The documented history of the Jewish Community of Timisoara begins 500 years ago in the Iberian Peninsula, when the Spanish kings brutally expelled Sephardic Jewry. A consistent portion of those 100,000 Jewish expatriates settled on Ottoman territory in Greece, where they were quickly welcomed by the sultans. However, several Sephardi families continued their traveling saga, finding their home in Ottoman Timisoara. These are the dawns of the local Hebrew community. A long path encrusted with wealthy periods such as those experienced under the sultans but also with times of hostility and resentment when blind hatred of rulers transcended humanity.
Timisoara may not have the famous Jewish attractions of Prague’s Josefov quarter, but it is certainly generous with Jewish-related life stories and historical events. Furthermore, brilliant natives of Jewish ethnicity changed Timisoara and the surrounding region for the better. Alongside the impressive synagogues, a large number of Timisoara’s valuable buildings were either financed or designed by Jewish townsmen.
All of the above-mentioned are parts of the Jewish heritage of Timisoara, and we are inviting you to discover it!
What will we practically do for this? We will follow the general history of Timisoara City, emphasizing the evolution of the Jewish community, the moments when it has been in danger, and the moments when it has benefited from local tolerance. We will visit the location of the tiny Jewish Quarter of Timisoara’s Innerstadt (Citadelle) with its beautiful Moorish Synagogue (seen only from the outside). Following that, we’ll learn about the history and architecture of the large Status-Quo synagogue in the Fabrikstadt neighborhood. Its deplorable state reflects the evolution of the Jewish community, which once accounted for 12% of the city’s population but now accounts for only 0.2%. The next stop on our tour is the first “stolperstein” (stumbling stone) ever laid in Romania. These small stones are monuments made of iron or copper bearing a brass plate inscribed with the name and life dates of victims of Nazi extermination in a certain place. This will be an opportunity to reveal how the tragic Holocaust happened in Timisoara.
Do not hesitate to contact us. We are a team of experts and we are happy to hear from you.