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SOMBOR (Hung. Zombor ), city in N.W. Yugoslavia, in the district of Bačka, province of Vojvodina; part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until 1918. The first (registered) Jewish families came to settle in the mid-18th century. By the middle of the 19th century, a Jewish school existed where teaching was done in Hebrew and Yiddish, the use of the latter language eventually being objected to by the authorities and prohibited. The first synagogue in Sombor was erected in 1825 and the second in 1865. Among the founders of the kehillah was Jacob Stein. Conservative in doctrine, its first rabbi was David Kohn (d. 1884). By the end of the 19th century there were 200 Jewish taxpayers, and 650 Jews out of a total population of 25,000. The community had a bikkur ḥolim society and during the century the town and its kehillah grew considerably. In 1910 there were 1,000 Jews out of a population of 35,000, and by 1940 there were 1,200 out of 45,000 inhabitants in the city. A talmud torah was founded in 1925. In the 1920s and 1930s various youth and Zionist organizations opened chapters in Sombor. The last rabbi before the Holocaust was Michael Fischer. Like other places in Vojvodina, the Hungaro-German occupation resulted in the extermination of this once active Jewish community. The last Jews were sent to Auschwitz via Backa Topola on April 5, 1944. In 1953 a monument to the victims of the Holocaust was erected. The synagogue was used by a local commercial enterprise.


S. Guttman, A szombori zsidók története (1928); Magyar Zsido Lexikon (1929), s.v.Zombor; L. Fischer, in: Jevrejski Almanah…, 4 (1928/29), 76. add. bibliography: Z. Loker (ed.), Yehudei Vojvodina be-Et he-Ḥadashah (1994), with Eng. summary.

[Zvi Loker]

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