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Synagogues Without Jews Hardcover – May 31, 2001


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 354 pages
  • Publisher: Jewish Publication Society of America (May 31, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0827606923
  • ISBN-13: 978-0827606920
  • Product Dimensions: 11.8 x 8.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,310,589 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 7 customer reviews
It's a book to be picked up and looked over slowly and lovingly.
Dianna
This book has photos of old synagogues now not in use; it's very evocative and interesting for people interested in pre WWII Jewish life.
Terry5555
It has very good quality pictures and some few layouts of the structures.
Curious

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Miriam Fleischman on September 30, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Winner of the National Jewish Book Award 2000, this jewel of a book should be in every Jewish home and in as many high-school, university and public libraries as possible, Jewish and otherwise.
Like many of life's blessings that seem "accidental," a holiday in Italy developed into this fascinating history of synagogues and their communities in Italy [6 communities], Croatia and Serbia [3], Greece [3], Austria [3], the Czech Republic [7], Slovakia [7] and Hungary [5].
That "vacation" expanded into five seasons of research on 350 synagogues. Thirty-four chapters of text are devoted to the history of specific Jewish communities. The excellent photographs of synagogue interiors and exteriors were taken by the authors unless otherwise noted. Fieldwork was followed by seven years of research and writing.
Writing in the Foreword in 1999, Dr. Joseph Burg mentioned the authors' "infinite work, tireless devotion and careful investigation." Their energy has created a rich texture of information on the synagogues and the Jews who worshipped in them. This combines with a competent description of the architectural and decorative aesthetics.
The earliest synagogue discussed [1408] is in the former ghetto of Dubrovnik, where today a congregation of 47 members, up from 23 some six years ago, worships at number 3 Jewish Street. The most recent one [1925] the Neolog synagogue in Lucenec, Slovakia, was designed by architect Lipot Baumhorn. The small community remaining after the Holocaust sold it to the State for repair and use for cultural purposes. However, the authorities leased it out as an agricultural warehouse. In the late 1970s, when the tenants moved out, the building was left open to vandals.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Winner of the National Jewish Book Award 2000, this jewel of a book should be in every Jewish home and in as many high-school, university and public libraries as possible, Jewish and otherwise.
Like many of life's blessings that seem "accidental," a holiday in Italy developed into this fascinating history of synagogues and their communities in Italy [6 communities], Croatia and Serbia [3], Greece [3], Austria [3], the Czech Republic: Bohemia and Moravia [7], Slovakia [7] and Hungary [5].
That "vacation" expanded into five seasons of research on 350 synagogues. Thirty-four chapters of text are devoted to the history of specific Jewish communities. The excellent photographs of synagogoue interiors and exteriors were taken by the authors, unless otherwise noted. Fieldwork was followed by seven years of research and writing.
Writing the Foreword in 1999, the late Dr. Joseph Burg mentioned the authors' "infinite work, tireless devotion and careful investigation." Their energy has created a rich mixture of information on the synagogues and the Jews who worshipped in them. This combines with a competent description of the architectural and decorative aesthetics.
The earliest mentioned synagogue (1408) is in the former Dubrovnik ghetto, where today a congregation of 47 members, up from 23 some years ago, worships at No. 3 Jewish Street. The most recent (1925), the Neolog synagogue in Lucenec, Slovakia, was designed by architect Lipot Baumhorn. The small community remaining after the Holocaust sold it to the state for repair and use for cultural purposes. However, the authorities leased it out as an agricultural warehouse. In the late 1970s, when the tenant moved out, the building was left open to vandals.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dianna on December 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is a beautiful book! The pictures are gorgeous, and the accompanying text is clear, concise, and extremely informative. Each chapter contains a beautiful and poignant story of a lost community. I shared this book with my parents, who come from and are familiar with some of the communities mentioned in the book. It brought back bittersweet memories for them, as they are survivors of the Shoah. I showed this book to my children and their friends, and the pictures generated some very good discussions. This is a book that belongs on every coffee table - and it won't stay there for too long. It's a book to be picked up and looked over slowly and lovingly. Each chapter is to be savoured. I highly recommend it!
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By I. W. Gittleman on February 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I have read all the previous complimentary reviews, and agree with them all -- this is a masterpiece and should definitely be owned by all interested in this subject particularly because of its fine text, the wonderful and priceless photos (how did the old ones become in color??), and the pertinent appendices.

But I would like to also mention its limitations, which no one mentioned; but still these should not discourage its purchase:

(1) The most glaring (near-) omission is its abysmal index The text mentions hundreds of synagogues in tens of pages, yet the index consists of only two pages of quite large type.

(2) This grossly incomplete index also has the wrong reference page for many synagogues [I checked two towns and found each discussed on a different page].

(3) One should realize that only certain countries are listed; this is not a criticism; more a hope for a second volume. Those countries listed are: Italy, Croatia and Serbia, Greece, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary.

Again, the grossly limited index makes search truly impossible; forcing one to just read each page in each subject country. Perhaps this is a 'plus'!

Still, a masterpiece.
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