NAGY-KANIZSA (called also Gross Kanizsa):
By: Gotthard Deutsch
Hungarian town, in the county of Szalad. The antiquity of its disused cemetery, which dates back to the end of the seventeenth century, is the only index to the period of the first settlement of the Jews in Nagy-Kanizsa. This cemetery was closed in 1784, when the one now in use was opened. The synagogue was dedicated in 1821, and the school established in 1831. The congregation was very small until about 1840, since which date it has grown considerably. The Nagy-Kanizsa community is one of the most progressive in Hungary; its services have been modernized through the influence of Leopold Löw, and a modern school has been established, which had 300 pupils in 1843 and 600 in 1863. Since 1890 it has been recognized by the government as a public high school. The charitable and social organizations maintained by the congregation are numerous and well endowed; a list of them is given in "Ben Chananja" (i. 235-237). Up to 1868 the Jews were excluded from the principal club of the city, the Casino, but they have become so influential that at present (1904) a Jew, Leopold Elek de Ujnép, is its president. During the height of the anti-Semitic movement in Hungary the town was the scene of a riot (June 18, 1887), during which a Jewish railroad conductor named Gottreich was mortally wounded.
Among the rabbis of Nagy-Kanizsa were I. Ch. Jorin (1764-1804), Meïr Szantó (father of Simon Szantó), Isaac Samuel Löwy, Leopold Löw (1840-1846), and Hirsch Bär Fassel (1852-82); the present incumbent is Edward Neumann (since 1882), the first graduate of the Budapest rabbinical seminary. Ludwig Lichtschein (later rabbi of Austerlitz and Csurgo) was assistant rabbi from 1865 to 1868, and Leon Kartschmaroff has been cantor of the congregation since 1865. Among the scholars who have lived in Nagy-Kanizsa were Dr. Moritz Horschetzky and Josef Loewy (Hebraist and contributor to Jewish periodicals, notably to "Neuzeit"; b. Frauenkirchen 1809; d. Nagy-Kanizsa Feb. 1, 1882). The names of Heinrich Guttmann de Gelse, merchant and manufacturer, and leader in Jewish communal affairs, and of the banker Leopold Elek de Ujnép (ennobled 1904) are identified with the town. Nagy-Kanizsa has a population of 23,778, about 3,653 of whom are Jews.