Cover image for The great Jewish cities of Central and Eastern Europe : a travel guide and resource book to Prague, Warsaw, Crakow, and Budapest
The great Jewish cities of Central and Eastern Europe : a travel guide and resource book to Prague, Warsaw, Crakow, and Budapest
Valley, Eli.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Northvale, N.J. : Jason Aronson, [1999]

Physical Description:
xix, 538 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DS135.C96 P846 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



The Great Jewish Cities of Central and Eastern Europe: A Travel Guide and Resource Book to Prague, Warsaw, Cracow, and Budapest is the most comprehensive guidebook covering all aspects of Jewish history and contemporary life in Prague, Warsaw, Cracow, and Budapest. This remarkable book includes detailed histories of the Jews in these cities, walking tours of Jewish districts past and present, intensive descriptions of Jewish sites, fascinating accounts of local Jewish legend and lore, and practical information for Jewish travelers to the region.

Author Notes

Eli Valley, the son of a New York City rabbi, moved to Prague after graduating from Cornell University in 1992. There he became the first American Jew to be fully integrated into the local Jewish community since the fall of communism. Over the course of the next five years, Eli Valley worked in sundry capacities for the Prague Jewish Community and served as the first program director of Bejt Praha, the nascent Jewish cultural and religious organization in Prague. His activities included organizing Jewish cultural events, planning religious services, lecturing on Jewish history, preparing children's carnivals, and participating in productions of the Jewish Community Theater. Mr. Valley worked with the younger generation of Czech Jews in events ranging from Passover seders to youth seminars in eastern Slovakia. He has written extensively on these experiences and has been published in newspapers and magazines in Central Europe and the United States. Throughout his years in Prague, Mr. Valley also worked as a guide and lecturer in the former Jewish Town for thousands of visitors from Europe, North America, and Israel. It was this experience that inspired Mr. Valley to write a comprehensive visitor's guide to the Jewish communities in the region.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Valley, an experienced tour guide, takes readers through the sites, history, and cultures of cities important to European Jewish history. Close to 100 pages for each locale, in-depth itineraries focus on history and present-day culture, adding some lodging and dining recommendations. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Introduction: Peretz's Golemp. xvii
A Note on the Term "Jewish Community"p. xix
I Prague: City of the Old and the New
Introductionp. 3
A History of the Jews in Praguep. 5
In the Beginningp. 5
Servi Camerae Regiaep. 6
Oppression in the Fourteenth Centuryp. 7
Life among the Hussitesp. 8
Persecution and Expulsionp. 9
The Renaissance and the Golden Agep. 10
The Seventeenth Centuryp. 12
Jewish Population Growth and the Familiants Lawsp. 13
Expulsion: 1745-1748p. 14
The Edict of Tolerancep. 15
Enlightenment, Equality, Assimilationp. 17
The Holocaustp. 21
Postwar to Todayp. 22
Prague's Philosopher Kingsp. 28
Tomas G. Masarykp. 28
Vaclev Havelp. 30
Spotlight: Rabbi Judah Loew--The "Maharal" (c. 1525-1609)p. 32
The Golem of Praguep. 34
The Creation of the Golemp. 35
The Golem as Servantp. 37
The Golem as Saviorp. 38
The End of Brother Thaddeusp. 40
The End of the Golemp. 41
The Golem Reduxp. 44
Raba Bara Gavrap. 44
God's Golemp. 45
Golems in Jewish Historyp. 46
The Golem of Praguep. 48
Visiting Prague: The "Jewish Town" Todayp. 50
The Jurassic Park of Judaismp. 53
The Jewish Essentialsp. 56
Praying in Praguep. 57
Mikvehp. 59
Keeping Kosher in Praguep. 60
Restaurantp. 60
Grocery Storep. 60
Orientation and Suggested Itineraryp. 61
The Altneuschulp. 64
The Aron Hakodeshp. 70
The Amudp. 72
The Women's Sectionp. 74
The Bimahp. 75
The Hebrew Inscriptionsp. 76
The Yahrzeit Boardsp. 77
The Bannerp. 80
The High Synagoguep. 82
The Jewish Town Hallp. 85
The Pinchas Synagoguep. 88
The Old Jewish Cemeteryp. 99
The Nefele Moundp. 116
The Ceremonial Hallp. 116
The Klausen Synagoguep. 121
The Maisel Synagoguep. 125
The Spanish Synagoguep. 129
Elsewhere in Praguep. 132
The Jerusalem Synagogue ("Jubilee")p. 132
The Old Olsany Cemeteryp. 134
The New Olsany Cemeteryp. 137
The Rudolfinump. 140
The State of Rabbi Judah Loew (1910)p. 140
The Crucifix on Charles Bridgep. 141
Tyn Churchp. 144
The Langweil Model of Praguep. 145
II Warsaw: City of Monuments
Introductionp. 149
A History of the Jews in Warsawp. 150
The Earliest Jewish Community in Warsawp. 150
Warsaw without Jewsp. 150
The Rise of Pragap. 151
Partitioned Polandp. 152
Under Prussian Rulep. 153
The Duchy of Warsawp. 155
St. Petersburg on the Vistulap. 155
Jewish Rebelsp. 156
Jewish Life in the Nineteenth Centuryp. 158
Litvak Warsawp. 159
The Jewish Utopiasp. 160
Jewish Culture in Warsaw: The Triumph of Diaspora Jewryp. 161
Poland and the Jews between the Warsp. 163
The Holocaustp. 165
The Mass Deportations of July 22-September 21, 1942p. 170
The Warsaw Ghetto Uprisingp. 171
The Generations Afterp. 173
Spotlight: Emmanuel Ringelblum (1900-1944)p. 177
The Jewish Essentialsp. 179
Praying in Warsawp. 180
Mikvehp. 181
Keeping Kosher in Warsawp. 182
Restaurantp. 182
Buying Foodp. 182
Orientation and Suggested Itineraryp. 183
The Jewish Cemetery in Warsawp. 183
During the Warp. 186
The Cemetery Todayp. 187
The Memorial to Janusz Korczakp. 211
After the Cemetery: The Former Skra Stadiump. 213
The Memorial Route of Jewish Martyrdom and Strugglep. 214
Guide to the Monumentsp. 216
The First Monument to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprisingp. 217
The Warsaw Ghetto Monumentp. 218
Elsewhere on the Monument Squarep. 221
The Szmul Zygielbojm Memorialp. 222
Mila 18p. 225
Stawki 6/8p. 226
Umschlagplatzp. 228
The Umschlagplatz Squarep. 229
The Monumentp. 231
Warsaw: The Walking Tourp. 232
Bohaterow Getta (Nalewki Street)p. 234
"Sony" Skyscraper (Tlomackie Street Synagogue)p. 237
The Jewish Historical Institutep. 238
Krochmalna Streetp. 240
Plac Grzybowskip. 244
Prozna Streetp. 244
The Streetp. 245
The Buildingsp. 247
Ninep. 247
Sevenp. 247
Fourteenp. 248
Twelvep. 248
The Jewish Theaterp. 249
The Nozyk Synagoguep. 249
Elsewhere in Warsaw: Pragap. 251
A Brief History of Pragap. 251
Visiting Pragap. 252
Selected Highlightsp. 253
The Praga Jewish Cemeteryp. 253
Strezelecka Street 11/13p. 254
Stalowa Street 42p. 254
Mala Streetp. 254
Klopotowskiego Street 31p. 255
Jagiellonska Street 8p. 255
III Cracow: City of Legends
Introductionp. 259
A History of the Jews in Cracowp. 261
Life before Kazimierzp. 261
King Casimir the Greatp. 262
The Dark Age of the Fifteenth Centuryp. 263
The Jews in Kazimierzp. 264
The Jewish Quarter of Kazimierzp. 265
The Kazimierz Ghetto?p. 267
The Golden Agep. 267
The Commercial Life of the Jewsp. 269
Terrible Timesp. 269
Into Modernityp. 270
The Holocaustp. 272
Postwar to Todayp. 274
Spotlight: Rabbi Moses Isserles (1525 or 1530-1572)p. 275
Legends of Cracowp. 278
The Birth of the Remap. 278
Yakov and the Heavenly Courtp. 279
The Testp. 282
The Cheremp. 283
The Custom of the Wallp. 285
The Jewish Essentialsp. 287
Praying in Cracowp. 288
Mikvehp. 289
Keeping Kosher in Cracowp. 289
Orientation and Suggested Itineraryp. 291
The Altschulp. 292
Old and Old New, Cracow and Praguep. 293
How Old Is Old?p. 294
The Twentieth Century and Beyondp. 295
The Vestibulep. 297
Entering the Main Sanctuaryp. 298
The Main Tzedekkah Boxp. 298
The Women's Sectionsp. 300
The Bimahp. 301
The Aron Hakodeshp. 302
The Museum Exhibitp. 303
Customs of the Altschulp. 304
The Rema Synagoguep. 307
The Old Jewish Cemetery of Cracowp. 310
Historyp. 312
Moses Isserles (1525 or 1530-1572): The Remap. 315
Eliezer Ashkenazi (1512-1585)p. 318
Nathan Nata Spira (1585-1633): The Megalleh Amukkotp. 321
The Revealing of the Depthsp. 322
The "Back" of the Cemetery: The Western Wallp. 326
Joel Sirkes (1561-1640): The Bachp. 326
Joshua ben Joseph (1578-1648): The Meginnei Shlomop. 329
Abraham Joshua Heschel (d. 1663)p. 331
Michael Calahora (Late Seventeenth Century)p. 332
Isaac ben Mordechai Halevi (d. 1799)p. 333
Yomtov Lippman Heller (1579-1645): The Tosefot Yomtovp. 334
The Birth of a Legendp. 335
The Cemetery Squarep. 337
The Historyp. 338
The Legendp. 338
The Original Storyp. 339
Near the Cemetery Squarep. 341
The Popper Synagoguep. 341
The High Synagoguep. 343
Nearby the High Synagoguep. 345
The Isaac Synagoguep. 346
The Legend of Reb Isaac Reb Jekelesp. 346
The Synagogue and Its Controversyp. 347
The Kupa Synagoguep. 350
Near the Kupa Synagoguep. 351
The Tempelp. 352
The New Jewish Cemeteryp. 357
A Stroll through the New Jewish Cemeteryp. 358
Elsewhere in Kazimierzp. 362
The Jewish Crafts Schoolp. 362
Hebrew Grammar Schoolp. 362
Plac Novyp. 363
Beit Midrash B'nei Emunahp. 363
Visniac's Gatep. 364
Beit Midrash Chevrah Tehilimp. 364
Corpus Christi Churchp. 364
Kazimierz Town Hallp. 365
Bochenska Streetp. 365
The Former Jewish Hospitalp. 366
The Cracow Ghetto in Podgorzep. 366
History of the Cracow Ghettop. 366
Selected Sites in the Former Ghettop. 368
IV Budapest: City of Synagogues
Introductionp. 375
A History of the Jews in Budapestp. 376
The Magyars Arrive!p. 377
The Jewish Illiteratep. 378
The King's Favor, the Church's Rancorp. 378
Expulsionp. 379
The Law Book of Budap. 380
The First Blood Libel of Hungaryp. 381
The Jewish Prefect of Buda: King of the Jewsp. 381
Among the Turks: Glory Daysp. 382
The Obuda Centuryp. 384
Josef IIp. 385
The Neolog Movementp. 387
Emancipationp. 389
World War I and the White Terrorp. 389
The Holocaustp. 390
Postwar to Todayp. 391
Spotlight: Theodor Herzl (1860-1904)p. 396
The Jewish Essentialsp. 399
Praying in Budapestp. 400
Mikvehp. 400
Keeping Kosher in Budapestp. 401
Restaurantsp. 401
Butchersp. 402
Salami Storep. 402
Milk Storep. 402
Grocery Storep. 402
Patisseriep. 403
Hotelp. 403
Orientation and Suggested Itineraryp. 405
Buda: Jewish Life from the Middle Ages through the Turksp. 408
The Old Jewish District of Budap. 408
The New Jewish District of Budap. 411
The Mendel Housesp. 412
The Small Synagoguep. 414
The Star of Davidp. 414
The Arrowp. 415
Nearby the Small Synagoguep. 417
The Great Synagoguep. 417
The Churban of 1686p. 421
Megillat Budap. 423
Obuda: Count Zichy's Jews in the Eighteenth Centuryp. 426
The Obuda Synagoguep. 428
Pest: The Jew in the Modern Worldp. 431
The Hungarian Jewish Congress and the Three Synagogues of Pestp. 434
The Dohany Street Synagoguep. 436
Highlights of the Buildingp. 436
The Pulpits of Dohanyp. 439
The Aron Hakodeshp. 439
The Dohany Organp. 440
The Dohany Street Synagogue: A Legend!p. 441
Origins of the Dohany Street Synagoguep. 442
The Beginnings of the Synagoguep. 445
The Competitionp. 447
The Opening of the Synagoguep. 448
The Dohany Temple of Solomonp. 450
The Dohany Street Churchp. 451
The Hungarian Jewish Museump. 452
The Martyrs' Cemeteryp. 454
The Heroes' Templep. 454
The Holocaust Memorial of Budapestp. 456
Nearby the Holocaust Memorialp. 457
The Rumbach Synagoguep. 458
History of the Rumbach Synagoguep. 460
The Rumbach and the Status Quop. 462
The Status Quo Traditions of the Synagoguep. 463
The Rabbis of Rumbachp. 464
The Kazinczy Street Synagoguep. 465
Elsewhere in Budapestp. 468
Kozma Street Cemeteryp. 468
Ohelim, Budapest Stylep. 469
The World War I Memorialp. 470
The Holocaust Memorialp. 470
The Rabbinical Rowp. 472
The Ujpest Synagoguep. 472
The Living Synagogue: Budapest's Special Treasurep. 475
The Dohany Street Synagoguep. 476
The Heroes' Templep. 476
"Rumbach" Congregationp. 477
The Kazinczy Street Synagoguep. 477
The Rabbinical Seminaryp. 478
Nagyfuvaros Synagoguep. 479
Bet Smuel ("Csaky")p. 480
Bet Aharon Synagoguep. 481
Dessewffy Street Synagoguep. 482
Bethlen Ter Synagoguep. 483
The Ujpest Synagoguep. 484
The Buda Synagoguep. 485
Teleki Ter Synagoguep. 486
Sasz Chevrap. 486
Appendixp. 489
Terezinp. 489
Treblinkap. 490
Auschwitzp. 492
Glossaryp. 495
Bibliographyp. 501
Indexp. 509