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BADEN:

City in Lower Austria. After the expulsion of the Jews from Lower Austria in 1670, none lived in Baden until 1805, when the Jew Isaac Schischa, who had formerly lived in Mattersdorf, Hungary, succeeded in obtaining permission for himself, his family, and servants to reside there permanently. Schischa obtained permission to start a restaurant; and he also improvised a place of worship for Jews visiting this health-resort in summer. A similar permission was granted in 1820 to Heinrich Herz from Szerdahely, who likewise erected a restaurant and a house of worship. There was, however, no permanent settlement until 1861, when the right of residence in any part of the country and freedom of trade were granted to all Austrian Jews.

The first association for the support of the sick was formed in 1868, and grew so rapidly that it determined to erect a synagogue, buying a house for the purpose. The authorities sanctioned the maintenance of a synagogue only under the condition that an incorporated congregation (Kultus-Verein) be established for its management.

The synagogue which was erected in 1871 proved too small for the growing numbers of the congregation, and Jacob L. Pollak, together with Max Mandel, and through the financial aid of Jews elsewhere, erected on the same site a larger synagogue with a gallery and five hundred and seventeen seats. In 1873 the synagogue was dedicated. Pollak and Mandel were joined by Anton Schneider, a younger man, and together they founded the Ḥebrah Ḳaddishah. The first interment took place August, 1873. A Sabbath-school, established in the former small synagogue, was subventioned by the Jewish Alliance in Vienna from 1872 to 1877.

At this time eighty Jewish families resided permanently in Baden. In spite of impediments put in their way by the municipal authorities, the Jewish residents of Baden succeeded in obtaining recognition by the government as a legally constituted congregation, and with such recognition was accorded the right to assess its members (June 10, 1878). It was determined to appoint a rabbi, and on Feb. 6, 1880, Wilhelm Reich was installed in the office. After some difficulties which arose from the opposition of the Orthodox, the rabbi and the presidents succeeded in establishing harmony and in securing a steady growth of the congregation.

The following Jewish organizations exist in Baden: a Ḥebrah Ḳaddishah, already mentioned; a Talmud Torah school, with three teachers; a Bet ha-Midrash, in which a Talmudic scholar is appointed to deliver lectures daily; a Women's Association; a committee for the support of the strangers who visit the city for the sake of their health, and a branch of the Jewish Alliance in Vienna. In ritual matters the congregation is conservative; but it has made some concessions to the demands of the times. The number of Jews in Baden exceeds a thousand.

Since 1894 the newly established congregation of Neunkirchen, Lower Austria, is ministered to by the rabbi of Baden.

Bibliography:
  • W. Reich, Baden bei Wien, Baden, 1900.
D. W. Rei.
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