By: A. Frankl-Grün
Capital of Moravia. It possessed a Jewish community as early as the twelfth century. At the instigation of Capistrano, the Jews were expelled from Brünn July 27, 1451, by King Ladislaus, the posthumous son of the fanatical Albrecht II. Among the exiles was Israel Bruna, author of a well-known set of responsa. Not until the beginning of the nineteenth century did the Jews attempt to found a new community. In obedience to a royal decree of Sept. 5, 1811, they paid 50 florins a year, and 12 florins into the poor fund, for permission to have a small Torah (law-scroll) in their possession. David Ashkenazi, whose son, Joel Deutsch, was director of the institute for deaf-mutes, officiated as rabbi, although he was only allowed to assume the title of meat-inspector. In 1852 the Jews were permitted to lay out a cemetery, and in 1853 to build a synagogue. The statutes of a religious society formed in 1853 were provisionally confirmed Sept. 1 of that year; but not until Feb. 7, 1859, did the ministry give permission to organize a provisional religious community. On March 15, 1860, all the Jews living at Brünn were released from paying the communal dues of their several communities, and on Nov. 7 of the same year the protest of the district community against this decree, that injured it in its finances, was refused. Dr. B. Placzek, who was chosen rabbi in the same year, was appointed district rabbi by the ministry May 5, 1885.
The Jewish-Moravian orphan asylum and the proseminary are at Brünn; the city is the center for the Moravian general fund ("Landesmassenfonds") derived from the excise. This fund, which had been used for Jewish educational purposes since the time of Joseph II., was handed over to the management of the Jews of Moravia by Emperor Francis Joseph I. Sept. 28, 1869. At present (1902) Brünn has about 8,000 Jews.