The Activities of Agudas Achim Society and its Ties with Progressive Synagogues in Lvov and Kraków Cover Image
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Działalność towarzystwa Agudas Achim i jego związki z synagogami postępowymi we Lwowie i Krakowie
The Activities of Agudas Achim Society and its Ties with Progressive Synagogues in Lvov and Kraków

Author(s): Alicja Maślak-Maciejewska
Subject(s): History
Published by: Żydowski Instytut Historyczny
Keywords: Agudas Achim; Polonization; Polish patriotic services in synagogues; Tempel synagogue in Lvov; Tempel synagogue in Kraków; progressive Judaism; acculturation

Summary/Abstract: The article describes the ties between Agudas Achim („Alliance of Brethren”) society with the progressive Tempel synagogue from Lvov, its impact on the synagogue’s Polonization, as well as attempting to determine the influence of Agudas Achim on the remaining part of Galicia, with special emphasis and the local progressive community rallied around Tempel synagogue. The main areas of activity of Agudas Achim, which existed in the years 1882-1892, was education (pursued through the establishment of libraries, reading rooms and schools throughout Galicia), Polonization (effected through journalism, including the publishing of Ojczyzna, the society’s Polish-language bulletin), patriotic pursuits (organization of ceremonies commemorating Polish anniversaries and of lectures on Poland’s history). The society was also promoting Jewish-Christian rapprochement. The activities of Agudas Achim contributed to the partial Polonization of the Tempel synagogue in Lvov. From 1882, services were held in the synagogue on Polish national anniversaries, the purpose of which was to awaken national feelings in the Jews and manifest the union of Jews and Poles. During a service commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Relief of Vienna, the Tempel synagogue preacher Bernard Lӧwenstein delivered a sermon in Polish marking the occasion, preceding by two decades the official introduction of the Polish language to it. The service was accompanied by the singing in Polish of the sacred song Boże, coś Polskę and of Boże coś Judę, patterned on the former. The society also influenced the introduction of the Polish language to the synagogue’s administration and attempted to introduce the requirement of the knowledge of Polish in the competition for the job of a preacher in 1890. Agudas Achim also had personal ties with Tempel synagogue: its members included preacher B. Lӧwenstein and cantor Edward Darowski. The influence of Agudas Achim extended beyond Lvov, encompassing many Galician localities. This was due to a network of schools and reading rooms, the distribution of Ojczyzna and the activities of the Society’s delegates. Members of the Society hailed from tens of various centres. The ideas of Agudas Achim met with vivid response in the Kraków progressive milieu, which cherished the ideals of Polish patriotism and Polonization. Agudas Achim was joined by leading Kraków progressives, e.g., Józef Oettinger, Leon Horowitz, Jonatan Warschauer. The Kraków community, which was the largest group of society members from outside Lvov, also provided regular financial support to the Lvov organization. Topics connected with Kraków were present in Ojczyzna on a regular basis. One initiative supported especially strongly by Agudas Achim was the organization of patriotic ceremonies in the Kraków Tempel synagogue.

  • Issue Year: 249/2014
  • Issue No: 01
  • Page Range: 173-202
  • Page Count: 30
  • Language: Polish