Home page Contact us info for visitors web's map • printable • česká verze
Encyclopaedia of Jewish Communities

Research activities & services

Encyclopaedia of Jewish Communities


Due to the death of Jiří Fiedler, the author of the Encyclopaedia of Jewish Communities in Bohemia and Moravia, the distribution of incomplete encyclopaedia entries has been suspended. (Only entries that are complete are available for distribution). If you have any questions about the history of Jewish communities in the Czech Republic, please contact daniel.polakovic@jewishmuseum.cz.


Content and structure of entries

Six sample entries

How to order an entry or entries from the electronic encyclopaedia

Register of localities (entries) ready for distribution

Register of localities (entries) under research

Since 2003, the Museum has been gradually putting together an electronic encyclopaedia of Jewish communities and other important places in the territory of the Czech Republic. So far, about a fifth of the total number of encyclopaedic entries (over a thousand) have been compiled. The entries are written only in the Czech language. The entries are arranged alphabetically and comprise, among other things, settlements of Jewish communities or prayer associations (of associated communities), other localities with the established existence of a Jewish prayer hall, places connected with the life of important Jewish figures (i. e., mainly their places of birth), villages with Jewish cemeteries (sometimes belonging to distant religious communities), localities of importance in modern Jewish martyrology: sites of concentration, labour or internment camps, and places with graves of the victims of the „transports of death“ from the end of World War II. In putting together these encyclopaedic entries, priority has been given to localities whose Jewish history is less well known or completely unresearched.

Content and structure of entries
Apart from basic toponymic, geographic and administrative data on a given locality, the encyclopaedia contains available information on the beginnings of Jewish settlement, its demographic development and, where possible, the social composition of the Jewish community; an overview of privileges granted; a record of disasters that have struck the community; basic data on the history of the community and a list of its functionaries (leaders of the community, rabbis, cantors etc.); data on local religious, educational and charity institutions (synagogues and prayer halls, ritual baths, schools, hospital etc.); a description of the Jewish street or quarter; (where available) a list of residential buildings and their occupants; information on cemeteries; a list of preserved registers of birth, marriage and death, a selection of other major archival records, and at least a partial list of available illustrations of the place in question. Individual data are indicated with a symbol for the source from which they were taken. Each entry ends with a list of literature and sources used.
For completeness, published data thait is erroneous, disputable or mutually contradictory, as well as earlier and more recently revised opinions, are cited alongside each other. Use has been made in particular of specialist literature published in Czech and German.
In addition to the many early archival records that have not yet been excerpted, the Holocaust period, too, is not covered in the encyclopaedia (apart from a few exceptions). Research studies and documentation concerning the Holocaust is dealt with by the Museum´s Holocaust Department and other specialised institutions (contacts are provided on the page Links). Similarly. the encyclopaedia does not contain comprehensive information on ritual items stemming from individual places which are now housed in the collections of the Jewish Museum in Prague. This area is being gradually researched in the Museum´s Documentation Department.
The information that has been put together has not been processed in the form of a continuous text (apart from a few exceptions); it is mostly in the form of a list of facts and numerical data that have been excerpted from various sources so far. Individual encyclopaedic entries are of various length, varying from a quarter of a page to fifty pages, depending on the historical importance of the locality in question and on the amount of sources researched so far.

Six sample entries
can be viewed here: Brandýs nad Labem, Dambořice, Dobruška, Doudleby nad Orlicí, Horažďovice and Příbram. The remaining encyclopaedical entries are being (or will be) gradually researched in a similar manner.
Please note that the entries are available only in the Czech language.

How to order an entry or entries from the electronic encyclopaedia
Please complete and send the following order form. We will email you confirmation of receipt, along with the price of the ordered files, and mail you an invoice. After the payment has been made to the Jewish Museum in Prague's account, we will send you the required files, either by email or ordinary mail (in the form of a CD).

Order Form

Street: No.  
I order entries:
Please order only localities ready for distribution










A computer database, “Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic”, is available in our on-line shop (Czech language only).

You can order the above Six encyclopaedia entries (which include photographic illustrations and are ready for sending), as well as entries from the index of entries ready for distribution. The latter entries, unlike those on display, are not provided with photographic illustrations. Photographs can be ordered individually from the Museum’s Photo Archive at martin.jelinek[at]jewishmuseum.cz.



© 2004 - 2008 Jewish Museum in Prague