"... In 1923, after the death of the Rabbi Yitzhak Zvi JUNGREIS, Rabbi Shaul BRACH was elected head of the community. He was born in Nitra (q.v.), became one of the distinguished rabbis in Slovakia, and was elected Chief Orthodox Rabbi of Kosice. Divrei Shaul, and Likutei Shaul, and other titles are among his most important works. Rabbi Shaul BRACH also headed the Yeshiva of Kosice, which was at the height of its development during his time. Then it had about 300 students, and gained the status of an institution of higher learning by the government of Czechoslovakia. Except for directing the yeshiva, Rabbi BRACH was also the head of the Shas and Mishnayot societies, from which generated some talented scholars. Many of the rabbis of this generation were his disciples...."Brought to this webmaster's attention by Motti GOLDBERGER, whose ancestors lived in Kosice, is a 395 page book written in Hebrew by Yisrael EHRLICH in 1976, and available to download from Hebrewbooks.org, Shaul Bechir H-shem ('שאול בחיר ה), this is a book about the rabbi's life and memories, and there is a section on the history of Kosice, starting on p. 327 of the same book, entitled Divrei Yemay Kassoy (דברי ימי קאשוי), and subtitled, Memories of Jewish Life in Kosice. In the latter are sections in which surviving families have memorialized their ancestors who died in Kosice and possibly other places. The last section of the book has a list of 346 names of distinguished men whose names should not be forgotten (pp. 390-395). Madeleine Isenberg transcribed the list from Hebrew into their original spelling, as much as could be determined.
"...Rabbi Rafael Blum, who ran a rabbinical college in Bedford Hills called Ohel Schmuel of Kashau, is said to have died yesterday morning at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan at age 95. His body was brought to Bedford Hills to be buried at the Cemetery of Congregation Kashau as soon as possible, following Jewish tradition. ...
Blum, who led the Kashau Hasidic sect named for the place in Hungary where he
came from, helped rebuild the ultra-Orthodox community after the
Holocaust and was one of the last surviving rabbis from that era...Jakobowitz said."
As of November 2013, when this webmaster visited Kosice, it had no local
rabbi. The last rabbi was Rabbi Josef STEINER, himself a Holocaust
survivor. He has retired and now lives in Israel. If a
rabbi is needed, the closest is the rabbi in Bratislava, Slovakia.
(A section about "Jewish Kosice" has more about Rabbi STEINER and the
Jewish community in this Travel.Spectator.sk
page, even if it is somewhat out of date.)
Jana and Tomas Tesser showed me
around the Jewish area, and I ventured some photography with them and
alone. Views of the exteriors of the synagogues can be seen in the
Town Views so will not be redisplayed here. Services
are still held on Shabbat in a room that is part of the old Zvonarska
The synagogue itself is need of repairs so services are not held there. Entrance is not from from Zvonarska street, but rather from the heavily gated entrance on Krmnova. Sadly, as in so many places in Europe, entrance to Jewish sites are similarly protected.similarly protected.
often long-term medical students from Israel, lead the services. One of
these students told me he travels back to Israel periodically and
returns with a supply of kosher meat that sustains him for about two
community has a Jewish center, with a small restaurant that provides a
lunch-time kosher meal for all those who require it. An effort will be made to transcribe these plaques in the future.
(For those who would not eat in an establishment unless there is a mashgiach,
all that can be said is that the observant Israelis vouch for its
kashruth, but they cannot be there because of their studies.)
On Shabbat, all those who attend the services, are welcomes to join for
a small meal of "cholent" in the adjoining Jewish Community Center's
restaurant, that is not open to the public on Shabbat, and was prepared prior to Shabbat by the students.
But while the community is small, it is friendly and welcoming to foreigners who grace their services.
Personally, I owe a debt of gratitude to Drs. Jana and Tomas TESSER, who made my very brief stay in Kosice warm and memorable and literally opened doors for me.
Gated entrance to Jewish Community Center. Key required to open, or guard may let you in.
Upstairs entrance to Kosher Restaurant. Billboard posts upcoming events of Jewish interest.
Restaurant hours indicate it is open during lunch-time hours of 11:30 AM - 2:00 PM.
While Saturday is not indicated as being open, because it is not open to the public, it is definitely "Never on Sunday."
Kosice, August 2000"
The Holy Ark in the Pushkinova Synagogue
The entrance to the main sanctuary, or the back of the sanctuary in the Pushkinova Synagogue. Plaque at the center top in Hebrew indicates that this synagogue was used to round up and concentrate the Jews of Kosice from where they were sent to concentration camps in 1940.
An effort will be made to transcribe these plaques in the future.
The Beit Tahara ("House of Purification") is where the deceased are ritually prepared for burial by
washing, dressing in shrouds, and placing within coffins. At the top of the plaque, surrounding the Magen David, the words
This place was established and sanctified for
the cemetery in the year 5649 (=1889) and expanded in 5694 (1934).
These are the names of those who donated for the building of the fence and the expansion of the cemetery.
The first five names, written horizontally are the officers of Kosice's Chevra Kadisha (burial society) at that time:
Note that of the 29 names listed in Latin letters and Hebrew, only one woman's name appears at the bottom left, that of Olga née ENGEL BODOR.
Peter Absolon and Madeleine Isenberg collaborated in extracting the names and these will be part of JewishGen's Memorial Plaques Database
Report from Peter Absolon:
"A communal seder was held in the Hotel Ambassador at Hlavna [Main] Street. Rabbi STIEFEL (Chabad rabbi) [seated] is based in Piestany, but he often travels to Kosice and other places with his numerous family. The second one (liberal rabbi) was Misha KAPUSTIN, Ukrainian guy who lives in Bratislava and also travels around. It is cheaper to bring someone for holidays than pay full time rabbi. Given that there is always problem with minyan outside school year when Israeli students are back home, it is better solution."
Compiled byOriginally created
10 September 2014
Updated: 13 June 2019
Copyright © 2014-2019
Madeleine R. Isenberg
All rights reserved.
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