BODROGKERESZTÚR, town in Borsod (in 1944 Zemplén) county, northeastern Hungary. The census of 1723–24 records seven Jewish families who settled there from Poland. The Jewish population ranged from 58 in 1746 and 336 in 1880 to 535 in 1930. According to the census of 1941, the last before the Holocaust, the town had a Jewish population of 455, representing 20.2% of the total of 2,248. The Jews were mainly merchants, tradesmen, innkeepers, and freight carters. Located in the Tokay district, the town also boasted a number of Jewish vintners. The community was organized toward the end of the 18th century, when it also organized a ḥevra kaddisha and a Jewish cemetery. The first synagogue was built in 1767; it was replaced by a new one after a fire in 1906. The congregation identified itself as Orthodox in 1868–69. In 1885, the Jewish community of Bodrogkeresztur was joined by the neighboring smaller communities, including those of Bodrogkisfalud and Bodrogszegi. Many of the Jews were ḥasidic and had their own synagogue. A Jewish elementary school was established in 1784, but after a few years was replaced by a ḥeder and talmud torah. Among the rabbis who served the Jewish community were Lazar London (1780–96), Izrael Wahrmann, Abraham Tannenbaum, Levi Hirsch Glanc (1826), grandson of Moses *Teitelbaum, whose influence in the community made it a stronghold of Hasidism. His grave is still a place of pilgrimage. Also serving the community were Rabbi Moses Elias, Rabbi Mozes Schlesinger, and Shaye Steiner (d. 1925). The latter, generally known as Reb Shayele, was revered as a miracle-working rabbi. The last rabbi was Chaim Schlesinger, Mozes's son, who perished during the Holocaust. The last secular head of the community was József Seidenfeld, a merchant.
During World War II, the Jews were subjected to draconic anti-Jewish measures; they were deprived of their livelihood and many among the males were recruited for forced labor. After the German occupation of Hungary (March 19, 1944), the Jews were rounded up (April 16–17). They were first concentrated in a local ghetto consisting of the synagogue and the adjacent community buildings, where they were deprived of their last possessions. After a few days they were transferred to the ghetto of Sátoraljaújhely, from where they were deported to Auschwitz on May 25.
After the war the community consisted of 37 survivors. Their number grew to 63 by 1949, but all of them relocated to larger communities or emigrated a few years later.
M. Stein, Magyar Rabbik, 1 (1905), 3–5; Vadász, in: Magyar Zsidó Szemle, 24 (1907), 328; Új Élet, 20 (1964), 9; J. Mosolygó, Tokaj (1930); MHJ, 7 (1963), 102, 642, 837. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: PK Hungaria, 221–23.
[Laszlo Harsanyi /
Randolph Braham (2nd ed.)]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.