Religious Life in Keresztúr

Chief Rabbis of Bodrogkeresztúr, Hungary

? - 1781?              Chayim

1781 - 1785Tenenbaum              Avraham Abish

1785 – 1796Wahrman              Yisrael HaLevi born Budapest, son of Shlomo

1796 - ?Wahrman              Yehudah son of Yisrael

? - 1827Glanz              Tzvi Hersh HaKohen

1827 - 1847Weiszberg              Moshe Eliyahu born Cracow

1847 - 1860Singer              Avraham Yaaqov Koppel

1860 - 1870Mandel / Greenwald Menachem Gershon

1870 - 1872Silberstein              David Yehudah

1874 - 1885Orenstein              Yisrael Mordechai

1885 - 1893Weinberger              Shmuel Levi

1894 - 1924Ginz-SchlesingerMoshe

1924 - 1944Ginz-SchlesingerChayim Alter (Herman)

1945 - 1946              Rubin                                 Yissachar Dov

Chassidic Rabbis of Bodrogkeresztúr, Hungary

1875 – 1925Yeshaye Steiner

1925 – 1927Avraham Steiner

1927 – 1944Meir Yosef Rubin

                              Dayanim of Bodrogkeresztúr, Hungary

1890s                        R' Yakov Bogler

1927 - 1944              R' Chayim Uri Friedman

After 1945                R' Yosef Mordche Ginzler (1895 - 1955)

  1. *Thank you to Al Silberman for providing this list

  2. *and to Sandor Bacskai for providing additional information.

Compiled by Stuart Ungar

Updated Aug 2018 BAE
Copyright © 2009, 2010, 2011

Stuart Ungar

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The Hevra Kaddisha (a Jewish burial society) was established in 1767, along with a cemetery.  There was also a philanthropic aid society, a Mishnah study society, and a youth group known as Tiferet Bahurim.  The kehilla (Jewish community) had two branches, in Bodrogkisfalud and Szogi.  The first synagogue was built in 1767, and when this was destroyed by fire, it was replaced in 1906 by a new synagogue.  The Hasidim had their own house of worship.

The community was served by distinguished rabbis.  Rabbi Eliezer London and Rabbi Israel Wahrmann were active toward the end of the seventeenth century.  Rabbi Abraham (Abish) Tennenbaum was compelled to leave the village because he had come from Galicia, and many of his followers left with him upon departure in 1815.  Rabbi Moses Ginz Schlesinger wrote a book dealing with Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers), which was published by his son, Rabbi Hayim Alter, who died in the Holocaust.  Toward the end of the 1800s, Rabbi Isaiah Steiner came from Liszka.  He was a pupil of Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Friedman, who drew pupils from afar.  Rabbi Steiner organized help for refugees from Galicia during the First World War.  His followers, and especially women, ascribed supernatural powers to him, and sought his help.

The community also had a Talmud Torah and a yeshiva.  After the First World War a branch of the Zionist Organization was established there.  A grave in the cemetery, more than two hundred years old, is said by some to contain the remains of the Baal Shem Tov.

Soon after the arrival of the Germans, all the Jews were assembled in the synagogue, and from there dispatched to the ghetto in Újhely.  Their valuables were confiscated and their property was at once divided up among the local residents.  The Jews were permitted to leave with small packs only.  Of the seven hundred who left, less than a hundred remained alive.

from “Vanished Communities in Hungary: the history and tragic fate of the Jews in Újhely and Zemplén County”

by Meir Sas