Jewish Communtiy Split
Zidovski prolaz 1
tel/fax : 021/345-672
President : Zoran Morpurgo
Sephardic Jewish History of Split, Pre-Sephardic and Modern History [February 2009]
Jews lived near Split in Salona in ancient Roman times. Salona (now a suburb of Split called Solin), capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia
and one of the most important Roman commercial seaports on the Adriatic, has archeological evidence of a well established Jewish community
in the second and third centuries C.E. including a pendant, ceramic oil lamps decorated with menorahs, a fragment of a Jewish sarcophagus
marked with a menorah, and the tombstone of a Syrian Jew named Malhos. Destroyed by Avar invaders in the early seventh century, Jews from
Salona presumably sought refuge in the neighboring palace of Diocletian and formed the core of the Jewish community of Split. Remaining there,
they developed the Jewish Community of Split. Existence of that Jewish community n the mid-14th century is confirmed in Episcopal church
records that mention a "great synagogue" within the walls of the palace. The Jewish community swelled with the arrival of exiles from Spain
and Portugal in the late 15th to early 16th centuries. Today about 100 Jews live there.
The existing synagogue located on Zidovski prolaz (Jewish passage), a narrow alley in the cramped old Jewish quarter still known as the
ghetto and believed to date from about 1500, was part of a residential building in the palace's NW corner. Renovated many times before,
Italian fascists sacked the tiny sanctuary in 1942 and destroyed most of the ritual objects and archives in a public bonfire in the main square.
Restored after the war, the small room was renovated and ceremonially reopened in September 1996. Archaeologists discovered carvings of
menorahs dating from the 12th century. [February 2009]
Jewish Population: 1925/26-210; 1931- 292; 1937/38-200; 1941-415; 1947-175; 1994-130." See Gruber, Ruth Ellen. Jewish Heritage Travel:
A Guide to East-Central Europe. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 1992. (Pages 242-243)
JEWISH CEMETERY:The Jewish cemetery was established in 1578. Source: The Jewish Travel Guide.
London: Jewish Chronicle, 1992. 
Site on the eastern slope of Mt. Marjan above the town was obtained in 1573 after Jews fleeing Spain and Portugal found refuge in Split.
The earliest extant tombstone dates from 1717. The cemetery was active until World War II. On a picturesque forested slope above the city
and surrounded with a wall and gate, the cemetery is designated a cultural monument, but maintenance is not good. Site is partly overgrown
with visible traces of vandalism. The cemetery chapel is now used as a coffee house.The some 700 tombstones are two types of stones,
both horizontal in the Sephardic fashion: a sarcophagus roof and flat slab with elaborate Hebrew calligraphic inscriptions. Modern tombs
have additional Italian or Croatian inscriptions in but there but no elaborate graphic or figurative decoration. Two 17th century tombstones
brought to Split do have figurative decorations; the one from Jelsa on Hvar island has a dove with an olive branch and the one from
Bol on Brac island an angel climbing a ladder to the sky with the inscription "This friend has mounted/Into angelic heights/To take a
rest in the garden of Eden/In the Grove of Salvation." [Source: Efron, Zusja and Dusko Keckemet. Zidovsko Groblje u Splitu 1573-1973.
(Split: Jewish Community of Split), 1973, 24.] [February 2009]
Cemetery: "Established in 1575, the cemetery exists with a Ceremonial Hall and 200 monuments as the property of the Jewish
of Split. The cemetery is a historical landmark and protected. Jewish Community established in 16th century still exists.
Source: Srdjan Matic, MD, 40 West 95th Street, Apt. 1-B, New York, NY 10025. (212) 222-7783.
[UPDATE] "I passed the cemetery in 2001 and noted that the Ceremonial Hall appears to be a cafe. At least, the cafe building has
Hebrew words in the stone of the building." Source: Richard C. Sadove, M.D. [30 August 2001]
LOVRINAC MUNICIPAL CEMETERY, Jewish Section: A Holocaust memorial is in the new Jewish cemetery.
BOOK: Ziovsko groblje u Splitu (The Jewish cemetery in Split); Dusko Keckemet, Zusja Efron ; prijevod 2. poglavlja sahebrejskog
Rahela Loker ; engleski prijevod rezimea Mirko Bruner. Published: Split : b Zidovska opcina, 1973. Summary in English. List of illustrations
Leo Baeck Institute: ID # GT 3271 Y8 K4.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 September 2013 05:05|