Savez jevrejskih opština Srbije

  • Federation of the Jewish Communities of Serbia
  • (Former) Federation of Jewish Communities of Yugoslavia
  • (Former) Savez jevrejskih opština Jugoslavije

History

The Federation of the Jewish Communities of Serbia (FJCS) is an umbrella organisation whose main duty is to represent the Jewish community of Serbia at national and international level, as well as to coordinate the existing local Jewish communities (Belgrade, Novi Sad, Subotica, Sombor, Kikinda, Pancevo, Zemun, Pristina, Zrenjanin, Nis). As former Federation of the Jewish Communities of Yugoslavia, the FJCS preserves in its library and its museum (the Historical Jewish Museum) a large number of books, archival sources and other materials concerning the life of the Jewish community, mainly during the XIX and XX centuries. The history of the Library of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Serbia dates back to right after the World War One when, at the initiative of the then President of the Sephardic Jewish Community, Dr. David Albala, the „Serbian – Jewish Youth Community“ was founded, which organized different cultural events, performances and lectures in the hall of the Jewish home Oneg Šabat (currently these premises are the “Sinema Rex”).

This institution, in cultural terms, was the predecessor of the Jewish Reading Room, which was founded in 1929 at the initiative of Aron Alkalaj, as the Cultural Centre of Belgrade Jews. During WWII, the archives and the documentation of the Jewish Reading Room was practically completely destroyed, including also most of the books in its library fund.

The Library was renewed immediately after the WWII within the overall revitalization of the Jewish community in Yugoslavia, including cultural activities in the new Yugoslavia. Its initial library fund consisted of the Judaica. Olga Pops-Timotijević separated the Judaica from a branch of the Berlin University which, already during the war, through unusual coincidences, ended up in Belgrade and was housed in the publishing house Borba.

Sources

  • YV/ClaimsCon'06