, he ordered that his creditors be killed, among whom were a number of Jews.

Ahskenazi Jews began arriving and establishing their own community towards the middle of the 17th century, drawn there after fleeing the Khmielnitski Massacres taking place in Ukraine. Their numbers grew, and eventually the Ashkenazi community became larger than the Sephardic community. For tax purposes, the Ashkenazi and Sephardic communities were organized into a single community by the state, and were forced to pay a fixed tax to the treasury. Meanwhile, the general population, afraid of economic competition, was intensely hostile towards the Jews. In 1793 residents of the suburb Razvan petitioned Prince Alexander Moruzi to expel the Jews who had recently settled in the area and to demolish the synagogue that they had built. Though the prince ordered that the synagogue be closed, he did not remove the Jews from Razvan and, in fact, issued a decree confirming his protection of them. In 1801 there were anti-Jewish riots following blood libel accusations, and 128 Jews were killed or wounded.

In 1819 Prince Alexandru Sutu officially acknowledged both the Sephardic ("Spanish") and Ashkenazi ("Polish") communities, allowing them to operate as separate entities. This continued until 1949 when the Communist regime once again forced the two communities to join together. By 1832 there were 10 Ashkenazi and one Sephardi synagogues in Bucharest. The Great Synagogue, which was Ashkenazi, was dedicated on Rosh Hashanah, 1847.

In spite of the impressive Great Synagogue, the Ashkenazi community of Bucharest had to deal with a number of fissures and tensions during the 19th century. There were tensions between those were born in Romania, and those who immigrated to Bucharest, who were not under the same system of taxation as the native Romanians. This led the immigrants within the Jewish community, who were considered "foreign subjects" to refuse to pay the tax levied on kosher meat. This was a problem, as this tax constituted the sole income of the community council. The authorities, who were drawn into the conflict, at first upheld the traditional rights of the Jewish communal organization. However, following repeated complaints from both sides, as well as constitutional changes that took place in Romania in 1832, the community was given a new constitution that greatly curtailed its autonomy. Instead of operating autonomously, it fell under the direct authority and close supervision of the municipality. Eventually, in 1851, the Prussian and Austrian subjects (about 300 families) were officially permitted to found a separate community.

The increasing influence of the Haskalah (Jewish Enlightenment), also led to tensions within the Ashkenazi community. It is important to note that this conflict also reflected the economics of the community; those in favor of the Haskalah and who wanted the community to undertake more progressive reforms tended to be from the upper classes, while those who were more traditional tended to be further down the socioeconomic ladder. At that time, the Bucharest Ashkenazi community was torn by strife between the Orthodox and progressive factions. The controversy began to center around a school with a modern curriculum that opened in 1852, as well as the proposal in 1857, led by Ya'akov Lobel, to build a Choral Temple, that would incorporate modern ideas and principles into its services. The appointment of Rabbi Meir Leib Malbim in 1858 as the chief rabbi did not help quell the disputes. Malbim was a fierce and uncompromising opponent of the Reform movement, and he quickly made enemies among Bucharest's Jewish elite. The conflicts between Malbim and those who were in favor of the Reform Movement came to a head in 1862, when Malbim was arrested. He was freed only after Sir Moses Montefiore intervened, and on the condition that he leave Romania. The Choral Synagogue was completed in 1867, and became the center for the modernists of the community.

Among the most prominent spiritual and religious leaders of the community before World War I were Antoine Levy and Moritz (Meir) Beck, who were rabbis of the Choir Temple Congregation from 1867 to 1869 and 1873 to 1923, respectively. Other outstanding figures within the Choir Temple community were Iuliu Barasch and Yitzchak Leib Weinberg. Yitzchak Esiik Taubes was the rabbi of the Orthodox Congregation from 1894 until 1921. The most prominent lay leader was Adolf Stern. Moscu Asher led the Sephardic community, and Rabbi Hayim Bejarano was a noted scholar and poet. Later, the lawyer and politician Wilhelm Filderman would become the president of the Union of Romanian Jews, and Rabbi Jacob Isaac Niemirower would be the country's first chief rabbi. Filderman, in fact, would in 1941 work successfully to annul the decree forcing Jews to wear an identifying badge.

Between the two World Wars the Bucharest community grew in both numbers and importance. The Jewish population of the city, which had become the capital of Greater Romania and attracted immigrants from all parts of the country, increased from 44,000 in 1912 to 74,480 (12% of the total population) in 1930 and 95,072 in 1940. Most Jews worked as artisans, merchants, clerks, and bankers. Others were active in professions such as medicine and law. Several ironworks and foundries were established by the end of the 19th century. Major Jewish business leaders at that time included Leon Abramovici, Sigmund Prager, and Adolph Solomon.

There were a number of Jewish schools in Bucharest, particularly at the turn of the 20th century. Among the most influential was the abovementioned school established in 1852 by Yisrael Pick and Naftali Popper. These founders sought to imbue their school with the Haskalah principles that they believed in, and the school became extremely influential on Jewish education in Romania. There were also vocational institutions serving Jewish workers, including the Ciocanul (Hammer) school which trained Jewish craft workers.

Communal institutions included over 40 synagogues, two cemeteries, 19 schools, a library and museum, two hospitals, a clinic, two homes for the elderly, and two orphanages. There was also a B'nai B'rith, as long as a number of social and cultural organizations serving the community. A number of newspapers also served the community; the first Jewish newspaper, "Israelitul roman," was founded in 1855 and written in Romanian and French. Other publications included "Fraternitatea," "Revista Israelita," "Egalitatea," and "Curierul Israelit." Yiddish and Hebrew language publications included "Et LeDaber," "HaYoetz," and the Zionist newspapers "Mantuirea" and "Hasmonaea." A Yiddish theater was established in the late 1870s, and reached its peak during the interwar period. This theater would later be banned under Ion Antonescu.

Anti-Semitism continued to be a problem for the Jews of Bucharest. In 1866 the visit of Adolph Cremieux, a French lawyer who advocated for the political emancipation of the Jews, resulted in Jewish synagogues and shops being vandalized. The rise of prominence of nationalist leader Alexandru C. Cuza spurred the development of a number of anti-Semitic organizations, many of which were centered at Bucharest University.

In September 1940, with the rise of the Antonescu-Iron Guard coalition, Bucharest became one of the new regime's main centers of the anti-Jewish activities. This culminated in a pogrom during the rebellion of the Legionary Movement; 120 Jews were killed, thousands were arrested and tortured, synagogues were desecrated, and Jewish homes, shops, and community buildings were looted and destroyed.

Until the end of the Antonescu regime in August 1944, the Jews of Bucharest were subjected anti-Semitic legislation and persecution. Jews were legally downgraded to second-class citizens. They could no longer access state-funded education or health care, and their property was confiscated. These restrictions had major economic effects on the community: in 1942 only 27.2% of the city's Jewish population of about 100,000 were registered as employed, compared with 54.3% of the non-Jewish population. In September 1942 several hundred Jews were deported to Transnistria, where many eventually perished. Thousands of other Jews, particularly the young, were required to work as forced laborers.

The lack of access to education, combined with the growing poverty of the Jewish community, spurred the need for the community to greatly expand their own educational and social welfare activities. In 1943 the Jewish community ran 27 schools and 21 soup kitchens. Bucharest became the center of relief activities for Romanian Jews.

The Jews of Bucharest were saved after Antonescu was deposed on August 23, 1944 and German forces were not able to entering the city. Though Adolf Eichmann had begun making preparations to deport Romania's Jews, the fierce opposition on the part of the Romanian army, coupled with the entry of the Soviet Army on August 30, 1944, prevented any of these plans from being carried out.

After World War II, large numbers of Jewish refugees and concentration camp survivors began arriving in the city; by 1947 the Jewish population had grown to 150,000. The Communist regime, which came to power in 1947, gradually closed all Jewish national, cultural, and social institutions in Bucharest. The welfare institutions were nationalized and the schools were absorbed into the general educational network. A state Yiddish school was opened in 1949, but closed a few years later. A State Yiddish Theater was founded in 1948 and a Yiddish drama school was established in 1957. Two Jewish newspapers, the Romanian "Unirea," followed later by "Viata Novua" and the Yiddish "Ikuf Bleter" were published. Of the 44,202 Jews (3.6% of the total population) registered in the city in the 1956 census, 4,425 of them declared Yiddish to be their mother tongue. In spite of the difficulties in living under a Communist regime, Rabbi Mozes Rosen was able to successfully navigate the opaque policies of the Romanian government, allowing Bucharest to continue to serve as the center of Jewish communal and cultural life.

The rise of Nicolae Ceausescu, who was the dictator of Romania between 1965 and 1989, prompted mass emigrations to Israel. In 1969 it was estimated that there were 50,000 Jews living in Bucharest; by the turn of the 21st century there were only about 4,000.

Vienna

In German: Wien. Capital of Austria

Early History

Documentary evidence points to the first settlement of Jews in the 12th century. A charter of privileges was granted by Emperor Frederick II in 1238, giving the Jewish community extensive autonomy. At the close of the 13th and during the 14th centuries, the community of Vienna was recognized as the leading community of German Jewry. In the second half of the 13th century there were about 1,000 Jews in the community.
The influence of the "Sages of Vienna" spread far beyond the limits of the city itself and continued for many generations. Of primary importance were Isaac B. Moses "Or Zaru'a", his son Chayyim "Or Zaru'a", Avigdor B. Elijah Ha- Kohen, and Meir B. Baruch Ha- Levi. At the time of the Black Death persecutions of 1348-49, the community of Vienna was spared and even served as a refuge for Jews from other places.

Toward the end of the 14th century there was a growing anti-Jewish feeling among the burghers; in 1406, during the course of a fire that broke out in the synagogue, in which it was destroyed, the burghers seized the opportunity to attack Jewish homes. Many of the community's members died as martyrs in the persecutions of 1421, others were expelled, and the children forcibly converted. After the persecutions nevertheless some Jews remained there illegally. In 1512, there were 12 Jewish families in Vienna, and a small number of Jews continued to live there during the 16th century, often faced with threats of expulsion. During the Thirty Years' War (1618-48), Jews suffered as a result of the occupation of the city by Imperial soldiers. In 1624, Emperor Ferdinand II confined the Jews to a ghetto. Some Jews at this time engaged in international trade; others were petty traders. Among the prominent rabbis of the renewed community was Yom Tov Lipman Heller, and Shabbetai Sheftel Horowitz,
one of the many refugees from Poland who fled the Chmielnicki who led anti-Jewish massacres of 1648.

Hatred of the Jews by the townsmen increased during the mid 17th century. The poorer Jews were expelled in 1669; the rest were exiled during the Hebrew month of Av (summer) of the year 1670, and their properties taken from them. The Great Synagogue was converted into a Catholic church. Some of the Jews took advantage of the offer to convert to Christianity so as not to be exiled.

By 1693, the financial losses to the city were sufficient to generate support for a proposal to readmit the Jews. Only the wealthy were authorized to reside in Vienna, as "tolerated subjects", in exchange for very high taxes. Prayer services were permitted to be held only in a private house.

The founders of the community and its leaders in those years, as well as during the 18th century, were prominent Court Jews, such as Samuel Oppenheimer, Samson Wertheimer, and Baron Diego Aguilar. As a result of their activities, Vienna became a center for Jewish diplomatic efforts on behalf of Jews throughout the Habsburg Empire as well as an important center for Jewish philanthropy. A Sephardi community in Vienna traces its origins to 1737, and grew as a result of commerce with the Balkans.

The Jews suffered under the restrictive legislation of Empress Maria Theresia (1740- 80). In 1781, her son, Joseph II, issued his "Toleranzpatent", which, though attacked in Jewish circles, paved the way in some respects for later Emancipation.

By 1793, there was a Hebrew printing press in Vienna that soon became the center for Hebrew printing in Central Europe. During this period, the first signs of assimilation in social and family life of the Jews of Vienna made their appearance. At the time of the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the Viennese salon culture was promoted by Jewish wealthy women, whose salons served as entertainment and meeting places for the rulers of Europe.

The Jewish Community and the Haskalah Movement

From the close of the 18th century, and especially during the first decades of the 19th century, Vienna became a center of the Haskalah movement.

Despite restrictions, the number of Jews in the city rapidly increased. At a later period the call for religious reform was heard in Vienna. Various maskilim, including Peter Peretz Ber and Naphtali Hertz Homberg, tried to convince the government to impose Haskalah recommendations and religious reform on the Jews. This aroused strong controversy among the Viennese Community.

Jewish Immigration

During the second half of the 19th century and the first decades of the 20th century, the Jewish population of Vienna increased as a result of immigration there by Jews from other regions of the Empire, particularly Hungary, Galicia, and Bukovina. The influence and scope of the community's activities increased particularly after the annexation of Galicia by Austria. By 1923, Vienna had become the third largest Jewish community in Europe. Many Jews entered the liberal professions.

Community Life

In 1826, a magnificent synagogue, in which the Hebrew language and the traditional text of the prayers were retained, was inaugurated. It was the first legal synagogue to be opened since 1671. Before the Holocaust, there were about 59 synagogues of various religious trends in Vienna. There was also a Jewish educational network. The rabbinical Seminary, founded in 1893, was a European center for research into Jewish literature and history. The most prominent scholars were M.Guedeman, A. Jellinek, Adolph Schwarz, Adolf Buechler, David Mueller, Victor Aptowitzer, Z.H. Chajes, and Samuel Krauss. There was also a "Hebrew Pedagogium" for the training of Hebrew teachers.

Vienna also became a Jewish sports center; the football team Hakoach and the Maccabi organization of Vienna were well known. Many Jews were actors, producers, musicians and writers, scientists, researchers and thinkers.

Some Prominent Viennese Jews: Arnold Schoenberg (1874 - 1951), musician, composer; Gustav Mahler (1860 - 1911), musician, composer; Franz Werfel (1890 - 1945), author; Stefan Zweig (1881 - 1942), author; Karl Kraus (1874 - 1936), satirist, poet; Otto Bauer (1881 - 1938), socialist leader; Alfred Adler (1870 - 1937), psychiatrist; Arthur Schnitzler (1862 - 1931), playwright, author; Isaac Noach Mannheimer (1793 - 1865), Reform preacher; Joseph Popper (1838 -1921), social philosopher, engineer; Max Adler (1873 - 1937), socialist theoretician; Sigmund Freud (1856 - 1939), psychiatrist, creator of Psychoanalysis; Adolf Fischhoff (1816 - 1893), politician.

The Zionist Movement

Though in the social life and the administration of the community, there was mostly strong opposition to Jewish National action, Vienna was also a center of the national awakening. Peretz Smolenskin published Ha-Shachar between 1868 and 1885 in Vienna, while Nathan Birnbaum founded the first Jewish Nationalist Student Association, Kadimah, there in 1882, and preached "Pre-Herzl Zionism" from 1884. The leading newspaper, Neue Freie Presse, to which Theodor Herzl contributed, was owned in part by Jews.
It was due to Herzl that Vienna was at first the center of Zionist activities. He published the Zionist Movement's Organ, Die Welt, and established the headquarters of the Zionist Executive there.

The Zionist Movement in Vienna gained in strength after World War I. In 1919, the Zionist Robert Stricker was elected to the Austrian Parliament. The Zionists did not obtain a majority in the community until the elections of 1932.

The Holocaust Period

Nazi Germany occupied Vienna in March 1938. In less than one year the Nazis introduced all the discriminatory laws, backed by ruthless terror and by mass arrests (usually of economic leaders and Intellectuals, who were detained in special camps or sent to Dachau). These measures were accompanied by unspeakable atrocities. Vienna's Chief Rabbi, Dr. Israel Taglicht, who was more than 75 years old, was among those who were forced to clean with their bare hands the pavements of main streets. During Kristallnacht (November 9-10, 1938), 42 synagogues were destroyed, hundreds of flats were plundered by the S.A. and the Hitler Youth.

The first transports of deported Jews were sent to the notorious Nisko concentration camp, in the Lublin District (October 1939). The last mass transport left in September 1942; it included many prominent people and Jewish dignitaries, who were sent to Theresienstadt, from where later they were mostly deported to Auschwitz. In November 1942, the Jewish community of Vienna was officially dissolved. About 800 Viennese Jews survived by remaining underground.

Last 50 Years

In the last 50 years, Vienna has become the main transient stopping-place and the first refuge for hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees and emigrants from Eastern Europe after World War II.

The only synagogue to survive the Shoah is the Stadttempel (built 1826), where the community offices and the Chief Rabbinate are located. A number of synagogues and prayer rooms catering to various chassidic groups and other congregations are functioning on a regular basis in Vienna. One kosher supermarket, as well as a kosher butcher shop and bakery serve the community

The only Jewish school run by the community is the Zwi Perez Chajes School, which reopened in 1980 after a hiatus of 50 years, and includes a kindergarden, elementary and high school. About 400 additional pupils receive Jewish religious instruction in general schools and two additional Talmud Torah schools. The ultra-orthodox stream of the community, which has been growing significantly since the 1980's, maintain their separate school system.
Though the Zionists constitute a minority, there are intensive and diversified Zionist activities. A number of journals and papers are published by the community, such as Die Gemeinde, the official organ of the Community, and the Illustrierte Neue Welt. The Austrian Jewish Students Union publishes the Noodnik.

The Documentation Center, established and directed by Simon Wiesenthal and supported by the community, developed into the important Institute for the documentation of the Holocaust and the tracing of Nazi Criminals.

In 1993, the Jewish Museum in Vienna opened its doors and became a central cultural institution of the community, offering a varied program of cultural and educational activities and attracting a large public of Jewish and non-Jewish visitors. The museum chronicles the rich history of Viennese Jewry and the outstanding roles Jews played in the development of the city. The Jewish Welcome Service aids Jewish visitors including newcomers who plan to remain in the city for longer periods.

Jewish Population in Vienna:

1846 - 3,379

1923 - 201,513

1945/46 - 4,000

1950 - 12,450

2000 - 9,000

The capital of Croatia

Zagreb was part of Yugoslavia after World War I (1914-1918). Since 1995 it has been part of independent Croatia.

 

21ST CENTURY

Zagreb’s Jewish community center is located at Palmoticeva 16, and includes a synagogue, an art gallery, a Holocaust research and documentation center, and a library. A second community, Bet Israel, is located at Mazuranicev Trg 6, and includes a synagogue and library.

The Mirogoj Cemetery includes a number of Jewish graves.

The Jewish Museum opened in Zagreb on September 4, 2016. It has exhibitions about the Jewish community of Zagreb.

 

HISTORY

The first Jews known to have lived in Croatia, who probably lived in Zagreb, were Mar Saul and Mar Joseph, the emissaries of King Kresimir to Abd al-Rachman III, the Caliph of Cordoba, during the 10th century.

During the 13th century Jews began arriving in Zagreb from France, Malta, and Albania, and by the end of the 14th century there were a number of Jews who had permanently settled in the city. Zagreb’s city chronicles from 1444 mention a community house or synagogue (domus judaeorum). Most worked as merchants and moneylenders.

In 1526 the Jews were expelled from Croatia. For more than two centuries there was no Jewish presence in Zagreb.

New Jewish settlers arrived in Croatia in the mid-18th century from Bohemia, Moravia, and Hungary. A Jewish community was officially founded in 1806, and by the 1840s Zagreb was home to about 50 Jewish families.

A smaller Orthodox community was founded in Zagreb in 1841. Community institutions that were established during the second half of the 19th century included a chevra kaddisha (1859), and a synagogue (1867). The synagogue was constructed by Franjo (Francis) Klein, one of Zagreb’s most important architects in Croatia, and functioned until 1941, when it was destroyed by the pro-Nazi Ustashe. A cemetery was consecrated in 1876. The philanthropist Ljudevit Schwarz was a major figure in the establishment of a Jewish home for the aged; it still functioned in 1970 as the central Jewish home for the aged in Yugoslavia. Jacques Epstein founded the Association for Humanism, the first public assistance organization in Croatia. 1898 saw the establishment of a union of Jewish high school students, which became a training ground for future community and Zionist leaders.

Zagreb’s first rabbi was Aaron Palota (1809-1849). Rabbi Hosea Jacoby later served the community for 50 years; Jacoby organized religious life in the city, and established a school and a Talmud Torah.

The Jews of Zagreb, and throughout Croatia, dealt with no small amount of antisemitism. In 1858 there was a blood libel in Zagreb, and the merchant and artisan guilds incited the local population against the Jews. Croatian representatives were opposed to the official recognition of Jewish civil rights, which were not established until 1873.

In spite of the hardships, Zagreb’s Jewish community became the largest in Yugoslavia, and the community was active culturally and politically. Between the two World Wars Zionism became increasingly popular in Croatia, and Zagreb was chosen as the headquarters of the Zionist Federation, led by Alexander Licht. Organizations that were active in Zagreb included a branch of the Maccabi sports club, a choir, women's and youth organizations, and a union of Jewish employees. The leading Jewish newspapers in Yugoslavia, such as the Zionist weekly “Zidov” ("Jew"), were published in the city.

The Jews of Zagreb also contributed significantly to the city’s development. Jews were among the pioneers in the export business, as well as in local industry. Lavoslav (Leopold) Hartmann, Croatia’s first librarian, organized lending libraries, and also founded a printing press. The chairman of the community, Dr. Mavro (Maurice) Sachs, was among the founders of forensic medicine in Croatia; David Schwartz invented the first rigid airship in Zagreb. Rabbis Gavro Schwarz and Shalom Freiberger were major figures in the field of Jewish historical studies.

Other prominent artists included the painter Oscar Hermann; the sculptor Slavko Bril; the pianist Julius Epstein; and the bandmaster Anton Schwarz. A Jewish art monthly magazine, “Ommanut,” was published in Zagreb between 1937 and 1941, ceasing in the wake of the Nazi invasion of Yugoslavia.

 

THE HOLOCAUST

About 12,000 Jews lived in Zagreb in 1941. The vast majority of Croatian Jews were killed during the war.

 

POSTWAR

Between 1948 and 1952 almost half of the survivors from Zagreb’s Jewish community left the country, and by 1970 the Jewish population of the city was 1,200. Yugoslavia’s community government nationalized nearly all of the property owned by the Jewish Community of Zagreb, including the land where the synagogue once stood.

In 1997 there were 2,000 Jews living in Croatia, most of whom lived in Zagreb.

 

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Ludovic Feldman

Ludovic Feldman (1893-1987), violinist and composer, born in Galati, Romania. He started his musical studies in Galati during 1903-1909, and then continued at the Conservatory in Bucharest until 1911, when he received an internship at Neues Wiener Konservatorium In Vienna, Austria, staying there until 1913. 

Feldman was the concert-master of the Zagreb Opera Orchestra during 1925-1926. He returned to Bucharest in 1926 as first violinist at the Romanian Opera Orchestra, a position he held until 1940. In parallel he was a member of the Teodorescu Quartet in Bucharest and violinist at the Romanian Philharmonic Orchestra until 1940, when he was fired as a result of the anti-Semitic policy of the Fascist regime in Romania. Feldman was defended by Mihail Jora and Geore Enescu, who intervened, in difficult moments, for the exceptional violinist of the Philharmonic.

After the Holocaust, he returned to the Romanian Philharmonic Orchestra serving as its concert-master for eight years until his retirement in 1953. From 1953 to 1963 Feldman was director of the Symphony and Chamber Music Bureau of the Romanian Union of Composers.

Many of his compositions contain a theme of folk inspiration translated into a modern language. His works include 4 Orchestra Suite (1948, 1949, 1952, 1960), Concerto for two string orchestras, celestial, piano and percussion (1958), Concert Symphony for String Orchestra (1971), Concertino (1975), Concert piece (1979), Ballad for violin and orchestra (1952), Miniatures, sketches, preludes for piano 2 and 4 hands (1959), In memoriam of Anne Franck, Tragic poem.

Feldman received the Prize of the Romanian Union of Composers (1968, 1970, 1972), the State Prize (1952), and the Prize of the Romanian Academy (1978).

Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People

Zagreb
Vienna
Bucharest
Galati

The capital of Croatia

Zagreb was part of Yugoslavia after World War I (1914-1918). Since 1995 it has been part of independent Croatia.

 

21ST CENTURY

Zagreb’s Jewish community center is located at Palmoticeva 16, and includes a synagogue, an art gallery, a Holocaust research and documentation center, and a library. A second community, Bet Israel, is located at Mazuranicev Trg 6, and includes a synagogue and library.

The Mirogoj Cemetery includes a number of Jewish graves.

The Jewish Museum opened in Zagreb on September 4, 2016. It has exhibitions about the Jewish community of Zagreb.

 

HISTORY

The first Jews known to have lived in Croatia, who probably lived in Zagreb, were Mar Saul and Mar Joseph, the emissaries of King Kresimir to Abd al-Rachman III, the Caliph of Cordoba, during the 10th century.

During the 13th century Jews began arriving in Zagreb from France, Malta, and Albania, and by the end of the 14th century there were a number of Jews who had permanently settled in the city. Zagreb’s city chronicles from 1444 mention a community house or synagogue (domus judaeorum). Most worked as merchants and moneylenders.

In 1526 the Jews were expelled from Croatia. For more than two centuries there was no Jewish presence in Zagreb.

New Jewish settlers arrived in Croatia in the mid-18th century from Bohemia, Moravia, and Hungary. A Jewish community was officially founded in 1806, and by the 1840s Zagreb was home to about 50 Jewish families.

A smaller Orthodox community was founded in Zagreb in 1841. Community institutions that were established during the second half of the 19th century included a chevra kaddisha (1859), and a synagogue (1867). The synagogue was constructed by Franjo (Francis) Klein, one of Zagreb’s most important architects in Croatia, and functioned until 1941, when it was destroyed by the pro-Nazi Ustashe. A cemetery was consecrated in 1876. The philanthropist Ljudevit Schwarz was a major figure in the establishment of a Jewish home for the aged; it still functioned in 1970 as the central Jewish home for the aged in Yugoslavia. Jacques Epstein founded the Association for Humanism, the first public assistance organization in Croatia. 1898 saw the establishment of a union of Jewish high school students, which became a training ground for future community and Zionist leaders.

Zagreb’s first rabbi was Aaron Palota (1809-1849). Rabbi Hosea Jacoby later served the community for 50 years; Jacoby organized religious life in the city, and established a school and a Talmud Torah.

The Jews of Zagreb, and throughout Croatia, dealt with no small amount of antisemitism. In 1858 there was a blood libel in Zagreb, and the merchant and artisan guilds incited the local population against the Jews. Croatian representatives were opposed to the official recognition of Jewish civil rights, which were not established until 1873.

In spite of the hardships, Zagreb’s Jewish community became the largest in Yugoslavia, and the community was active culturally and politically. Between the two World Wars Zionism became increasingly popular in Croatia, and Zagreb was chosen as the headquarters of the Zionist Federation, led by Alexander Licht. Organizations that were active in Zagreb included a branch of the Maccabi sports club, a choir, women's and youth organizations, and a union of Jewish employees. The leading Jewish newspapers in Yugoslavia, such as the Zionist weekly “Zidov” ("Jew"), were published in the city.

The Jews of Zagreb also contributed significantly to the city’s development. Jews were among the pioneers in the export business, as well as in local industry. Lavoslav (Leopold) Hartmann, Croatia’s first librarian, organized lending libraries, and also founded a printing press. The chairman of the community, Dr. Mavro (Maurice) Sachs, was among the founders of forensic medicine in Croatia; David Schwartz invented the first rigid airship in Zagreb. Rabbis Gavro Schwarz and Shalom Freiberger were major figures in the field of Jewish historical studies.

Other prominent artists included the painter Oscar Hermann; the sculptor Slavko Bril; the pianist Julius Epstein; and the bandmaster Anton Schwarz. A Jewish art monthly magazine, “Ommanut,” was published in Zagreb between 1937 and 1941, ceasing in the wake of the Nazi invasion of Yugoslavia.

 

THE HOLOCAUST

About 12,000 Jews lived in Zagreb in 1941. The vast majority of Croatian Jews were killed during the war.

 

POSTWAR

Between 1948 and 1952 almost half of the survivors from Zagreb’s Jewish community left the country, and by 1970 the Jewish population of the city was 1,200. Yugoslavia’s community government nationalized nearly all of the property owned by the Jewish Community of Zagreb, including the land where the synagogue once stood.

In 1997 there were 2,000 Jews living in Croatia, most of whom lived in Zagreb.

 

Vienna

In German: Wien. Capital of Austria

Early History

Documentary evidence points to the first settlement of Jews in the 12th century. A charter of privileges was granted by Emperor Frederick II in 1238, giving the Jewish community extensive autonomy. At the close of the 13th and during the 14th centuries, the community of Vienna was recognized as the leading community of German Jewry. In the second half of the 13th century there were about 1,000 Jews in the community.
The influence of the "Sages of Vienna" spread far beyond the limits of the city itself and continued for many generations. Of primary importance were Isaac B. Moses "Or Zaru'a", his son Chayyim "Or Zaru'a", Avigdor B. Elijah Ha- Kohen, and Meir B. Baruch Ha- Levi. At the time of the Black Death persecutions of 1348-49, the community of Vienna was spared and even served as a refuge for Jews from other places.

Toward the end of the 14th century there was a growing anti-Jewish feeling among the burghers; in 1406, during the course of a fire that broke out in the synagogue, in which it was destroyed, the burghers seized the opportunity to attack Jewish homes. Many of the community's members died as martyrs in the persecutions of 1421, others were expelled, and the children forcibly converted. After the persecutions nevertheless some Jews remained there illegally. In 1512, there were 12 Jewish families in Vienna, and a small number of Jews continued to live there during the 16th century, often faced with threats of expulsion. During the Thirty Years' War (1618-48), Jews suffered as a result of the occupation of the city by Imperial soldiers. In 1624, Emperor Ferdinand II confined the Jews to a ghetto. Some Jews at this time engaged in international trade; others were petty traders. Among the prominent rabbis of the renewed community was Yom Tov Lipman Heller, and Shabbetai Sheftel Horowitz,
one of the many refugees from Poland who fled the Chmielnicki who led anti-Jewish massacres of 1648.

Hatred of the Jews by the townsmen increased during the mid 17th century. The poorer Jews were expelled in 1669; the rest were exiled during the Hebrew month of Av (summer) of the year 1670, and their properties taken from them. The Great Synagogue was converted into a Catholic church. Some of the Jews took advantage of the offer to convert to Christianity so as not to be exiled.

By 1693, the financial losses to the city were sufficient to generate support for a proposal to readmit the Jews. Only the wealthy were authorized to reside in Vienna, as "tolerated subjects", in exchange for very high taxes. Prayer services were permitted to be held only in a private house.

The founders of the community and its leaders in those years, as well as during the 18th century, were prominent Court Jews, such as Samuel Oppenheimer, Samson Wertheimer, and Baron Diego Aguilar. As a result of their activities, Vienna became a center for Jewish diplomatic efforts on behalf of Jews throughout the Habsburg Empire as well as an important center for Jewish philanthropy. A Sephardi community in Vienna traces its origins to 1737, and grew as a result of commerce with the Balkans.

The Jews suffered under the restrictive legislation of Empress Maria Theresia (1740- 80). In 1781, her son, Joseph II, issued his "Toleranzpatent", which, though attacked in Jewish circles, paved the way in some respects for later Emancipation.

By 1793, there was a Hebrew printing press in Vienna that soon became the center for Hebrew printing in Central Europe. During this period, the first signs of assimilation in social and family life of the Jews of Vienna made their appearance. At the time of the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the Viennese salon culture was promoted by Jewish wealthy women, whose salons served as entertainment and meeting places for the rulers of Europe.

The Jewish Community and the Haskalah Movement

From the close of the 18th century, and especially during the first decades of the 19th century, Vienna became a center of the Haskalah movement.

Despite restrictions, the number of Jews in the city rapidly increased. At a later period the call for religious reform was heard in Vienna. Various maskilim, including Peter Peretz Ber and Naphtali Hertz Homberg, tried to convince the government to impose Haskalah recommendations and religious reform on the Jews. This aroused strong controversy among the Viennese Community.

Jewish Immigration

During the second half of the 19th century and the first decades of the 20th century, the Jewish population of Vienna increased as a result of immigration there by Jews from other regions of the Empire, particularly Hungary, Galicia, and Bukovina. The influence and scope of the community's activities increased particularly after the annexation of Galicia by Austria. By 1923, Vienna had become the third largest Jewish community in Europe. Many Jews entered the liberal professions.

Community Life

In 1826, a magnificent synagogue, in which the Hebrew language and the traditional text of the prayers were retained, was inaugurated. It was the first legal synagogue to be opened since 1671. Before the Holocaust, there were about 59 synagogues of various religious trends in Vienna. There was also a Jewish educational network. The rabbinical Seminary, founded in 1893, was a European center for research into Jewish literature and history. The most prominent scholars were M.Guedeman, A. Jellinek, Adolph Schwarz, Adolf Buechler, David Mueller, Victor Aptowitzer, Z.H. Chajes, and Samuel Krauss. There was also a "Hebrew Pedagogium" for the training of Hebrew teachers.

Vienna also became a Jewish sports center; the football team Hakoach and the Maccabi organization of Vienna were well known. Many Jews were actors, producers, musicians and writers, scientists, researchers and thinkers.

Some Prominent Viennese Jews: Arnold Schoenberg (1874 - 1951), musician, composer; Gustav Mahler (1860 - 1911), musician, composer; Franz Werfel (1890 - 1945), author; Stefan Zweig (1881 - 1942), author; Karl Kraus (1874 - 1936), satirist, poet; Otto Bauer (1881 - 1938), socialist leader; Alfred Adler (1870 - 1937), psychiatrist; Arthur Schnitzler (1862 - 1931), playwright, author; Isaac Noach Mannheimer (1793 - 1865), Reform preacher; Joseph Popper (1838 -1921), social philosopher, engineer; Max Adler (1873 - 1937), socialist theoretician; Sigmund Freud (1856 - 1939), psychiatrist, creator of Psychoanalysis; Adolf Fischhoff (1816 - 1893), politician.

The Zionist Movement

Though in the social life and the administration of the community, there was mostly strong opposition to Jewish National action, Vienna was also a center of the national awakening. Peretz Smolenskin published Ha-Shachar between 1868 and 1885 in Vienna, while Nathan Birnbaum founded the first Jewish Nationalist Student Association, Kadimah, there in 1882, and preached "Pre-Herzl Zionism" from 1884. The leading newspaper, Neue Freie Presse, to which Theodor Herzl contributed, was owned in part by Jews.
It was due to Herzl that Vienna was at first the center of Zionist activities. He published the Zionist Movement's Organ, Die Welt, and established the headquarters of the Zionist Executive there.

The Zionist Movement in Vienna gained in strength after World War I. In 1919, the Zionist Robert Stricker was elected to the Austrian Parliament. The Zionists did not obtain a majority in the community until the elections of 1932.

The Holocaust Period

Nazi Germany occupied Vienna in March 1938. In less than one year the Nazis introduced all the discriminatory laws, backed by ruthless terror and by mass arrests (usually of economic leaders and Intellectuals, who were detained in special camps or sent to Dachau). These measures were accompanied by unspeakable atrocities. Vienna's Chief Rabbi, Dr. Israel Taglicht, who was more than 75 years old, was among those who were forced to clean with their bare hands the pavements of main streets. During Kristallnacht (November 9-10, 1938), 42 synagogues were destroyed, hundreds of flats were plundered by the S.A. and the Hitler Youth.

The first transports of deported Jews were sent to the notorious Nisko concentration camp, in the Lublin District (October 1939). The last mass transport left in September 1942; it included many prominent people and Jewish dignitaries, who were sent to Theresienstadt, from where later they were mostly deported to Auschwitz. In November 1942, the Jewish community of Vienna was officially dissolved. About 800 Viennese Jews survived by remaining underground.

Last 50 Years

In the last 50 years, Vienna has become the main transient stopping-place and the first refuge for hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees and emigrants from Eastern Europe after World War II.

The only synagogue to survive the Shoah is the Stadttempel (built 1826), where the community offices and the Chief Rabbinate are located. A number of synagogues and prayer rooms catering to various chassidic groups and other congregations are functioning on a regular basis in Vienna. One kosher supermarket, as well as a kosher butcher shop and bakery serve the community

The only Jewish school run by the community is the Zwi Perez Chajes School, which reopened in 1980 after a hiatus of 50 years, and includes a kindergarden, elementary and high school. About 400 additional pupils receive Jewish religious instruction in general schools and two additional Talmud Torah schools. The ultra-orthodox stream of the community, which has been growing significantly since the 1980's, maintain their separate school system.
Though the Zionists constitute a minority, there are intensive and diversified Zionist activities. A number of journals and papers are published by the community, such as Die Gemeinde, the official organ of the Community, and the Illustrierte Neue Welt. The Austrian Jewish Students Union publishes the Noodnik.

The Documentation Center, established and directed by Simon Wiesenthal and supported by the community, developed into the important Institute for the documentation of the Holocaust and the tracing of Nazi Criminals.

In 1993, the Jewish Museum in Vienna opened its doors and became a central cultural institution of the community, offering a varied program of cultural and educational activities and attracting a large public of Jewish and non-Jewish visitors. The museum chronicles the rich history of Viennese Jewry and the outstanding roles Jews played in the development of the city. The Jewish Welcome Service aids Jewish visitors including newcomers who plan to remain in the city for longer periods.

Jewish Population in Vienna:

1846 - 3,379

1923 - 201,513

1945/46 - 4,000

1950 - 12,450

2000 - 9,000

Bucharest

Romanian: Bucuresti

Capital of Romania

The historic Jewish district of Bucharest used to be centered around the Choral Temple, and spread from Piata Unirii east towards Dristor. However, most of the Jewish buildings that stood there were destroyed during the 1980s in order to make way for the Bulevardul Unirii. As of 2015, there remain a handful of points of Jewish interest in Bucharest, serving the community of approximately 3,500. The Choral Temple, the Yeshua Tova Synagogue, and the Great Polish Synagogue, continue to hold services; the latter also hosts the city's Holocaust Museum. The Beit Hamidrash Synagogue, which dates back to the late 18th century, is abandoned and decaying, though the structure itself is still (barely) standing. Another abandoned synagogue whose building still stands is the Hevra Amuna (Temple of Faith).

The Jewish History Museum (Muzeul de Istorie a Evreilor din Romania) is located in what was once a synagogue called the Holy Union Temple. The synagogue building itself was constructed in 1836; it began serving as a Jewish history museum in 1978. Mozes Rosen, the chief rabbi of Romania from 1964 until his death in 1994, founded the museum and provided a number of items for its collection.

The State Jewish Theater, which is located in Bucharest, is the oldest uninterrupted Yiddish-language theater in the world. The theater features plays by Jewish playwrights, plays about Jewish topics, and Yiddish plays that run simultaneous Romanian translations through headphones. The theater is located next to the Lauder-Reut Jewish school, which has over 400 students enrolled in its kindergarten, elementary, and middle schools.

HISTORY

The Jewish community of Bucharest was formed both by Sephardic Jews who arrived from the south, chiefly from the Otooman Empire, and later by Ashkenazi Jews arriving from the north. A responsum by the rabbi of Solonika during the 16th century that mentions a Sephardic community is the first documented evidence confirming the presence of Jews in Budapest. The Jewish community began to grow and prosper; some were even the creditors of the ruling princes. This economic success, however, eventually came at a steep price (pun intended); when Prince Michael the Brave revolved against the Turks in November 1593, he ordered that his creditors be killed, among whom were a number of Jews.

Ahskenazi Jews began arriving and establishing their own community towards the middle of the 17th century, drawn there after fleeing the Khmielnitski Massacres taking place in Ukraine. Their numbers grew, and eventually the Ashkenazi community became larger than the Sephardic community. For tax purposes, the Ashkenazi and Sephardic communities were organized into a single community by the state, and were forced to pay a fixed tax to the treasury. Meanwhile, the general population, afraid of economic competition, was intensely hostile towards the Jews. In 1793 residents of the suburb Razvan petitioned Prince Alexander Moruzi to expel the Jews who had recently settled in the area and to demolish the synagogue that they had built. Though the prince ordered that the synagogue be closed, he did not remove the Jews from Razvan and, in fact, issued a decree confirming his protection of them. In 1801 there were anti-Jewish riots following blood libel accusations, and 128 Jews were killed or wounded.

In 1819 Prince Alexandru Sutu officially acknowledged both the Sephardic ("Spanish") and Ashkenazi ("Polish") communities, allowing them to operate as separate entities. This continued until 1949 when the Communist regime once again forced the two communities to join together. By 1832 there were 10 Ashkenazi and one Sephardi synagogues in Bucharest. The Great Synagogue, which was Ashkenazi, was dedicated on Rosh Hashanah, 1847.

In spite of the impressive Great Synagogue, the Ashkenazi community of Bucharest had to deal with a number of fissures and tensions during the 19th century. There were tensions between those were born in Romania, and those who immigrated to Bucharest, who were not under the same system of taxation as the native Romanians. This led the immigrants within the Jewish community, who were considered "foreign subjects" to refuse to pay the tax levied on kosher meat. This was a problem, as this tax constituted the sole income of the community council. The authorities, who were drawn into the conflict, at first upheld the traditional rights of the Jewish communal organization. However, following repeated complaints from both sides, as well as constitutional changes that took place in Romania in 1832, the community was given a new constitution that greatly curtailed its autonomy. Instead of operating autonomously, it fell under the direct authority and close supervision of the municipality. Eventually, in 1851, the Prussian and Austrian subjects (about 300 families) were officially permitted to found a separate community.

The increasing influence of the Haskalah (Jewish Enlightenment), also led to tensions within the Ashkenazi community. It is important to note that this conflict also reflected the economics of the community; those in favor of the Haskalah and who wanted the community to undertake more progressive reforms tended to be from the upper classes, while those who were more traditional tended to be further down the socioeconomic ladder. At that time, the Bucharest Ashkenazi community was torn by strife between the Orthodox and progressive factions. The controversy began to center around a school with a modern curriculum that opened in 1852, as well as the proposal in 1857, led by Ya'akov Lobel, to build a Choral Temple, that would incorporate modern ideas and principles into its services. The appointment of Rabbi Meir Leib Malbim in 1858 as the chief rabbi did not help quell the disputes. Malbim was a fierce and uncompromising opponent of the Reform movement, and he quickly made enemies among Bucharest's Jewish elite. The conflicts between Malbim and those who were in favor of the Reform Movement came to a head in 1862, when Malbim was arrested. He was freed only after Sir Moses Montefiore intervened, and on the condition that he leave Romania. The Choral Synagogue was completed in 1867, and became the center for the modernists of the community.

Among the most prominent spiritual and religious leaders of the community before World War I were Antoine Levy and Moritz (Meir) Beck, who were rabbis of the Choir Temple Congregation from 1867 to 1869 and 1873 to 1923, respectively. Other outstanding figures within the Choir Temple community were Iuliu Barasch and Yitzchak Leib Weinberg. Yitzchak Esiik Taubes was the rabbi of the Orthodox Congregation from 1894 until 1921. The most prominent lay leader was Adolf Stern. Moscu Asher led the Sephardic community, and Rabbi Hayim Bejarano was a noted scholar and poet. Later, the lawyer and politician Wilhelm Filderman would become the president of the Union of Romanian Jews, and Rabbi Jacob Isaac Niemirower would be the country's first chief rabbi. Filderman, in fact, would in 1941 work successfully to annul the decree forcing Jews to wear an identifying badge.

Between the two World Wars the Bucharest community grew in both numbers and importance. The Jewish population of the city, which had become the capital of Greater Romania and attracted immigrants from all parts of the country, increased from 44,000 in 1912 to 74,480 (12% of the total population) in 1930 and 95,072 in 1940. Most Jews worked as artisans, merchants, clerks, and bankers. Others were active in professions such as medicine and law. Several ironworks and foundries were established by the end of the 19th century. Major Jewish business leaders at that time included Leon Abramovici, Sigmund Prager, and Adolph Solomon.

There were a number of Jewish schools in Bucharest, particularly at the turn of the 20th century. Among the most influential was the abovementioned school established in 1852 by Yisrael Pick and Naftali Popper. These founders sought to imbue their school with the Haskalah principles that they believed in, and the school became extremely influential on Jewish education in Romania. There were also vocational institutions serving Jewish workers, including the Ciocanul (Hammer) school which trained Jewish craft workers.

Communal institutions included over 40 synagogues, two cemeteries, 19 schools, a library and museum, two hospitals, a clinic, two homes for the elderly, and two orphanages. There was also a B'nai B'rith, as long as a number of social and cultural organizations serving the community. A number of newspapers also served the community; the first Jewish newspaper, "Israelitul roman," was founded in 1855 and written in Romanian and French. Other publications included "Fraternitatea," "Revista Israelita," "Egalitatea," and "Curierul Israelit." Yiddish and Hebrew language publications included "Et LeDaber," "HaYoetz," and the Zionist newspapers "Mantuirea" and "Hasmonaea." A Yiddish theater was established in the late 1870s, and reached its peak during the interwar period. This theater would later be banned under Ion Antonescu.

Anti-Semitism continued to be a problem for the Jews of Bucharest. In 1866 the visit of Adolph Cremieux, a French lawyer who advocated for the political emancipation of the Jews, resulted in Jewish synagogues and shops being vandalized. The rise of prominence of nationalist leader Alexandru C. Cuza spurred the development of a number of anti-Semitic organizations, many of which were centered at Bucharest University.

In September 1940, with the rise of the Antonescu-Iron Guard coalition, Bucharest became one of the new regime's main centers of the anti-Jewish activities. This culminated in a pogrom during the rebellion of the Legionary Movement; 120 Jews were killed, thousands were arrested and tortured, synagogues were desecrated, and Jewish homes, shops, and community buildings were looted and destroyed.

Until the end of the Antonescu regime in August 1944, the Jews of Bucharest were subjected anti-Semitic legislation and persecution. Jews were legally downgraded to second-class citizens. They could no longer access state-funded education or health care, and their property was confiscated. These restrictions had major economic effects on the community: in 1942 only 27.2% of the city's Jewish population of about 100,000 were registered as employed, compared with 54.3% of the non-Jewish population. In September 1942 several hundred Jews were deported to Transnistria, where many eventually perished. Thousands of other Jews, particularly the young, were required to work as forced laborers.

The lack of access to education, combined with the growing poverty of the Jewish community, spurred the need for the community to greatly expand their own educational and social welfare activities. In 1943 the Jewish community ran 27 schools and 21 soup kitchens. Bucharest became the center of relief activities for Romanian Jews.

The Jews of Bucharest were saved after Antonescu was deposed on August 23, 1944 and German forces were not able to entering the city. Though Adolf Eichmann had begun making preparations to deport Romania's Jews, the fierce opposition on the part of the Romanian army, coupled with the entry of the Soviet Army on August 30, 1944, prevented any of these plans from being carried out.

After World War II, large numbers of Jewish refugees and concentration camp survivors began arriving in the city; by 1947 the Jewish population had grown to 150,000. The Communist regime, which came to power in 1947, gradually closed all Jewish national, cultural, and social institutions in Bucharest. The welfare institutions were nationalized and the schools were absorbed into the general educational network. A state Yiddish school was opened in 1949, but closed a few years later. A State Yiddish Theater was founded in 1948 and a Yiddish drama school was established in 1957. Two Jewish newspapers, the Romanian "Unirea," followed later by "Viata Novua" and the Yiddish "Ikuf Bleter" were published. Of the 44,202 Jews (3.6% of the total population) registered in the city in the 1956 census, 4,425 of them declared Yiddish to be their mother tongue. In spite of the difficulties in living under a Communist regime, Rabbi Mozes Rosen was able to successfully navigate the opaque policies of the Romanian government, allowing Bucharest to continue to serve as the center of Jewish communal and cultural life.

The rise of Nicolae Ceausescu, who was the dictator of Romania between 1965 and 1989, prompted mass emigrations to Israel. In 1969 it was estimated that there were 50,000 Jews living in Bucharest; by the turn of the 21st century there were only about 4,000.

Galati

Port on the river Danube, in Moldova, eastern Romania.

Jews first settled in Galati at the end of the 16th century. There are Jewish tombstones dating from between 1590 and 1595. A second cemetery was established in 1629 and a third in 1774. Until the beginning of the 18th century the chevra kaddisha was responsible for the communal administration.

Following a blood libel in 1796, outrages were perpetrated against the Jews. In 1812 Greek revolutionaries, who entered the town, set fire to several synagogues, and in 1842 there were renewed attacks on the community by local Greeks. In 1846 anti-Jewish outbreaks again occurred in which synagogues were looted and Jewish houses and shops were destroyed. In 1859, in a similar attack, many Jews were killed.

In 1867 a number of Jews among those expelled from catastrophe provoked a storm of protest throughout Europe. The Jewish bakers were expelled from Galati for refusing to break the strike of their fellow workers and party members in 1893.

The Jewish population numbered 14,500 in 1894, 12,000 in 1910 ( 22% of the total), 19,912 in 1930 (20%), and 13,000 in 1942.

Jewish artisans and merchants contributed considerably to the city's economic and commercial development.
Before World War II the community had 22 synagogues, a secondary school, two elementary schools for boys and one for girls, a kindergarten, a trade school, a hospital, an orphanage, an old-age home, and two ritual bathhouses. There was also a cultural- religious society, a Zionist society, a youth organization Tze'irei Zion, and a "culture" club.
The Jews in Galati were subjected to constant persecution by the pro-Nazi authorities during World War II. The community was not destroyed during the Holocaust, but subsequently diminished through emigration. It numbered 13,000 in 1947, 9,000 in 1950, and 450 families in 1969, with two synagogues.

FELDMAN
FELDMAN

Surnames derive from one of many different origins. Sometimes there may be more than one explanation for the same name. Feld means "field" in Yiddish/German. Feld is a common artificial name that can be prefixed (Feldberg) or suffixed (Rosenfeld). In some cases Feldman is a toponymic (derived from a geographic name of a town, city, region or country). Surnames that are based on place names do not always testify to direct origin from that place, but may indicate an indirect relation between the name-bearer or his ancestors and the place, such as birth place, temporary residence, trade, or family-relatives. This surname is associated with a locality near Klagenfurt, Austria, called Feld. In other cases Feldman may also indicate that the original bearer of this family name lived or had any other connection with the countryside. Feldman was an especially common name among the Jews of Western Ukraine, Eastern Galicia and Bessarabia, areas that in the early 19th century used to have a considerable Jewish rural population.

Feld, literally "field" in Yiddish and German, is an element commonly used for creating artificial Jewish family names, i.e. names that do not refer to any feature of the first bearer of the family name, or as a prefix (Feldman) or a suffix (Ehrenfeld).

Distinguished bearers of the Jewish family name Feldman include the Polish author and critic, Wilhelm Feldman (1868-1919); the 20th century Russian-born American physician, Louis Feldman; and the 20th century Israeli educator and biologist, Michael Feldman.