Date   

Velky Mager #hungary

Nadia Rosa <ner38@...>
 

I am trying to find out about the little town or
village in Southern Slovakia called Velky Mager. If
I
remember correctly there was a Maly Mager. It was
situated in the area called Zitny Ostrov. The name
is
prominently featured on one of the monuments in Yad
Vashem, but when I look in the Slovak Encyklopedia I
cannot find it. In hungarian it was called Nagy
Mager
and Kiss Mager.
Could the moderator help me?
Nadia Rosa
Moderator VK: I assume that "Mager" is a misspelling of "Magyar". I don't find any Velky Mager, but there is a Velky Meder, Slovakia, about 25 km northeasterly of Gyor, Hungary. I believe the Hungarian name was Nagy Magyar because large is "velky" in Slovak and "nagy" in Hungarian. Small is "maly" in slovak and "kis" in Hungarian. The 1913 gazetteer lists Nagymagyar in Pozsony megye, Somorjai jaras. there's also Nagymad, Pozsony megye, Dunaszerdahelyi jaras and Nagymajor, Szepes megye, Szepesófalvi.


Re: Question re: name #hungary

moishe@langsam.com <moishe@...>
 

P'Sachyah is in fact a genuine Jewish Hebrew name. I have a cousin with the
same name.

Moishe Miller
moishe@langsam.com

At 01:21 PM 8/22/02 -0400, you wrote:
My great grandfather's brother's name in America became John Moskowitz. WE
found his headstone and the "Hebrew" name on it is spelled Pay Sof Ches Yud
Hay. P'sachyah. This does not spell any know Hebrew or Yiddish name. Does
anyone recognize this as an Hungarian variation of another name? Thanks,
Steve Morris researching Moskowitz in Sobrance area.


Re: magyar zsido #hungary

DGoldman <dgoldman@...>
 

There may be a way to borrow back issues of Magyar Zsido while trying to contact Louis about obtaining back issues.
Many Jewish genealogy societies maintain libraries with copies of journals >from other societies and >from Special Interest Groups. If you are looking for Magyar Zsido and are near a Jewish genealogy society, you might try
their library.
Diane Goldman
<dgoldman@erols.com>


Hungary SIG #Hungary Velky Mager #hungary

Nadia Rosa <ner38@...>
 

I am trying to find out about the little town or
village in Southern Slovakia called Velky Mager. If
I
remember correctly there was a Maly Mager. It was
situated in the area called Zitny Ostrov. The name
is
prominently featured on one of the monuments in Yad
Vashem, but when I look in the Slovak Encyklopedia I
cannot find it. In hungarian it was called Nagy
Mager
and Kiss Mager.
Could the moderator help me?
Nadia Rosa
Moderator VK: I assume that "Mager" is a misspelling of "Magyar". I don't find any Velky Mager, but there is a Velky Meder, Slovakia, about 25 km northeasterly of Gyor, Hungary. I believe the Hungarian name was Nagy Magyar because large is "velky" in Slovak and "nagy" in Hungarian. Small is "maly" in slovak and "kis" in Hungarian. The 1913 gazetteer lists Nagymagyar in Pozsony megye, Somorjai jaras. there's also Nagymad, Pozsony megye, Dunaszerdahelyi jaras and Nagymajor, Szepes megye, Szepesófalvi.


Hungary SIG #Hungary Re: Question re: name #hungary

moishe@langsam.com <moishe@...>
 

P'Sachyah is in fact a genuine Jewish Hebrew name. I have a cousin with the
same name.

Moishe Miller
moishe@langsam.com

At 01:21 PM 8/22/02 -0400, you wrote:
My great grandfather's brother's name in America became John Moskowitz. WE
found his headstone and the "Hebrew" name on it is spelled Pay Sof Ches Yud
Hay. P'sachyah. This does not spell any know Hebrew or Yiddish name. Does
anyone recognize this as an Hungarian variation of another name? Thanks,
Steve Morris researching Moskowitz in Sobrance area.


Hungary SIG #Hungary Re: magyar zsido #hungary

DGoldman <dgoldman@...>
 

There may be a way to borrow back issues of Magyar Zsido while trying to contact Louis about obtaining back issues.
Many Jewish genealogy societies maintain libraries with copies of journals >from other societies and >from Special Interest Groups. If you are looking for Magyar Zsido and are near a Jewish genealogy society, you might try
their library.
Diane Goldman
<dgoldman@erols.com>


Re: Travel in Latvia #latvia

Linda Schwey <linda@...>
 

Dear Arlene,
Thank you and the many others who have done a great job on Jewish Gen.
I am at the point now where I've reserved my flight to Riga and will
be visiting with the rabbi there and will then be travelling on to
Daugavpils, where the family came from.

I read your excellent review of "History of Latvian Jews" and noticed
that the author lives and teaches in Daugavpils. Do you happen to have
an e-mail address or telephone number of Josifs Steimanis? It would be
a great treat for me if I could talk with him while I was in Daugavpils.

Look forward to your reply.
Best regards
Linda Schwey

-----Original Message-----
From: Arlene Beare [mailto:arl@dircon.co.uk]

There have been many messages of late requesting advice on travel in Latvia
and the Archives. May I suggest that all enquirers consult the Latvia SIG
webpage first and read the relevant pages. I went to a great deal of
trouble to put online a lot of information for just this purpose.Any
further enquires could then be formulated in a message but most will have
their queries answered.http://www.jewishgen.org/latvia

Arlene Beare
UK


Latvia SIG #Latvia RE: Travel in Latvia #latvia

Linda Schwey <linda@...>
 

Dear Arlene,
Thank you and the many others who have done a great job on Jewish Gen.
I am at the point now where I've reserved my flight to Riga and will
be visiting with the rabbi there and will then be travelling on to
Daugavpils, where the family came from.

I read your excellent review of "History of Latvian Jews" and noticed
that the author lives and teaches in Daugavpils. Do you happen to have
an e-mail address or telephone number of Josifs Steimanis? It would be
a great treat for me if I could talk with him while I was in Daugavpils.

Look forward to your reply.
Best regards
Linda Schwey

-----Original Message-----
From: Arlene Beare [mailto:arl@dircon.co.uk]

There have been many messages of late requesting advice on travel in Latvia
and the Archives. May I suggest that all enquirers consult the Latvia SIG
webpage first and read the relevant pages. I went to a great deal of
trouble to put online a lot of information for just this purpose.Any
further enquires could then be formulated in a message but most will have
their queries answered.http://www.jewishgen.org/latvia

Arlene Beare
UK


Ternovka / Ternivka : Podolia or Kiev? #ukraine

Goulnik, Yves {PBC~Basel}
 

Could someone help me determine whether Ternovka (Ternivka/Ternifka)
Lat 48 32 Long 29 58 located half-way between Bershad and Uman' was
in the Kiev of Podolia Guberniya ? I would say Kiev but have not been
able to find a reliable answer.

many thanks


Yv Goulnik
Mulhouse, FRANCE
http://goulniky.free.fr/
yves.goulnik@laposte.net

Researching:
GULNIK (GULNICK,GOOLNIK) >from Ternovka then Odessa, Ukraine
SCH(LY)APOSHNIK, PIKOWSKI


Ukraine SIG #Ukraine Ternovka / Ternivka : Podolia or Kiev? #ukraine

Goulnik, Yves {PBC~Basel}
 

Could someone help me determine whether Ternovka (Ternivka/Ternifka)
Lat 48 32 Long 29 58 located half-way between Bershad and Uman' was
in the Kiev of Podolia Guberniya ? I would say Kiev but have not been
able to find a reliable answer.

many thanks


Yv Goulnik
Mulhouse, FRANCE
http://goulniky.free.fr/
yves.goulnik@laposte.net

Researching:
GULNIK (GULNICK,GOOLNIK) >from Ternovka then Odessa, Ukraine
SCH(LY)APOSHNIK, PIKOWSKI


query #belarus

Alan Cohen <abcohen@...>
 

There has been recent mention of the RTR and NHAB databases.
Please explain, what are they and where are they to be found?
ALAN COHEN, Pinner, UK
researching GLAZER - Lipkany, Bessarabia; COHEN (KUNYEN) - Vitepsk/Mohile=
v;
ROMANOFSKY-Poltava; DEITSCH (DACZ, DEYTZ etc) -Plock, Poland; KUTNOWSKI =
-
Gostynin, Poland; KIERSTEJN - Lodz, Poland.


Belarus SIG #Belarus query #belarus

Alan Cohen <abcohen@...>
 

There has been recent mention of the RTR and NHAB databases.
Please explain, what are they and where are they to be found?
ALAN COHEN, Pinner, UK
researching GLAZER - Lipkany, Bessarabia; COHEN (KUNYEN) - Vitepsk/Mohile=
v;
ROMANOFSKY-Poltava; DEITSCH (DACZ, DEYTZ etc) -Plock, Poland; KUTNOWSKI =
-
Gostynin, Poland; KIERSTEJN - Lodz, Poland.


SIMMON(D)S AND BENSABAT FAMILIES #unitedkingdom

Merle Bakes <ottolangui2002@...>
 

Dear Group, Can anyone in UK or Australia help me with
information about the following family please?

Rachel Ottolangui was born about 1834 in London,
(possibley Spitalfields).Her parents were Aaron
Ottolangui and Rayna Ottolangui (nee Bensabat). Rachel
married Henry Simmon(d)s in 1852 in London. Henry was
born about 1833 in London. At some point Henry and
Rachel Simmon(d)s arrived in Melbourne, Australia.
They had 5 children all who were born in Melbourne:
Gordman Simmon(d)s
Aaron Simmon(d)s born 1857
Joshua Simmon(d)s born abt 1859 died 1860
Isaac Simmon(d)s born 1859
Rainer(Rayna) Simmon(d)s born 25-6-1861

In 1861 Henry and Rachel Simmon(d)s and family were
living at Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, next door
to the Hebrew Congregational School. Henry Simmon(d)s
was a Grocer and Wine and Spirit Merchant.
I haven't been able to find any record of this family
after 1861.

I'm also interested in hearing >from anyone with a
connection to the BENSABAT family >from London.

Merle Bakes/Langley
Brisbane, Qld,
Australia


JCR-UK SIG #UnitedKingdom SIMMON(D)S AND BENSABAT FAMILIES #unitedkingdom

Merle Bakes <ottolangui2002@...>
 

Dear Group, Can anyone in UK or Australia help me with
information about the following family please?

Rachel Ottolangui was born about 1834 in London,
(possibley Spitalfields).Her parents were Aaron
Ottolangui and Rayna Ottolangui (nee Bensabat). Rachel
married Henry Simmon(d)s in 1852 in London. Henry was
born about 1833 in London. At some point Henry and
Rachel Simmon(d)s arrived in Melbourne, Australia.
They had 5 children all who were born in Melbourne:
Gordman Simmon(d)s
Aaron Simmon(d)s born 1857
Joshua Simmon(d)s born abt 1859 died 1860
Isaac Simmon(d)s born 1859
Rainer(Rayna) Simmon(d)s born 25-6-1861

In 1861 Henry and Rachel Simmon(d)s and family were
living at Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, next door
to the Hebrew Congregational School. Henry Simmon(d)s
was a Grocer and Wine and Spirit Merchant.
I haven't been able to find any record of this family
after 1861.

I'm also interested in hearing >from anyone with a
connection to the BENSABAT family >from London.

Merle Bakes/Langley
Brisbane, Qld,
Australia


What was said at Toronto? #hungary

korman3 <korman3@...>
 

Could someone give us an update on the HSIG meeting and the Hungarian
and Slovak lectures in Toronto?

Thanks
Debbi
Los Angeles

Moderator VK: We're organizing our notes >from the H-SIG business meeting and hope to get a report to you this weekend. I encourage anyone who has notes or comments on sessions of interest to H-SIG members to submit messages on this subject.


Hungary SIG #Hungary What was said at Toronto? #hungary

korman3 <korman3@...>
 

Could someone give us an update on the HSIG meeting and the Hungarian
and Slovak lectures in Toronto?

Thanks
Debbi
Los Angeles

Moderator VK: We're organizing our notes >from the H-SIG business meeting and hope to get a report to you this weekend. I encourage anyone who has notes or comments on sessions of interest to H-SIG members to submit messages on this subject.


"We can't lose Jewishgen..." #france

Rosanne D. Leeson <leeson1@...>
 

Dear FrenchSIGgers:

Some of you may not have seen the following urgent messages posted
last week to the JewishGen List, so I have received permission to repost
them here. As the New Year is about to begin I urge you all to think
about the great benefits we receive >from JewishGen, how little it would
take if each of us contributed, and how much we would lose if it were to
disappear!
Rosanne Leeson
---------------------------
"Susan King's poignant picture of the challenges facing JewishGen
due to a severe budget deficit sent a chill throughout the audience
attending her lecture at the Toronto IAJGS Conference.

You are one of 43,000 users reading my message thru JewishGen's
Discussion Group. There are only 1,843 donors to JewishGen!

JewishGen aids researchers through the use of 7.1 million records!

There is an $84,000 budget deficit.

Quoting Susan, " Challenges spell changes", ....."JewishGen is
facing a business challenge".......... "the resolve: challenge
individually and collectively".

It is impossible to imagine the Internet without JewishGen!"
---------------------------
"Hi Genners,
I want to echo Howard Margol's and Sylvia Nusinov's remarks on the need
for all of us to help support our beloved JewishGen.
Until Susan King spoke in Toronto, many of us were not aware of the
urgent need for funds to continue our projects.
Everything that you see on JewishGen is the work of volunteers.
Have you been helped in your family search by a friend on the Digest,
or a connection through JGFF? Say thank you by making a contribution.

We must do everything we can to help. The recent floods in Europe are
an
example of the sense of urgency we must feel about the need to preserve
Jewish records which are in danger of being destroyed. The JewishGen
Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) project is but one of the many
ways in which Jewish Gen is working to make the history of our ancestors

available to us. We need to have this kind of work proceed as rapidly as
possible, as many of the sites and records are in danger of vanishing
right before our eyes.

I know how empty my life would be without genealogy projects, which have
come about to a large extent, with the help of the information made
available in JewishGen Infofiles, and the helpfulness of other genners
on
the digest.

Other genealogy sites cost $100 a year to subscribe. Jewish Gen has the
honor system. Whether you can send this amount, or your budget allows
anywhere >from $5 to $5000, your contribution is needed and necessary.

When you sit down to write New Year's Greetings, try to find a way to
make
a contribution to JewishGen, so that all of us will have a Happy and
Healthy New Year.
Haviva Dolgin Langenauer
South Florida

MODERATOR NOTE: Information about contributions to Jewishgen can be
found
at: www.jewishgen.org/JewishGen-erosity"
-----------------------------
"What Susan King didn't mention at the Toronto conference is how much
she,
personally, has sacrificed to run JewishGen.

Yes, we rely on volunteers on all the research projects, but Susan, as
top
person is where the buck stops. Meaning, she is always problem solving,
working to repair computer breakdowns on our servers, doing publicity,
establishing strategic liasons with other organizations, fund raising,
resolving complaints, and on and on. She often works a very long,
frantic
day, one which none of us would choose. A one-woman band if there ever
was one.

These incredible *above and beyond* efforts are because there's no one
else to handle many of these things. It would be a wonderful change if
Susan could be freed >from the nitty-gritty and concentrate on all the
creative thinking that has made JewishGen great.

With limited funds, we cannot pay additional staff. It is my personal
hope
that with appropriate donations coming in, JewishGen will be able to pay
professionals and relieve Susan King to do what she does so well:
continue to grow JewishGen into an even more amazing organization than
it is now.
Mila Begun
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sign up for the JGFFAlert!
http://www.jewishgen.org/jgff/jgff-faq.html#q3.7

Help JewishGen Help You!
http://www.jewishgen.org/jewishgen-erosity/contribute.ihtml "
--
Rosanne Leeson
Los Altos, CA USA
Leeson1@attglobal.net


French SIG #France "We can't lose Jewishgen..." #france

Rosanne D. Leeson <leeson1@...>
 

Dear FrenchSIGgers:

Some of you may not have seen the following urgent messages posted
last week to the JewishGen List, so I have received permission to repost
them here. As the New Year is about to begin I urge you all to think
about the great benefits we receive >from JewishGen, how little it would
take if each of us contributed, and how much we would lose if it were to
disappear!
Rosanne Leeson
---------------------------
"Susan King's poignant picture of the challenges facing JewishGen
due to a severe budget deficit sent a chill throughout the audience
attending her lecture at the Toronto IAJGS Conference.

You are one of 43,000 users reading my message thru JewishGen's
Discussion Group. There are only 1,843 donors to JewishGen!

JewishGen aids researchers through the use of 7.1 million records!

There is an $84,000 budget deficit.

Quoting Susan, " Challenges spell changes", ....."JewishGen is
facing a business challenge".......... "the resolve: challenge
individually and collectively".

It is impossible to imagine the Internet without JewishGen!"
---------------------------
"Hi Genners,
I want to echo Howard Margol's and Sylvia Nusinov's remarks on the need
for all of us to help support our beloved JewishGen.
Until Susan King spoke in Toronto, many of us were not aware of the
urgent need for funds to continue our projects.
Everything that you see on JewishGen is the work of volunteers.
Have you been helped in your family search by a friend on the Digest,
or a connection through JGFF? Say thank you by making a contribution.

We must do everything we can to help. The recent floods in Europe are
an
example of the sense of urgency we must feel about the need to preserve
Jewish records which are in danger of being destroyed. The JewishGen
Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) project is but one of the many
ways in which Jewish Gen is working to make the history of our ancestors

available to us. We need to have this kind of work proceed as rapidly as
possible, as many of the sites and records are in danger of vanishing
right before our eyes.

I know how empty my life would be without genealogy projects, which have
come about to a large extent, with the help of the information made
available in JewishGen Infofiles, and the helpfulness of other genners
on
the digest.

Other genealogy sites cost $100 a year to subscribe. Jewish Gen has the
honor system. Whether you can send this amount, or your budget allows
anywhere >from $5 to $5000, your contribution is needed and necessary.

When you sit down to write New Year's Greetings, try to find a way to
make
a contribution to JewishGen, so that all of us will have a Happy and
Healthy New Year.
Haviva Dolgin Langenauer
South Florida

MODERATOR NOTE: Information about contributions to Jewishgen can be
found
at: www.jewishgen.org/JewishGen-erosity"
-----------------------------
"What Susan King didn't mention at the Toronto conference is how much
she,
personally, has sacrificed to run JewishGen.

Yes, we rely on volunteers on all the research projects, but Susan, as
top
person is where the buck stops. Meaning, she is always problem solving,
working to repair computer breakdowns on our servers, doing publicity,
establishing strategic liasons with other organizations, fund raising,
resolving complaints, and on and on. She often works a very long,
frantic
day, one which none of us would choose. A one-woman band if there ever
was one.

These incredible *above and beyond* efforts are because there's no one
else to handle many of these things. It would be a wonderful change if
Susan could be freed >from the nitty-gritty and concentrate on all the
creative thinking that has made JewishGen great.

With limited funds, we cannot pay additional staff. It is my personal
hope
that with appropriate donations coming in, JewishGen will be able to pay
professionals and relieve Susan King to do what she does so well:
continue to grow JewishGen into an even more amazing organization than
it is now.
Mila Begun
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sign up for the JGFFAlert!
http://www.jewishgen.org/jgff/jgff-faq.html#q3.7

Help JewishGen Help You!
http://www.jewishgen.org/jewishgen-erosity/contribute.ihtml "
--
Rosanne Leeson
Los Altos, CA USA
Leeson1@attglobal.net


Lucenec (Losonc) #hungary

bikerick <bikerick@...>
 

---------------------------
Moderator VK: The following message is somewhat off-topic but I'm posting it because it may be of interest to H-SIG subscribers researching this area. Lucenec (formerly Losonc, Nograd megye) is about 20 km west of Rimavska Sobota and very close to the Hungarian border. Please limit postings to subjects related to genealogical research.
----------------------------

The following wire service article was recently published. Note headline is
wrong; it should say "Slovakian." Interesting mention of Mr. Turcan's
organization taking care of 620 cemeteries, but no contact information for
him is provided.

"Historic Slovenian synagogue needs more funding to survive
PAVLA KOZAKOVA

Jewish Telegraphic Agency


PRAGUE -- In the central Slovak town of Lucenec, a rare synagogue is
crumbling apart, its walls destroyed after decades of use as a storage house
for fertilizers.

Town officials want to save the monument as a testament to its thriving
Jewish past, while ensuring it has a viable future by turning the synagogue
into a center for higher education.

The building numbers among just four synagogues built by Hungarian architect
Lipot Baumhorn (1860-1932), whose other structures grace Amsterdam, Brussels
and Tel Aviv.

The mayor of Lucenec, Jozef Murgas, who is spearheading the fund-raising
drive, estimates the cost of the synagogue's reconstruction at between $1.3
million and $2.1 million.

Other than its foundations and a recently added roof, the synagogue is in
poor condition. To make matters worse, local children have taken to stealing
the new roof's copper tiles for scrap.

None of this deters Murgas.

"The city wants to conserve the synagogue as a remembrance of the Jewish
community that contributed to the city's development during the 19th and
20th centuries. It's the last of five synagogues we used to have in
Lucenec," the mayor says.

Built in 1924-1925, Baumhorn's synagogue housed religious services until
1944, when the Jews of Lucenec were transported to Nazi concentration camps
in Poland and Germany.

Only 80 to 100 of the town's 2,200 Jews survived World War II.

"Today, there are only 14 of us left," says Gertruda Sternlichtova, head of
the Lucenec Jewish community.

Sternlichtova is sad because her tiny community simply does not have the
money to reconstruct the decrepit synagogue, whose main hall can hold more
than 1,000 people.

In 1948, the synagogue's fate was sealed when Czechoslovakia's communist
authorities took the synagogue into state hands and used it to store
artificial fertilizers, whose corrosive chemicals destroyed the walls.

"It just makes me want to cry when I think about it," Sternlichtova says.

In 1980, the authorities removed the fertilizers, but they let the synagogue
crumble with disuse.

In a further blow, some squatters inadvertently set fire to the building in
the late 1990s, Sternlichtova says.

"But the synagogue was in such a bad state that even the fire could not do
much more damage to it," she adds.

Many plans have been put forward to save the synagogue.

Originally, the city had wanted to reconstruct the synagogue to be used for
religious purposes alone, but because the local Jewish community is so
small, the plan foundered.

The renovation of the Lucenec synagogue would cost as much as the
maintenance of all of Slovakia's other synagogues all together, Alexander
says.

Juraj Turcan, the head of the Jewish community in nearby Banska Bystrica,
estimates the current cost needed for Lucenec's reconstruction at $3.2
million. The mayor's lower cost estimate is eight years old, Turcan points
out.

"We can help with our organizational skills, but money-wise we cannot afford
it," Turcan says.

His organization is currently taking care of about 10 synagogues and 620
cemeteries -- and 95 percent of the latter are in very bad condition, he
says."

Rick Hyman,
California


Hungary SIG #Hungary Lucenec (Losonc) #hungary

bikerick <bikerick@...>
 

---------------------------
Moderator VK: The following message is somewhat off-topic but I'm posting it because it may be of interest to H-SIG subscribers researching this area. Lucenec (formerly Losonc, Nograd megye) is about 20 km west of Rimavska Sobota and very close to the Hungarian border. Please limit postings to subjects related to genealogical research.
----------------------------

The following wire service article was recently published. Note headline is
wrong; it should say "Slovakian." Interesting mention of Mr. Turcan's
organization taking care of 620 cemeteries, but no contact information for
him is provided.

"Historic Slovenian synagogue needs more funding to survive
PAVLA KOZAKOVA

Jewish Telegraphic Agency


PRAGUE -- In the central Slovak town of Lucenec, a rare synagogue is
crumbling apart, its walls destroyed after decades of use as a storage house
for fertilizers.

Town officials want to save the monument as a testament to its thriving
Jewish past, while ensuring it has a viable future by turning the synagogue
into a center for higher education.

The building numbers among just four synagogues built by Hungarian architect
Lipot Baumhorn (1860-1932), whose other structures grace Amsterdam, Brussels
and Tel Aviv.

The mayor of Lucenec, Jozef Murgas, who is spearheading the fund-raising
drive, estimates the cost of the synagogue's reconstruction at between $1.3
million and $2.1 million.

Other than its foundations and a recently added roof, the synagogue is in
poor condition. To make matters worse, local children have taken to stealing
the new roof's copper tiles for scrap.

None of this deters Murgas.

"The city wants to conserve the synagogue as a remembrance of the Jewish
community that contributed to the city's development during the 19th and
20th centuries. It's the last of five synagogues we used to have in
Lucenec," the mayor says.

Built in 1924-1925, Baumhorn's synagogue housed religious services until
1944, when the Jews of Lucenec were transported to Nazi concentration camps
in Poland and Germany.

Only 80 to 100 of the town's 2,200 Jews survived World War II.

"Today, there are only 14 of us left," says Gertruda Sternlichtova, head of
the Lucenec Jewish community.

Sternlichtova is sad because her tiny community simply does not have the
money to reconstruct the decrepit synagogue, whose main hall can hold more
than 1,000 people.

In 1948, the synagogue's fate was sealed when Czechoslovakia's communist
authorities took the synagogue into state hands and used it to store
artificial fertilizers, whose corrosive chemicals destroyed the walls.

"It just makes me want to cry when I think about it," Sternlichtova says.

In 1980, the authorities removed the fertilizers, but they let the synagogue
crumble with disuse.

In a further blow, some squatters inadvertently set fire to the building in
the late 1990s, Sternlichtova says.

"But the synagogue was in such a bad state that even the fire could not do
much more damage to it," she adds.

Many plans have been put forward to save the synagogue.

Originally, the city had wanted to reconstruct the synagogue to be used for
religious purposes alone, but because the local Jewish community is so
small, the plan foundered.

The renovation of the Lucenec synagogue would cost as much as the
maintenance of all of Slovakia's other synagogues all together, Alexander
says.

Juraj Turcan, the head of the Jewish community in nearby Banska Bystrica,
estimates the current cost needed for Lucenec's reconstruction at $3.2
million. The mayor's lower cost estimate is eight years old, Turcan points
out.

"We can help with our organizational skills, but money-wise we cannot afford
it," Turcan says.

His organization is currently taking care of about 10 synagogues and 620
cemeteries -- and 95 percent of the latter are in very bad condition, he
says."

Rick Hyman,
California