Kultusgemeinde #general

Juergen Stockburger <Stockburger@...>

Michael Bernet <MBernet@...> writes:

> 12/4/00 11:31:34 AM Eastern Standard Time, jrw@...
> writes
> << In Vienna it was (and is) called the Israelitische (not
> juedische) Kultusgemeinde. >>

> Yes, that's the correct term. "juedische" is the popular term.

Pretty much so. The synagogue here in Freiburg is listed in the phone
book as 'Israelitische Gemeinde' but usually identifies as 'Juedische

> The Isr. Kultusgemeinde was essentially a lay and administrative
> body. I believe it had some jurisdiction also over local Jewish
> schools, hospitals, and of course welfare funds. It also had some
> arbitrational power affecting the Jewish community.

This is where we enter tricky terrain and where it is imperative to
remember that the legal standing (and hence, organizational structure)
of the Jewish communities of Central Europe varied considerably over
time, and between different jurisdictions. Before the early 19th
century there were hundreds, later dozens of practically souvereign
political entities in what is now Germany and Austria, each regulating
religious life according to their own rules.

Keep in mind that the medieval policy of treating Jews as non-citizens
forming a separate and to some degree self-governed corporate entity
had profound and long-ranging after-effects. A rather striking case is
the town of Nikolsburg/Mikulov in southern Moravia. Over centuries,
Nikolsburg had been a place of refuge for persecuted religious
minorities (both Jews and Protestants). And yet - until taken over by
the Czech in 1918, the town had two full-fledged parallel municipal
administrations, one Christian, one Jewish - call it an Austrian
version of 'separate but equal'.

Juergen Stockburger, Freiburg, Germany


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