Town in Moravia, Austria. The congregation of Mährish-Ostrau is one of the youngest in Moravia, for Jews were not allowed to settle there until 1792, and it was not until 1848, when general freedom of residence was granted, that the congregation began to grow rapidly. It is now the second largest Jewish congregation in Moravia, and embraces a number of smaller neighboring communities, including Oderberg; it numbers 6,500 souls. It became a chartered congregation in 1875 and dedicated its synagogue in 1879 (on which occasion Chief Rabbi Jellinek officiated). The first rabbi of the congregation was Dr. B. Zimmels, who died in 1893. He was followed, in 1894, by the present (1904) incumbent, Dr. Jacob Spira. Thecommunity, since 1871, has supported a parochial school, which has now 200 pupils.

Among its institutions are the Jewish Women's Society, the Biḳḳur Ḥolim (with a membership of 220), and a bet ha-midrash. The community supports also a number of pool students.

D. J. Sp.
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