Kneginje Ljubice 14, 11000 Beograd

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The Jewish Historical Museum 

The Jewish Historical Museum in Belgrade was founded in 1948. The Museum is established within the Federation of Jewish Communities of Serbia and is a unique museum in the country. It is thematically specialized and complex in terms of contents. Apart from museum collections, it also has a significant archive.

The activity of the Jewish Historical Museum is versatile and dynamic – it stages exhibitions continually, it has a dynamic publishing activity, and as the only museum of its type, it provides daily assistance and information to scholars, scientists, students and artists, and other interested individuals.

Apart from maintaining contacts with individuals, the Jewish Historical Museum cooperates closely with other similar national and international institutions. There are frequent individual and small group visits to the permanent exhibition of the Museum, and over recent years, there is an increasing number of group visits, especially foreign.

The staff of the Jewish Historical Museum:

Ms. Vojislava Radovanović, ethnologist, JHM director
Ms. Branka Džidić, philologist, archivist
Ms. Barbara Panić, art historian

Working hours:
Monday – Friday, 8:30 – 15:30 hours;
For visitors: 10 – 14 hours (group visits can be arranged)
Tel. (381) 11 / 26 22 634, 29 10 327
E-mail: jevrejskimuzej.beograd@gmail.com

 

The Library


History

The history of the founding of the Library of the Federation of Jewish Communities goes back to the time immediately after the end of the First World War when, at the initiative of the President of the then Sephardic Jewish Municipality, dr. David Albala founded the "Serbian-Jewish Youth Community", which organized various cultural events, events, and lectures in the hall of the Jewish home of Oneg Shabbat (today the building of Sinema Rex).

This institution, culturally, preceded the Jewish Readership, which was founded in 1929 on the initiative of Aaron Alkalaj, like the Cultural Center of Belgrade Jews. This reading room aimed to be “… a modern reading room for books and newspapers and a place where the Jewish and wider Belgrade circle, especially the youth, will have the opportunity to meet and learn about all the lasting values ​​that the Jewish people have bestowed on humanity and were to become acquainted with the life and works of prominent Jews in the fields of science, art, literature, and philosophy, the Jewish youth and the world, to become acquainted with the bright and sad sides of the history of the Jewish people ... ". The Jewish Reading Room hosted not only Jewish distinguished intellectuals but rather Serbian public workers, scientists, publicists, university professors, members of the Academy of Sciences, writers and journalists. As a public forum, it was accessible to all directions and opinions, allowing discussing the problems of Jewish national reconstruction. In terms of material resources, she was referred to herself, that is, voluntary contributions from citizens and gifts in the books of Gece Kon, a prominent Belgrade librarian, and publisher.

Unfortunately, during the Second World War, the archives and documentation of the Jewish Reading Room were destroyed almost completely, as well as the largest number of books from its library stock.

The current library

The library was rebuilt immediately after the Second World War as part of the overall and cultural revitalization of the life and work of the Jewish community in the new Yugoslavia. Her startup fund was Jewish. Olga Pops-Timotijevic extracted her from the library of a branch of the University of Berlin, which, during the war, had arrived in Belgrade during unusual circumstances and was housed in the Borba building.

Although it represents only one of the cultural activities of the Alliance, the library has a specific significance and role. By its nature and purpose, it is one of the specialized libraries of the open type and the only one in Serbia collects and preserves Judaica - publications with Jewish themes, ie works of Jewish and non-Jewish authors in the field of science, literature, journalism, encyclopedic material… In 1979 it was separated from its holdings of about 300 of the oldest and most valuable manuscripts and books, and a portion of these rarities has been donated to the Jewish History Museum for preservation and restoration. With the Jewish History Museum, it is one of the main sources of information for researchers and scholars, historians, linguists, translators, and artists engaged in the study of Jewish history, literature, religion, customs, art, and the entire Jewish heritage.

The Library contains, according to the Inventory Book, 7,057 library units in Serbian and several foreign languages ​​(German, English, Hungarian, Hebrew, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, etc.). The inventory book lists book titles (and author names) in chronological order of book acquisition (whether by purchase or gift) that are processed and included - stacked on shelves. Previously, the catalog in question was kept (by fields - topics), but the existing one is no longer up-to-date due to the lack of updating.

The basic way to keep a record of books now is in the alphabetical catalog, which means by the surname and first name of the author. Books are placed on shelves by numbers (numerous current). In addition to encyclopedic publications, they are also readable by community members and others for use in the library room.

The library has not had a permanent librarian for many years, and is realistically out of function, except in exceptional cases when some researchers are issued books for use in the library room. In order for the library to come to life again, and to make its rich and specific fund accessible again, it is necessary to permanently resolve the issue of librarians, to edit and renew the alphabetical catalog and signatures of books and shelves, and to provide space on shelves for new books. For the purpose of general modernization, it would be necessary to perform electronic processing of the book records, as well as the organization of the catalog in question, that is, keeping records of titles by areas, which would facilitate the work of both the librarian and the library user.

 

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