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PILSEN:

City in Bohemia. According to documents of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, Jews were then living in Pilsen, and they had a synagogue and a cemetery. In the sixteenth century they were expelled, as were the Jews of most of the other cities of Bohemia. It was not until after 1848 that Jews were allowed to resettle in Pilsen. An increasing number of Jewish families from several villages in the neighborhood, where they formed large communities, then removed to the city; services were at first held in a rented chapel; and soon afterward the district rabbi of Pilsen, Anschel Kafka, took up his residence in the city. In 1859 the community, which then numbered seventy families, received its constitution, being one of the few newly formed congregations in Bohemia whose statutes were confirmed. In the same year a synagogue was dedicated, and a four-grade school was organized. In 1875 another synagogue was annexed to the older one; and in 1893 a handsome new building was erected at a cost of nearly 1,000,000 crowns. HeinemannVogelstein was called to the rabbinate in 1867, and officiated until 1880, his successors being Nathan Porges (1880-82), Jecheskel Caro (1882-91), and Adolf Posnanski (since 1891).

In 1904 the community numbered 3,170 persons, including 724 taxpayers, in a total population of 68,079; and the annual budget amounted to 73,756 crowns.

Bibliography:
  • Jahrbuch für die Israelitischen Gemeinden in Böhmen, 1894;
  • Union Kalender, 1905.
D. A. Ki.
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