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PECS (FÜNFKIRCHEN):

Royal free city in the county of Baranya, Hungary. The few Jewish families which had settled there toward the end of the eighteenth century, not having the means to build a synagogue, held services in a rented room. By about 1835 there were about twenty families in the city; and these formed a congregation and acquired a house of worship in a remote part of the city. In 1865, when the congregation had increased to 200 families, the foundation of a large synagogue was laid; and the building was dedicated July 22, 1869.

Perfect harmony has always reigned in this Reform congregation, which introduced at an early period the use of an organ and sermons in Hungarian. The rabbinate has been successively held by S. Hirschfeld, Edward Ehrlich, Alexander Kohut, and Armin Perls. Of the members of the congregation the best known are: Adolf Schulhof, physician; Ignatz Grünhut, lawyer; and Joachim von Schapringer, banker.

The Jewish community of Pecs has also been assiduous in its care for the educational welfare of its youth. As early as 1840 a congregational school was founded by Fr. Mannheimer, which has continued to flourish. Among the names of pedagogues that have been active at Pecs are found those of Rosenfeld, Hoffmann, Gutmann, Götzel, Porges, Kohn, Seligmann, Goldschmied, and Kulke.

The Jews of Pecs number about 2,000 in a total population of 50,000.

Bibliography:
  • Ben Chananja;
  • Die Neuzeit, passim.
D. S. Man.
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