Ozjasz Thon’s Activity Aside, Tempel Synagogue and Kraków’s Progressive Israelites Society before World War II. A Contribution to Further Research Cover Image
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Poza działalnością Ozjasza Thona – synagoga Tempel i krakowskie Stowarzyszenie Izraelitów Postępowych w okresie międzywojennym. Przyczynek do dalszych badań.
Ozjasz Thon’s Activity Aside, Tempel Synagogue and Kraków’s Progressive Israelites Society before World War II. A Contribution to Further Research

Author(s): Alicja Maślak-Maciejewska
Subject(s): History, Jewish studies, Jewish Thought and Philosophy, History of Judaism
Published by: Żydowski Instytut Historyczny
Keywords: progressive synagogue; Tempel; Kraków; inter-war period; progressive Judaism; Polish Jews’ religious life

Summary/Abstract: The article examines the history of the Kraków Progressive Israelites Society between 1918 and 1939. From 1861 the Society had its own synagogue (Tempel) and its members accounted for a considerable part of the Jewish intelligentsia. Prior research into the progressive milieu in the pre-WWII period, Earlier research into the progressive milieu in the inter-war period focused first and foremost on the actions of Ozjasz Thon (1870-1936), who was a preacher and a rabbi of a progressive synagogue. The aim of the article is to describe the activity of the organization which employed Thon and in which he operated while in Kraków.The article looks at the way the society was organized and the structure of its authorities (it was managed based on a charter from 1912, the board was made up of 15 persons), its finance (the main source of revenue were the fees for seats and the main expenses were the salaries of clerical personnel), and its typical members (of whom there were between 450 and 480 in the period in question).Throughout the inter-war period the liturgy at Tempel remained relatively conservative. There was a lot of emphasis on elegance and decorum and the main new element was a mixed female and male choir, which sang during all services. In addition to the regular Sabbath and holy day services, Tempel also hosted Polish patriotic events and Zionist galas. In addition to Thon, two more preachers worked in Tempel: Samuel Schmelkes, and later Hirsz Pfeffer. The progressive association also employed cantors (that post was held in succession by San Dywiński, Ignacy Dembitzer, Dawid Taffel, Lazar Schӓchter), a choir master (Izrael Fajwiszys, Izaak Lust), and male and female singers. The activities of all such persons are described in the article. The source materials used in the article include, next to archived sources and newspapers, also interviews with persons who remember the pre-war Tempel.

  • Issue Year: 257/2016
  • Issue No: 01
  • Page Range: 123-145
  • Page Count: 23
  • Language: Polish