BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (EJP)— Despite numbering no more than 60 people, the Jewish community in the Slovakian town of Komárno has been steadily increasing its activities and has recently entered the online age.
There has been a Jewish presence in Komárno for almost 215 years and before the Holocaust, there were more than 2,500 members of the community.
The majority of the Jewish community were murdered by the Nazis during WWII leaving a minuscule number of Jews in the 37,000 population town.
But the small number hasn’t dampened all the enthusiasm.
In September 2000, the Jewish community of Komárno established a Jewish cultural and community centre called the Menhaz in the building which hosts the only Synagogue of the three in the town that survived the war.
Within the halls of the building visitors can find The Micromuseum of Ármin Schnitzer, The Library of Béla Spitzer and The Education Center of Pinchas leb Frieden, offering a full picture of the history, traditions, and culture of the Jews of Komarno.
In 2001, the community introduced the Chalon Window program which runs social events for Jews across Southern Slovakia and Western Hungary which have also been open to people of other religions interested in Jewish culture.
Another project has been the publication since 1996 of “Hitközségi Híradó – Spravodaj”, the only Jewish newsletter in Slovakia.
Written in Hungarian with a short summary in Slovakian, the monthly publication aims to “bring the reader closer to the past, and show the way in to the future”.
A spokesman for the newsletter said: “We have readers not only from Slovakia and Hungary, but also in Israel, USA, Australia.”
It is run by two young editors, András and Tamás Paszternák, that work as volunteers for the community, help peoples with articles, design and layout from the whole region.
And in 2005 the community launched an online publication, Kehreg.com (Kehila Regio) which is updated almost daily with stories from the life of Jewish communities of the two sides of the Danube.