Generally, those from Northern Transylvania were more pious.

Arnold (Ali) and Claudia (Baba) Junger
Date of birth:
1926, 1931
Getta Neumann
November 2012
Haifa, Israel

Ali: I was born in Dej  in 1927. We moved to Timisoara when my father was transferred from Cluj to the shoe factory that was a subsidiary of Dermata, the famous factory in Cluj, and a competitor of the factory in Czechoslovakia. At the age of three, I attended the first Jewish institution, the kindergarten in the Fabric district, and Mr. Székely and Mrs. Kaufteil were my teachers in the Jewish primary school. At that time, over 10,000 Jews lived in Timisoara, mostly merchants and industrialists; the standard of living of many families was higher than average.

There were many places of prayer in Timisoara: the Great Synagogue of Fabric; the Great Synagogue in Cetate on Mărăşeşti Street; the Synagogue of Iosefin on Fröbl Street, and the Orthodox Synagogue on Ion Creangă Street, where I would go to pray with my father. The Spanish Jewish Synagogue was small but extremely beautiful. There were two big yeshivot, or schools of religious education. One in Fabric, the other in Iosefin. There were many orthodox Jews, that is, very pious. We kept the Sabbath. Before the meal on Friday, I would take the pot of cholent to the baker close to the synagogue, and on Saturday I would bring home the delicious food prepared by my mother. […]

Both my parents were originally from Transylvania. My father was from Baia Mare, but he was born in Czechoslovakia, Austria-Hungary at that time, and my mother was the daughter of a farrier, a blacksmith from Dej. They led a more solid Jewish life than us, who were from Timisoara. Generally, those from Northern Transylvania were more pious. People kept kosher. Both at my house and at Baba's, our parents kept kosher. We would go to the temple on Friday evenings and Saturdays; but not every Saturday, because it was far away, and we had to walk. Throughout the holidays, we were at the temple. On Saturday, all the children were dressed nicely.

Neumann, G. (2014) "Destine evreiești la Timișoara. Portretul comunității din perioada interbelică până azi", Bucharest: Hasefer Publishing House

The stories of the Jewish community

Read the testimonies of three generations of Jews and  discover the sinuous destiny of this community