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Jewish Community of Slovenia (Judovska skupnost Slovenije):[January 2009]

Tržaška 2

1000 Ljubljana Slovenia

+386 (0)1 252 1836

+386 (0)1 252 1836

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"Jews lived in Slovenia from the 13th century until they were expelled in 1496 by Emperor Maximilian I of Austria. The biggest rabbinical center was at Maribor (Marburg) in the Styria district. Maribor had a "Jewish Street" as early as 1277 near the river Drava (Drau) and a synagogue inside the walled city. Rabbi Israel Isserlein taught there. His official title was "Landesrabbiner fuer Steiermark, Krain, und Korushka." He was succeeded by his pupil R. Joseph b. Moses. Other Jewish communities existed at Ptuj (Poetovia), Celje, Radgona, and Ljubljana. Jews were engaged in viticulture, and traded in horses and cattle." Source [February 2009]

Post-Second World War communist Yugoslavia (six federated republics: Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, and Montenegro under Marshal Josip Broz Tito): Jewish life began to return to the Balkans. With approximately 14,500 out of a pre-war population of 16,000 Serbian Jews killed, from 1948 many of those survivors migrated to Israel. Abandoned and ruined synagogues and cemeteries: Former synagogues gradually weree either demolished or had new uses. Many cemeteries were abandoned with some pillaged and gravestones used for construction. Others became overgrown and almost forgotten.

The Jewish community (about 6,000 people throughout the former Yugoslavia) was recognised as both an ethnic and a religious community. Communist Yugoslavia was not a part of the Soviet bloc so local Jews were not persecuted or isolated. They further assimilated into society and lost contact with religious life. There was only one rabbi in the country. The Federation of Yugoslav Jewish Communities cared for Jewish cemeteries, synagogues, and other infrastructure where communities no longer exist. Some cemeteries were moved. Some were maintained. The Jewish community also erected close to thirty memorials within former Yugoslavia to commemorate Jews  lost during the war. Throughout the 1980s, wide-ranging programs run by the Federation and individual Jewish communities were helped by international Jewish philanthropy.

This began with the secession of Slovenia, and then of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, in 1991. A series of bloody Balkan wars tore apart the country, left hundreds of thousands of dead and millions displaced, and destroyed thousands of religious, cultural and historic heritage sites. The state's collapse made the the continuation of Jewish institutions particularly difficult, even without the trauma of war and the Jewish emigration that resulted. Gradually the small Jewish communities of the former Yugoslavia have recreated themselves as more locally-based organisations, gradually rebuilt earlier connections, and expanded their association with Jewish communities and institutions in Israel and throughout Europe.

YUGOSLAVIA REFERENCES from Jewish Heritage Europe:

  1. Aladjic, Viktorija. 'Detailed chronology of restoration work on the Subotica synagogue 1974-2000', 'Save Our Subotica Synagogue' website, 2004.
  2. American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. 'In historical inter-ethnic co-operation, Roma clean Jewish cemetery in Serbia.'
  3. Anastasijevic, Dejan. 'The Synagogue in Zemun: Synagogue, restaurant, shooting Range,' Vreme News Digest Agency 290, 26 April 1997.
  4. Banjica Concentration Camp museum:
  5. Baumhorn Lipót Epitesz 1860-1932 (exhibition catalogue), Budapest: Jewish Museum of Budapest, 1999
  6. Bunardzic, Radovan. Menore iz Čelareva/Menoroth from Čelarevo, Belgrade: Federation of Jewish Communities in Yugoslavia, 1980
  7. Bilten. (Monthly newsletter of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Yugoslavia) Belgrade
  8. Bunardzhich, Radovan. Menore iz Čelareva. Belgrade: Savez Jevrejskih Opstina Jugoslavije, 1980. Museum exhibition guide for the menorah images from Čelarevo (in Serbian)
  9. Bunardzhich, Radovan. 'Čelarevo - necropolis and settlement of the 8th-9th century'; Xazary: Vtoroi Mezhdunarodnii Kollokvium: Tezisy, Vladimir Iakovlevich Petrukhin and Artyom M. Fedorchuk, eds, Moscow: Tsentr Nauchnyx Rabotnikov i Prepodavatelei Judaiki v Vuzakh 'Sefer', Evreiskii Universitet v Moskve, and Institut Slavyanovedeniya Rossiiskoy Akademii Nauk, 2002, 19-21? [sic]
  10. Čerešnješ, Ivan. Caught in the Winds of War: Jews in the Former Yugoslavia, Institute of the World Jewish Congress, Israel, 1999
  11. Dorcol Holocaust Memorial: photo (2007)
  12. 'The Synagogue of Novi Sad, Serbia'. Database of Jewish Communities, Nahum Goldmann Museum of the Jewish Diaspora.  (2006)
  13. Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1990.
  14. Belgrade Holocaust memorial
  15. Grossman, Grace Cohen. Jewish Museums of the World, Hugh Lauter Levin Associates, Inc., 2003
  16. Gruber, Ruth Ellen. Upon the Doorposts of Thy House: Jewish Life in East-Central Europe, Yesterday and Today, New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1994.
  17. Gruber, Ruth Ellen. Preliminary Survey of Historic Jewish Sites in Serbia and Montenegro, United States Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad, Washington, 2003.
  18. Gruber, Ruth Ellen. 'Serbian cemetery being renovated, easing tiff between Jews and Gypsies', Jewish Telegraphic Agency, 29 August, 2004.
  19. Gruber, Ruth Ellen. 'Baffling painting in Serbian shul', Jewish Telegraphic Agency, 6 September, 2004.
  20. Gruber, Ruth Ellen. Jewish Heritage Travel: A Guide to Eastern Europe (new edition), New York: National Geographic, 2007.
  21. History of the Jews of Serbia and Montenegro
  22. International Survey of Jewish Monuments. 'ISJM-backed conservation team assesses condition of endangered Subotica synagogue', Jewish Heritage Report II, 2000 nos 3-4.
  23. Jewish Historical Museum, Belgrade, Scientific Meeting, Menoroth from Čelarevo [Shorthand notes]. Belgrade: Federation of Jewish Communities of Yugoslavia, 1983
  24. Jewish Historical Museum (2007)
  25. Jews in Yugoslavia (exhibition catalogue), Zagreb: Muzejski Prostor 1989.
  26. Kosmajska Temple photo (2007)
  27. Krinsky, Carol Herselle. Synagogues of Europe, Boston: The Architectural History Foundation and the MIT Press, 1985.
  28. Krosnar, Katka. "In Belgrade, man wants memorial to a 'forgotten concentration camp'",
  29. Jewish Telegraphic Agency (27 March, 2003; accessed 5 September 2007)
  30. Loker, Zvi, ed., Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities/Pinkas Hakehilot, Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority, 1988
  31. Mihailovic, Milica. 'The Jewish Historical Museum, Belgrade'. European Judaism: A Journal for the New Europe, 2003, 36.2, 62-73.
  32. Niš synagogue:
  33. Roman, Andras. Report on the Present State of the Synagogue in Subotica. Budapest, files of International Survey of Jewish Monuments, 1999
  34. Sosberger, Pavle. Sinagoge u Vojvodini, Novi Sad: Prometej, 1998
  35. Tomasevic, Nebojsa. Treasures of Yugoslavia: An Encyclopedic Touring Guide, Belgrade: Yugoslaviapublic, 1980.
  36. Topovske Šupe Holocaust Memorial (2007)
  37. Wood, Nicholas. 'Serbian Gypsies and Jews in dispute over cemetery', New York Times, 22 August 2004.  (2006)
  38. Zemun Jewish community:  (2007)
  39. Zuroff, Efraim. 'Message from Novi Sad to Tzipi Livni', Jerusalem Post, 30 January 2007. (2007)
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