A bit of history


The first Jewish families settled down along the banks of the Mures river during the XVII century. In the next century, Targu Mures had the second biggest Jewish community in Transilvania, after the one of Alba Iulia. The first communities were established in Nazna and Sancraiu de Mures. Gradually, the Jews appeared in the city and in 1829 there were two Jews officially registered living in Targu Mures: Jozsef Vojtitz and Izsak Schwartz. And although the city council still prohibited the settlement of Jews in the city, a census from 1850 showed that out of the 8719 people who lived at the time in Targu Mures, 249 were Jews; The Rabi Mor Furst also settled in the city around this time and served as a rabi until 1870.

The revolution of 1848-1849 brought a favorable turn in the life of the Jews, who, for the first time, assumed a collective role in the local society. In 1867, Hungary signed a political partnership with Austria, a partnership which recognized the Jewish religion equal with the other religions. Strangely, those new civil rights brought to the split of the community in two religious movements: orthodox and "status quo ante" (more liberal oriented). The separation included two different synagogues, each of them with its own rabbi. This situation was maintained until 1944. As more civil rights were obtained, voluntary assimilation amplified, this being a typical phenomenon in the liberal Europe of the XIX century. The Jewish population chose either the Hungarian or the German language as the everyday language used.

The first synagogue was built in 1862 and the first Jewish public school in 1880, and on the 2nd of February 1889 the building of the big synagogue began, designed by the Austrian Jewish architect, Jakab Gartner. The location of the synagogue was chosen on the Scolii (School) street.

The year 1918 represented a turning point for the Jews of Transilvania, who were forced to make existential choices, in a world turned upside down by new ideologies. The choices were the different Jewish movements, from ultra-orthodox and Hassidic to liberalism, or Zionism, a new revolutionary movement in the Jewish world. In 1910 there were 2755 Jews in Targu Mures, and in 1930 the number increased to 4828 alongside 22,387 Hungarians and 9795 Romanians.

The rapid development of the economy in the years between the two World Wars, due to the infusion of foreign capital and due to the Romanian state policy, led to the increase of the number of Jews of Targu Mures to 7500. They were living mainly in the Trandafirilor square, or on the streets Revolution, Mihai Eminescu, Sinaia and Horea. You could also find them in the streets where the two synagogue were, in the mikve, the Apollo palace, the hotel Splendid, the Jewish school or the Burger residence.

The Jews contributed in a significant way to the economic and cultural life of Targu Mures. Among famous Jews of the city we can find: founders of enterprises (Albert Burger and Jozsef Szekely), merchants, doctors, bankers, lawyers (Andor Fekete) poets (Erno Salamon , Istvan Gabor , Laszlo Sebestyen ), journalists and politicians with different political orientations.

After the occupation of the North of Transilvania, the Jews suffered the anti-Semitic laws: in 1942 the young and healthy Jews were sent to labor camps and between May-June 1944, 7500 women, children and old people were deported to concentration camps, and 5943 of them never came back. After 1945 the two Jewish communities were united into the Status Quo Ante community which exists till today. In the present the community has approximately 200 members , including the non-Jewish family members.