LUKA (Ger. Luck), small town in W. Bohemia, Czech Republic. According to tradition, Jews from Bavaria founded the town in the 11th century, and they are mentioned in local records for 1198. Luka Jews had to supply a chalice for King *Premysl Ottakar II (1253–78) when he visited the pope. A Jewish "place of worship" is mentioned in 1432. During the Thirty Years' War (1618–48) the community was almost decimated by the plague. Luka Jews, like those of Hroznetin (Lichtenstadt), did business in nearby *Carlsbad. The synagogue and community records were destroyed in a fire in 1842. In 1850, 1,150 Jews lived in Luka (80% of the total population). In the 19th century Feibel (Phillipp) Kohn was mayor of Luka for 28 years. Both an Orthodox rabbi and a Reform preacher served in the town. Even before the 1848 Revolution allowed them freedom of movement, Jews had begun to leave Luka; there were 446 in 1869, but by 1930 there was no minyan. On Nov. 10, 1938, the synagogue was burned down. Gravestones in the Jewish cemetery were sold by the Nazis to a stonemason.
F. Ullmann, in: Zeitschrift fuer die Geschichte der Juden, 3 (1966), 117–23; H. Gold, Die Juden und Judengemeinden Boehmens (1934), 388–90.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.