The contemporary Jewish Community of Brno (from the end of WWII to the present)

It was very difficult for the Jewish community to recover after the hardships it went through during the war. The synagogue was re-opened on 6th September 1945. The community was strengthened by a wave of repatriates, mainly from the Eastern Army (L. Svoboda’s army). Dr. Richard Spitz was elected the head of the re-established Jewish community.

The disrupted neighbouring Jewish communities (in Hustopeče, Ivančice, Klobouky, Slavkov, Tišnov and other towns) were consigned under the administration of the Jewish Community of Brno in 1946. With the new adjustment of the administration of Czechoslovakia the Jewish Religious Community of Brno was assigned the authority over the whole then-district of South Moravia, including cities like Kyjov, Hodonín and Zlín (Gottwaldov at that time).

Many Jews left for Palestine after the assumption to power by the Communists in 1948, which largely paralysed the operation of the Jewish community again. A great role in its revitalization played the arrival of the new rabbi Dr. Richard Feder from Kolín (Fig.1) and the chief cantor Alexander Neufeld from Žilina. Rabbi Feder was elected the landesrabbiner in 1961. The chairmanship of the Jewish community was taken over by Rudolf Mandler after Dr. Richard Spitz passed away.

Another wave of emigration was due in 1968. PhDr. Richard Feder passes away on the 18th of December 1970. Arnošt Neufeld accepts the chairmanship of the community after R. Mandler passes away (1973). He also takes over the function of cantor after his father Alexander dies in 1983. The synagogue in Ponávka Street is torn down in 1985; only the synagogue in Skořepka Street remains in Brno.

A new era of development started after 1989. The headquarters of the Jewish Community of Brno returned to its own building at 3 tř. Kpt. Jaroše Street. The period was marked by a boom of the cultural, public and social activities of the Jewish Community of Brno. The Maccabi Sports Club resumed its activities and the Rabbi Feder Cultural and Educational Centre (KVC RF) was established engaging to provide educational activities for the members of the Jewish community. The Centre also runs a public library (Fig.2).

In 2004, the Care at Home Agency JAS was founded, providing care mainly for the older members. Another important event in the Jewish community’s life was the construction of the ritual bath – mikvah (Fig.3). Since 2007, a kosher kitchen has been in service.
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