Bookstore Glossary Library Links News Publications Timeline Virtual Israel Experience
Anti-Semitism Biography History Holocaust Israel Israel Education Myths & Facts Politics Religion Travel US & Israel Vital Stats Women
donate subscribe Contact About Home

Virtual Jewish World: Göteborg, Sweden

Göteborg is a city in S.W. Sweden. In 1780, a number of Jewish families were granted permission to enter the area, and by 1792, 20 Jews lived in the city. Though the first synagogue was built in 1808, the congregation was unable to secure the services of a rabbi, Carl Heinemann, until 1837. After an attempt to introduce radical reform measures, opposed by the rabbi, two members of the congregation secured Heinemann's resignation in 1851, replacing him with the liberal German rabbi, Moritz Wolff, who led the community until 1899.

Numbers of Polish and Russian Jews settled in Göteborg between 1903 and 1920. During World War II the Göteborg community absorbed many Jewish refugees from Denmark and also from Poland and Russia (1943–45). The Jewish population increased steadily and in 1968 reached 1,450, making Göteborg the third largest Jewish community in Sweden.

With the exodus of Jews from Poland in 1968, many Polish Jews settled in Göteborg as well as in Sweden's two other major cities of Stockholm and Malmö. Following the collapse of Soviet power and the dismantling of the Berlin Wall, a new wave of Jewish emigration saw a significant increase in the number of Jews arriving from Russia and its satellites.

Now constituting the second largest Jewish community in Sweden, Göteborg's Jewish population stood at 1,600 in the early years of the 21st century, with another thousand or so living in and near the city who are not affiliated with the congregation.

Sources:Göteborgs mosaiska församling, 17801955 (1955); Skrift till invigningen av mosaiska församlingens i Göteborg nya församlingshus… (1962); H. Valentin, Judarna i Sverige (1964); Mosaiska församlingen i Göteborg 200 år (1980).

Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.