ZENICA , town in central Bosnia on the Bosna River in a mining belt – where coal was extracted and iron and steel were produced – with corresponding industrial and commercial undertakings. Jews arrived during the 18th century. The oldest tombstone, dated 1747, attests to the Jewish presence at that time. A community was established in 1880 and a handsome synagogue in Moorish style was erected in 1903. In 1910 about 300 Jews lived there. Judah Montiiljo headed the community. Cantors were Moritz Altarac and Moritz Salom. The Zionist group was headed by Otto Loewy and Albert Ozmo.
During the Holocaust all the Jews perished. A memorial was consecrated in 1967. The synagogue was desecrated and plundered but survived; the building serves as a museum.
pk – Yugoslavia (1988).
[Zvi Loker (2nd ed.)]