PAKS, town in W. central Hungary. Jews first settled there in 1720, and in 1770 numbered 64. Initially they were mainly peddlers and small traders, who paid only a small protection tax to the estate owners. In 1844 a meeting of rabbis was held in Paks which tried unsuccessfully to effect a compromise between the Orthodox and the adherents of Reform. Finally there was a split, and although the community remained Orthodox, a separate status quo ante congregation was established. In 1788, on instructions from Emperor *Joseph II, a Jewish school with German as the language of instruction was founded, changed to Hungarian by the community in 1870. The school was closed down in 1919. The Jewish population numbered 1,129 in 1869, 1,011 in 1900, 891 in 1920, 782 in 1930, and 730 in 1941. Rabbis of the community included Solomon Beer (Solomon Lazar; appointed 1746), Jehiel Ze'ev (1780), Isaac Krishaber (1795), Ezekiel *Banet (1825), and Paul (Feiwel) Horovitz (1844).
After the German occupation (March 19, 1944), a ghetto for 1,000 Jews was set up. These were deported to *Auschwitz on July 4–6. There were 180 Jews living in Paks in 1946, dropping to 20 by 1961.
Magyar Zsidó Szemle (1898), 378ff; (1899), 142ff.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.