History of the Jews in the Czech Republic

History of the Jews in the Czech Republic

Jews in the Czech Republic are predominantly Ashkenazic Jews, and the current Jewish population is only a fraction of the First republic's Jewish population. As of 2005, there were approximately 4,000 Jews living in the Czech Republic.[1] There are ten small Jewish communities all around the country (seven in Bohemia and three in Moravia). The umbrella organisation for the Jewish communities in the country is the Federation of Jewish Communities (FZO). Services have been held in Prague and some other cities.

As part of the original Czechoslovakia, and before that the Austro-Hungarian Empire the Jews had a long association with this part of Europe.[2] Throughout the last thousand years there have emerged over 600 Jewish communities in the Kingdom of Bohemia.[3] According to the 1930 census, Czechoslovakia had a Jewish population of 356,830.[4]


Jewish Prague

Jews are believed to have settled in Prague as early as the 10th century. The 16th century was a golden age for Jewry in Prague. One of the famous Jewish scholars of the time was Judah Loew ben Bezalel known as the Maharal, who served as a leading rabbi in Prague for most of his life. He is buried at the Old Jewish Cemetery in Josefov, and his grave with its tombstone intact, can still be visited. It is said that the body of Golem (created by Maharal) lies in the attic of the Old New Synagogue where the genizah of Prague's community is kept.[5] In 1708, Jews accounted for one-quarter of Prague’s population.[6]

See also


  1. ^ The Virtual Jewish Library - Jewish population of Czech republic, 2005
  2. ^ The Jews and Jewish Communities of Bohemia in the past and present
  3. ^ Czech Synagogues and Cemeteries
  4. ^ The Holocaust in Bohemia and Moravia
  5. ^ The Golem, Temple Emanu-El, San Jose
  6. ^ Prague, The Virtual Jewish History Tour

External links

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