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SEDLCANY: used cemetery at Kosova Hora

 

Sedlčany (Ger: Seltschan), a town at 49°39′N 14°25′E in the Central Bohemian Region, is famous for its cheese called Hermelín, more commonly known as Brie or Camembert. [February 2009]

In 1893, the dwindling population of Kosova Hora Jewish congregation joined the congregation in nearby Sedlcˇany, three kilometers away. Until the middle of the 19th century, only a few Jewish families had lived in Sedlcany, not far from silver and gold mines where Jews had not been welcome. As a result of the political reforms brought about by the 1848 populist revolt, greater civil liberties including more freedom for the Jews meant Jewish traders started to settle in Sedlcany in larger numbers. By 1876, 92 Jews lived in the village and in 1881 started a prayer group. By 1890, 175 Jews lived in the village. In 1888 Sedlcany Jews established their first independent Jewish community.  When the Kosova Hora Jewish community joined the Sedlcany Jewish community, its torahs (including Rabbi Shmuel's Torah almost 50 years old) were moved to Sedlcany. The Jews of this region developed very good relations with their gentile neighbors., spoke Czech and declared  loyalty to the Czech people, while the Jews in other cities continued to speak German. As the Sedlcany Jewish community grew, they needed a synagogue and purchased an existing building tcombination restaurant-hotel. People stayed at this inn and eat meals in the restaurant's large room which had served as a local theater. That large room of the inn was turned into the sanctuary used for services and as a center of Jewish community life until 1939.The Jewish community of Sedlcany peaked during the 1890's and then gradually dwindled. From 1890 until 1921, the Jewish population was half, from 175 to 88 people. In 1930 the Jewish population was only 50. Hundreds of Jews from scattered nearby villages still came to services in Sedlcany, including 32 Jews  in nearby Kosova Hora. As the synagogues in small villages closed down, their scrolls were brought to Sedlcany. By the 1930's, Sedlcany had a relatively large number of Torah scrolls considering the size of its population. The torah from Kosova Hora known as Rabbi Shmuel's torah (aka Woodacre torah) is now in California. See story about its writing [February 2009]

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 February 2009 12:52
 
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