The Tulsa Race Massacre and Oklahoma’s Jews

How local Jews - some with fresh memories of European pogroms - did their small part to help victims of one of the worst acts of racial violence in US history

"All That Was Left of His Home after the Tulsa Race Riot, 6-1-21" (Public Domain via DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University)

The Tulsa Race Massacre – also known as the Black Wall Street Massacre and the Tulsa Race Riot – was one of the most horrendous incidents of racial violence in United States history. On May 31 – June 1, 1921, hundreds of people were injured and killed, and thirty-five blocks of the city were destroyed, along with over 1,200 homes.

“Ruins of the Tulsa Race Riot, 6-1-21” (Public Domain via DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University)

While relatively few whites exhibited empathy and compassion to the persecuted African American community of Tulsa – largely due to the influence of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and others – many Jewish families made efforts to help African American families by taking them into their homes or businesses, feeding and clothing them, as well as hiding them during and after the atrocity.

During the time of the Race Massacre, a number of the Jewish families went into North Tulsa to secure their black employees, friends, and their families, in order to protect them at least until Martial Law was over on June 3rd… some even longer.

Many of the Jews in the city were recent immigrants from Eastern Europe who remembered firsthand suffering through violent pogroms and anti-Semitic policies in the Russian Empire and elsewhere.

Scenes like this undoubtedly brought back memories for many Tulsa Jews who had survived pogroms in Europe (Public Domain via DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University)

Here are a few family stories from that terrible time that have been passed down within the Oklahoma Jewish community.


Pickle vats and underskirts 

Jewish Latvian immigrant Sam Zarrow (1894-1975) and his wife Rose (1893-1982) owned a grocery store and hid some black friends in their large pickle vats at the store, while Rose concealed some of the little kids under her skirt! In addition, they hid others in the basement of their home. Sam and Rose’s sons, Henry (1916-2014) and Jack Zarrow (1925-2012) became two of the most well-known and philanthropic men in Tulsa’s history, supporting a range of causes across the city.


Waiting with a shotgun

Tulsan Abraham (Abe) Solomon Viner (1885-1959) and his wife Anna (1887-1976) owned the Peoples Building and Loan Association. On the day of the Massacre, Abe went to all of the homes on his block, collected all of the maids from their quarters and assembled them in his living room. He then sat by the front door with a shotgun in case anyone broke into the house.

Smoke billowing over Tulsa during the Race Massacre (Photo: Alvin C. Krupnick Co. / Public Domain via Library of Congress)

Threatening the Klan

The Race Massacre had a far-reaching effect even outside of Tulsa. At the time, Mike Froug (1889-1959), his wife Esther (1889-1967) and daughter Rosetta Froug Mulmed (1914-2003) were living in Ponca City, Oklahoma running a clothing store called the Pickens Department Store. Immediately after the Massacre, several Ku Klux Klan members came to his house at night and set a cross on fire on his front lawn.

Ponca City, Oklahoma, 1920s (Photo: Virgil T. Brown / Public Domain via Library of Congress)

Knowing who the perpetrators were (frequent shoppers in his store), Froug went to the head of the Klan with his gun and told him that if they ever did that again, he would shoot them. This act had such a profound effect on Froug that when he and his cousin Ohren Smulian (1903-1984) opened the first Froug’s Department Store in Tulsa in 1929, they became the first store in the city after the Massacre to allow whites and blacks to not only shop together but to try on clothes at the same time. In fact, Frougs was also the first white-owned store in Tulsa to have black salespeople.


“Get your Jew crew out of Tulsa”

Successful oilman N.C. Livingston was an active leader in the Tulsa Jewish community, heading the establishment of the burial society and Orthodox synagogue, where he also served as president and taught a Talmud class. From B’nai Emunah, 1916-1966, part of the National Library of Israel collections

Jewish Lithuanian immigrant and oilman Nathan C. Livingston (1861-1944) and his wife Anna Livingston (1871-1934) had a newly married black couple named Gene and Willie Byrd working for them in 1921. Gene was the family driver while Willie was their housekeeper. During the Race Massacre, the couple and eight others of their family stayed in the Livingston’s basement and in their garage apartment for several days until they felt safe to go home. The following year, N.C. Livingston’s son Julius received a letter from the KKK telling him and his brothers Jay K. and Herman to “get your Jew crew out of Tulsa.”

1922 Letter to Julius Livingston telling him to get his “Jew Crew out of Tulsa” (SMMJA Livingston Archives)

Staying home

During the Massacre, Jewish Lithuanian immigrant and oil producer Jacob Hyman Bloch (1888-1955) and his wife Esther Goodman Bloch (1895-1927) told their two young daughters, Jean and Sura, to stay away from the windows and no to go to school or outside to play, while hiding their housekeeper in their home.

Jacob Hyman Bloch was also an active member in the local community, succeeding N.C. Livingstone as synagogue president in 1924. From B’nai Emunah, 1916-1966, part of the National Library of Israel collections

Driving to safety

Jewish Latvian immigrant Jacob Fell (1885-1959) and his wife Esther Fell (1886-1980) owned The Mis-Fit Clothing Store in Tulsa. During the race riots, Jacob gathered up several black friends, hid them in his large storage car trunk, and drove them to a safe area.

The Mis-Fit Clothing Store in Tulsa

“But not you Mr. Katz”

In Stillwater, Oklahoma the Ku Klux Klan also had a robust chapter. German immigrant Jacob Katz (1873-1968) started his department store in Stillwater in 1894, becoming the first Jew in the town. Katz was a highly respected merchant and town promoter and was on the Stillwater Board of Commissioners. During the heyday of the KKK, right after the Tulsa Massacre, members marched through Stillwater with anti-Jewish signs (there were only 12 Jews in Stillwater at the time!), along with one that read at the end of the line: “But not you Mr. Katz.”


A version of this article was originally published in the May 2021 edition of the Tulsa Jewish Review. It appears here as part of Gesher L’Europa, the National Library of Israel’s initiative to share stories and connect with people, institutions and communities in Europe and beyond.

The Age of Discovery as Reflected in Antique Maps

The Age of Discovery led to the broadening of human knowledge about the geography of the world we live in and landscapes and peoples in faraway regions in America and Asia. These discoveries are reflected in antique maps preserved in the National Library

This year marks the 500th anniversary of the death of the famous explorer Ferdinand Magellan. His voyages in the service of the Portuguese and Spanish crowns led to the discovery of sailing routes and parts of the world that were previously unknown in the West. It is possible to trace Magellan’s travels and discoveries as well as the knowledge accrued by other travelers and researchers during the Age of Discovery by studying the antique maps preserved in the Eran Laor Cartographic Collection at the National Library of Israel.

Gregor Reisch’s unique world map from 1503 is one such interesting example. The basic format of the map follows the famous Ptolemy world map, which includes the ancient world that was known to geographers before the Age of Discovery.

However, at the bottom of this map, on the land bridge linking Southeast Asia to Africa there is an inscription (marked in yellow): “Here there is no continent but a sea with islands that were not known to Ptolemy.” This is the first ever reference on a printed map hinting at Columbus’ discoveries and his belief that he had discovered islands off the coast of Asia.

This is also the first time that the winds are depicted as individualized, stylized faces (and not as cherubs as had been the practice until then); one of the winds is even wearing spectacles, the first printed representation of their use.

As everyone knows, one of the most significant finds of the Age of Discovery was Columbus’ discovery of America in 1492. In the first decades after Columbus’ voyage, the continent was referred to on maps as the “New World”:

A New Description of America the New World, 1570

This map of North and South America from 1596 titled “America the New World” includes the figures of explorers Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, Magellan and Francisco Pizarro, along with the year of their voyages, as well as depictions of ships, an anchor, and navigation tools such as compasses and maps.

Ferdinand Magellan
Amerigo Vespucci after whom the continents of America are named

The Clover Map, 1585, presents the continents of the ancient world in the shape of three clover leaves, with “America the New World” in the lower left corner.

This map represents the old and the new. On the one hand, it presents the three continents of Europe, Asia and Africa as well as the religious motive behind the map’s creation, with Jerusalem at the center and the city of Rome – the seat of the Pope – also highlighted.  On the other hand, the map also features the “new” geographical reality – the discovery of the continent of America.  Although the book from which the map is taken deals with sacred literature, the author felt he could not ignore the new discovery and decided to include it in the map.

World atlas, 1585

The first map appearing in the atlas is a world map that includes America. A caption in the southwestern part of the map refers to Magellan’s discoveries.

The second map in the atlas is entitled “America the New World.”

This meticulously hand-painted pocket atlas makes use of gold leaf to give it an impressive, high-quality finish.

Map of America, circa 1610

The map features the captions Nova Francia, (today—most of the Quebec region in Canada) and Nova Hispania (today—the central United States and the countries of Central America). With the discovery of these new lands, the European powers were quick to take control of the territories and exploit them for their own needs.

The Europeans who came to South America viewed the indigenous peoples of the new continent with curiosity and they adorned the maps with illustrations depicting the daily lives of the natives. Here, indigenous people in Brazil make an alcoholic beverage from the manioc root (fermentation of the plant root involves a process of cooking, chewing and spitting).

Hunters and fishermen in boats:

This picturesque map includes both local and mythological fauna. In the sea, we can see a flying fish and a sea monster, and along the bottom frame, the map’s illustrator includes birds native to South America.

The explorers were not always able to accurately determine the nature of their discoveries in real time. An example of this is the representation of the Baja California Peninsula:

Map of North and Central America, 1669, with the incorrect identification of the Baja California Peninsula as an island.

One can see that the shoreline is mapped in relative detail, while the interior is mostly empty because the cartographers did not yet have the time to study it and map it accurately. Illustrations of animals typical of the area do appear on the map.

This world map from around 1580 includes an inscription referring to Columbus and the date of the discovery of America, 1492, as well as the inscription “America or New India.” This inscription matches Columbus’ belief that he had reached India (this is the origin of the term “Indians” for the indigenous people of this continent).

Map of the region of the Philippines, 1593 [Ferdinand Magellan discovered the Philippine islands during his voyage in 1521]

In the illustrations on the map in the south and the areas of the oceans, the indigenous peoples engaged in fishing and hunting using spears and bows are depicted half-naked. On land, in the north, most of the figures are clothed.

Map of the region of the Philippines, 1595, pointing south. The map features illustrations of animals and a European ship.

The areas of China on the map include beautiful illustrations of animals that contemporary Europeans were unaccustomed to seeing:

In 1519, Magellan’s ships passed from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean through what would later be named the Strait of Magellan.

Map of the Strait, 1638

Next to the strait is a pair of penguins standing in the territory of Chile.

A Portolan chart from Blaeu’s Atlas, 1663, includes markings of the sailing routes in the East Indies and Philippines and illustrations of European ships.

World Map with New Discoveries—Including Figures and Landscapes of Recently Discovered Lands, 1748

The illustration below shows an example of a newly discovered land in which farmers gather crops in the fields, packed goods await shipping, a hunter shoots an arrow from a bow, while ships sail in the background.

And here we see the deserts of Africa, and a figure with a lion.

Map of the region of Polynesia and Australia, 1790. The map includes markings of the sailing routes of explorers such as James Cook (who was the first European to reach Eastern Australia) and Abel Tasman (after whom Tasmania was named) who discovered New Zealand.

Australia is called Ulimaroa—the name given to it by a Swedish geographer, which remained in use in European maps for about four decades.

The northeast region of New Zealand with Cook’s and Tasman’s travel routes and the years of their journeys.

Map of the region of Australia and Polynesia, 1796, with the caption “New Holland” for Australia. This was the period when the Netherlands was one of the leading powers in maritime trade and shipping, and the area of Western Australia was under Dutch ​​control.

This map too, features the sailing routes of navigators and explorers, including their names and the dates of the voyages.

Magellan’s discoveries and the new findings of the Age of Discovery are reflected in these picturesque antique maps that offer evidence of a changing worldview in light of the new discoveries and the scientific innovation in the fields of navigation and cartography. The maps document not only the new continents, but also the landscapes that were so unique to the Western eye. Today they still offer the viewer an experience that is both aesthetic and educational.

You are welcome to continue browsing the Eran Laor Cartographic Collection– on the National Library of Israel website.

How I Found the Lost Ending to a Legendary Author’s Story

Modern technology helped reveal the conclusion to "Falik and His House", written by renowned Yiddish author Jacob Dinezon nearly 120 years ago

Old Yiddish newspapers now online brought to light the end of the tale of Falik, who refuses to leave the Old Country even as his house literally falls down around him (Image: Dinezon, his story and a shack like Falik's)

There is something exhilarating about making a research find—especially when the discovery adds real historical or literary value. That’s what happened recently when a lost piece of Jacob Dinezon’s writing was located in an old Yiddish newspaper available via the Historical Jewish Press project, an initiative of the National Library of Israel in partnership with Tel Aviv University.

My first encounter with this extraordinary resource was in obtaining information about Dinezon’s death and funeral in the Warsaw Yiddish newspaper, Haynt (Today). Most of these reports, which were translated into English by Tina Lunson and are now online, were published in late August and early September of 1919.

Full page death announcement for Jacob Dinezon, published in the August 31, 1919 issue of Haynt. From the National Library of Israel Digital Collection

This latest discovery was motivated by the Yiddish translator Mindy Liberman who recently completed the first English translation of Jacob Dinezon’s novella, Falik un zayn hoyz (Falik and His House), which was initially published in fifteen installments in the Yiddish newspaper, Der fraynd (The Friend), in 1904. These installments were subsequently republished by Akhisefer in Warsaw, Poland, as part of a collection of volumes celebrating Dinezon’s 10th yortsayt (the 10th anniversary of his death) in 1929. Interestingly, the book was titled, Falik in zayn hoyz (Falk in His House).

The Akhisefer publishing house’s 1929 printing of Falik in zayn hoyz. From the National Library of Israel Digital Collection

I first met Mindy at a meeting of the California Institute for Yiddish Culture and Language in December 2019, during a commemoration of Dinezon’s 100th yortsayt. After my talk, Mindy approached me and mentioned that she had been translating poems by the Yiddish poet Miriam Ulinover, was enjoying the process, and was interested in continuing her translation efforts with a work of fiction.

At that time, I told her that I was about to take a break from the Dinezon work but that there was one short Dinezon novel, Falik un zayn hoyz (Falik and His House), which had always intrigued me. From what I had read, the plot was most unusual. The story focuses on an old tailor, Falik, whose sons have moved from Eastern Europe to America. The sons want their parents to join them, but Falik, even though his house is falling down around him, doesn’t want to leave the Old Country. According to the Yiddish literary historian Shmuel Rozshanski, “Dinezon was possibly the first of the Yiddish writers in Russia to describe this type of Jew who doesn’t want to leave his old home even though he endlessly suffers in it.” (Translation by Miri Koral)

Mindy and I exchanged email addresses, and a short time later, I sent her a link to an online version of Falik un zayn hoyz made available by the Yiddish Book Center’s Steven Spielberg Digital Yiddish Library.

When Mindy read the Yiddish book, she discovered something startling: the final few pages of the story were missing!

Instead of the end of the story, this notice from the publisher appeared:

Publisher’s note at the end of Falik in zayn hoyz. From the National Library of Israel Digital Collection

Mindy’s translation of the notice:

From the publisher:

This story “Falik and his House” was once published in “Fraynd.” Before his death, Jacob Dinezon heavily revised (literal: improved) it, threw out and added whole pages, and had it typeset in book form. He prepared the proofs himself.

The story was typeset until the last page, but he did not manage to set the type for the last few lines of the proof sheet.

We present it as it was left at the hand of the deceased author.


The novella was published without the ending!

I couldn’t believe that Dinezon hadn’t written an ending to his story. Certainly, Der fraynd wouldn’t have published fifteen installments without the final words. Why didn’t they just go back to the original newspaper to find the ending?

Then it occurred to me, the original newspapers were published twenty-five years earlier. At that time, finding an archive of Der fraynd, which stopped publishing in 1913, was probably impossible. So Falik’s publishers did the best they could and printed what they had.

Today we have resources they couldn’t have even imagined back then, including the aforementioned Historical Jewish Press! So I headed online to see if they had issues of Der fraynd and was delighted to find that they had digital images of the entire run of the newspaper!

Now, at this point, I have to admit, there was still a problem: I don’t read Yiddish. I’ve always had to hire Yiddish translators to read any of Dinezon’s books or the research materials related to his life and times. So I knew there was no way I could read the bold Yiddish headlines on my own. But I did have an image of the title from the book, so in effect, like a computer, I basically relied on image recognition.

By matching the name of the work to that which appeared in the digitized issues of Der Fraynd, the author was able to locate the long-lost conclusion to Dinezon’s story

Starting with Friday, January 1st, 1904, I began scanning through the newspaper, day-by-day and page-by-page.

The first appearance of Falik un zayn hoyz showed up on January 17th. The page was damaged, and the installment number was missing. There was also a surprise: the title was not Falik IN His House but Falik AND His House — which makes sense when you read the story and realize the house is presented as a character who Falik often calls “Brother.”

Part one of “Falik un zayn hoyz”, published in the January 17, 1904 issue of Der Fraynd. From the National Library of Israel Digital Collection

Jumping forward a few months from January, I found the installment for Part 13 on May 8th and Part 14 on May 22nd. At the bottom of that installment were the words, “ende kumt” (“end coming”).

Part 14 of “Falik un zayn hoyz”, published in the May 22, 1904 issue of Der Fraynd, concludes with the words “ende kumt” (“end coming”). From the National Library of Israel Digital Collection

Needless to say, my excitement soared as I thought, “At last, I’m going to find the final chapter of this story!”

With renewed energy, I slowly started going through each issue of the newspaper from May 23rd through the end of June, page-by-page, column-by-column. But as hard as I tried, I couldn’t find the missing part. I went back again through the whole lot without success.

Part 15 was missing.

Was it possible that Dinezon had never finished the story or that for some reason, the newspaper had never published the final installment? Frustrated and exhausted, I said, “To hell with it!” and went to bed.

Getting up the next morning, I just couldn’t let it rest. It just didn’t make sense. How could Dinezon not finish his story, and how could Der fraynd not publish it after promising the installment was forthcoming? It had to be there somewhere!

So I went back and downloaded twenty-five full-page PDF copies of the newspaper starting from the day after the appearance of Part 14. This way, I could scan through each day in a much more precise manner on my large computer screen.

And that’s how I found it! At the very bottom of page two on June 1st: Part 15 of Falik and His House! An early 20th-century historical literary discovery made possible by our 21st-century technology.

Part 15, the lost installment of “Falik un zayn hoyz”, published in the June 1,1904 issue of Der Fraynd. From the National Library of Israel Digital Collection

Mindy Liberman has now completed her translation of Jacob Dinezon’s Falik and His House, which includes Dinezon’s long-lost final lines — an additional four full pages! On April 16th, 2021, Jewish Storyteller Press published Dinezon’s novella in its entirety for the very first time in English.

There’s one more thing that was confirmed by scanning through all those online newspapers. It has always been my contention that Jacob Dinezon deserves equal recognition alongside the other prominent Yiddish writers of his day. For Dinezon, 1904 was a banner year. Der fraynd published two of his novellas and several of his short stories. Dinezon’s works appeared side-by-side with the works of Sholem Aleichem, I. L. Peretz, Mendele Mocher Sforim, and S. Ansky.

At that moment in time, Dinezon was easily as well-known and popular as his now more famous colleagues and friends.


A version of this article originally appeared in Jacob Dinezon: Beloved Uncle of Modern Yiddish Literature under the headline “A Research Discovery”. It has been published here as part of Gesher L’Europa, the National Library of Israel’s initiative to connect with people, institutions and communities across Europe and beyond, through storytelling, knowledge sharing and community engagement.

Dozens of letters written to Dinezon (sometimes spelled Dineson), as well as a number of manuscripts he wrote, may be found in the National Library of Israel’s Jacob Dineson Collection.

Rabbi Löw’s “Kiss” from Prison

101 years after it was written, "The Kiss" by preeminent Hungarian Rabbi Immánuel Löw has finally been translated into English

Rabbi Immánuel Löw as a young man (Hidvégi Collection, Budapest, Hungary)

Exactly 101 years ago, on Friday evening, April 23, 1920, the community members of the Neolog Jewish congregation in Szeged, Hungary waited for Chief Rabbi Immánuel Löw in vain in front of the city’s New Synagogue.

On that very day, he was imprisoned for fourteen months based on false accusations.

Construction of Szeged’s New Synagogue was initiated by Rabbi Löw, who also designed its stained glass windows and interior (Photo: Dóra Pataricza)


Rabbi’s Löw’s statement of defense, from the National Library of Israel collection. Wrongly convicted of defamation, he was released after a year in jail, following international intervention

While still in prison, he began writing his masterpiece, Die Flora der Juden (The Flora of the Jews), in which he describes the flora that appear in the Torah, the Talmud, and medieval Jewish literature. Another result of his imprisonment was that he expanded an earlier essay of his, written on the topic of the kiss. He wrote the first version of Der Kuß (The Kiss) — a significant work in folkloristics — in Hungarian in 1882 for the wedding of his friend, and published it in only thirty copies.

It describes the topic of kisses and the act of kissing in Jewish and non-Jewish literature.

A copy of the 1882 printing of “The Kiss”, with the inscription: “To Mrs. Ignác Goldziher with greetings from the author”. From the National Library of Israel collection

When Immánuel Löw was detained, his son, Lipót Löw (named after Immánuel’s father, who is regarded as perhaps the most important figure in Neolog Judaism) was allowed to send some of his father’s scholarly work to the prison.

Lipót recalled this moment in his unpublished memoir:

“When I was finally able to deliver materials for his scientific research to the prison cell for the Ministry of Justice, I first had to choose between the materials of two of his studies: Der Kuß (The Kiss) and Tränen (The Tears). I chose the first one. An outsider could not know what said content in the cell’s solitude could trigger in the prisoner.”

It was only due to his son’s decision that Löw was thus able to extend the essay he had written almost forty years previously to fifty-one pages and translate it into German. The editors at the Monatsschrift für Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judentums (Monthly Magazine for Science and History of Judaism) even had to add the following sentence to the first part of the publication in 1921: “For special reasons, the author was unable to read the second proof of this article himself.”

Table of contents for The Kiss, as it was published in Monatsschrift für Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judentums. Part I and Part II of the article are available online via the Löw Heritage Foundation

In The Kiss, Löw gives a comprehensive and multi-faceted overview of the cultural history of the kiss, written in an easy to understand and even enjoyable style. Löw describes the act of kiss as a motif and the phenomenon of kissing from linguistic, anthropologic, religious, historical, legal, folkloristic, eschatological and even poetical points of views. He used various sources from a variety of cultural contexts.

The knowledge that permeates his work is fascinating — especially knowing that the circumstances in which he worked on the extended version of The Kiss were anything but ideal.

Despite their historical, cultural and literary value, Löw’s works are almost non-existent in English. To fill this gap, and to preserve the work of this invaluable figure of Hungarian Jewish thought, in the autumn of 2019 we decided to translate The Kiss from German to English.

Throughout the translation process, we strove to create a text that would be easy for a 21st century reader to follow. The bulk of the translation was done during the first wave of COVID-19 and, without the option of physically accessing any of the relevant major libraries, we were forced to do all the necessary background research using only online, digitized collections and email correspondences. The first volume of 1824’s  Geist der pharisäischen Lehre (The Spirit of Pharisaic Teaching), for example, could only be accessed through the National Library of Israel’s Digital Collection.

Cover page of the National Library of Israel’s digitized edition of Geist der pharisäischen Lehre, which had been looted by the Nazis and held in Reich Institute for the History of New Germany’s library

Löw cited his references only in abbreviated form. The original edition lacks a bibliography and also a list of abbreviations — likely due to the circumstances in which he worked on the piece. Löw composed this work for the readership of Monatsschrift für Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judentums where he often published articles on various topics. We therefore have to assume that at the time The Kiss was published, his audience was familiar with both the references and their system of citation. With backgrounds in Jewish studies, classical philology, history and the study of religions, and as a result of an extended research process, in most instances we were able to reconstruct which editions Löw would have used when writing this extended version of The Kiss.

Whenever Löw gave volume/page numbers, we looked for the exact edition in which the page number matches with the one mentioned by Löw. Librarians and fellow researchers will certainly be able to identify with our happiness and pride in successfully deciphering a number of these abbreviations, such as Ritter X 258, Goldziher Islam 253 (with the note that Ignaz Goldziher had several works containing the word Islam in the title) and Homil. 30. We plan on sharing the solutions to some of these riddles on our instagram account @szegedjewisharchives.

Though some of the volumes from Löw’s library survived and can now be found in the National Library of Israel collection, the library catalogue was lost following the tragic events of 1944–1945, making it impossible to confidently identify all of the works, sources or editions he referred to in the original text.

Rabbi Immanuel Löw and his wife Belle Breuning
Rabbi Immanuel Löw and his wife Breuning Bella, ca. 1944. From the National Library of Israel collection

Some thirty years after Löw’s 1944 death, a number of his writings, including The Kiss were republished by Alexander Scheiber in Studien zur jüdischen Folklore (Studies in Jewish Folklore). Löw officiated as chief rabbi of the Szeged Jewish community for 65 years and many documents relating to his time there and the community more broadly have recently been digitized and indexed, and are available online via the Szeged Jewish Archives.


This article has been published as part of Gesher L’Europa, the National Library of Israel’s initiative to connect with people, institutions and communities across Europe and beyond, through storytelling, knowledge sharing and community engagement.

The Immánuel Löw Archive is safeguarded among the National Library of Israel collections in Jerusalem.