(Kassejowitz, Czech Republic 49°27' 13°44')
The notes of Mgr P. Jan Hille, deacon in Blatná, amplified by Jan Kára, specialist subject teacher in Blatná.
Translated from the original Czech by Jan O. Hellmann/DK.
Edited in English by Rob Pearman/UK
In 1597, a certain Jew by the name of Jakub Malý bought from the magistrate a cottage that stood below the dam of the brewery pond. He paid 30 times three-score and 30 sou for it, and I understand that in 1609 the same Jew sold half of the cottage to Václav Joanides for 12 times three-score.
In 1618, there were said to be four Jewish families in Kasejovice.
In 1652, Jews lived in two houses and one cottage. According to the 1654 census there were 12 adult Jews and four Jewish children in Kasejovice. They were mainly merchants and peddlers. The oldest among them were the following:
In 1670, a separate register of the ownership of plots by Jews was established, in which all records concerning changes in Jewish ownership were kept.
The agreement between authorities and the Jews
On 3 May 1671, an agreement was concluded between the Kasejovice Jews and the highest authority in Lnáře as follows:
If the elders of the community are not able to solve a dispute, they must pass it up to Steward for further handling. If they fail to do so, they will have to pay a penalty of one pound of saffron. If anyone tells the Steward about such concealment, he will receive one third of the said penalty. The Jews will not take other Jews into their homes or move out without informing the authorities.
In 1674, the Jews paid for each half year: 50 guilders in protection tax, 3 guilders for burial, 3 guilders for animal pelts – in total 56 guilders.
Complaints about the Jews
In 1678, the Steward wrote to the Count of Lnáře requesting new and harsher measures against the Jews. His argument was that they were difficult, ill-humored and disobedient.
He proves it with the following points:
At some time in the autumn of 1677, news came to the office that the Kasejovice Jews take corpses for burial at night, especially from Sedlice. The Steward called in the Jews and strictly forbade such practices. They said that they did not know that this was forbidden, and they were punished with a penalty.
Count černín then added to the Steward's report: I do not in any way permit the burial of foreign Jews in Kasejovice. Such acts are to be penalized as they could be a way to conceal the proliferation of foreign Jews, which would damage the manor. Therefore it is only tolerated that Jews from Kasejovice are buried here.
In 1686, the number of Jews increased to 14 couples.
In 1695, they lived in six houses and bought four more. They lived in one further house together with gentiles.
According to the ownership registration from Lnáře for the year 1695, the following Jews lived in Kasejovice:
In 1717, two Jews committed themselves to pay the town each year seven books of good paper in exchange for the right to sell their goods at markets and fairs.
Jews in Kasejovice in 1719
Establishment of a new Jewish town
Whenever Jews lived among the gentiles, there were constant complaints about them. Among others, there was a complaint from the chaplain, Antonín Pánek. He claimed that Jews heckled him when he was on his way to a sick person.
Because of this and other complaints resulting from the mixing of gentiles and Jews, Count Clary, who was at that time the guardian of the Kuniglov children, decreed that the Jews shall live separately from the gentiles. He therefore sent his bookkeeper Bartoměj Wurkner together with Matěj Forstmajer, the Steward from Lnáře, to find a suitable place where Jews could live separately. The decision was to take a communal plot that stood below the brewery lake. The plot was originally 474 fathoms long and 474 fathoms wide. In my opinion, in the first place six houses were built there, and over the years that number grew to 13. The houses were made of wood, with shingle and thatch roofs.
In this way the Jewish town came into being in the year 1726. At that time, 25 Jewish males lived there.
In order to promote religiosity, devotion and the education of children, the Jewish community decided in 1763 to build a synagogue and to decorate it internally with beautiful paintings and lamps. They also decided to hire at their own cost a cantor or rabbi, and to build for him at the synagogue a communal house for him to live in and for the religious and secular education of the children.
Names of Jews in Kasejovice in the period 1815 – 1820
The Jewish ball
There is an interesting record of 1799 concerning a ball, which took place on Good Friday in Kasejovice. It was contrary to the court decree of 5 March 1796 and against the police decree of 15 February 1799.
The ball took place in the house of the Jew Jakub Baš at house no. XVII and included both music and dance, because in that year the Purim Holiday was at the same time as the Eastern Holiday.
The owner of the house pleaded that he did not know about the decrees and that he has already paid out large amounts for taxes and contributions. The court took no notice of his pleas and passed the following judgment on 4 May 1799:
The house owner Jakub Baš is sentenced to a penalty of 10 imperial thalers, Isák Freund and Ezechiel Ohrenstiel to four thalers each (in total 8 thalers to be paid to the local poorhouse), the servant Gabriel Neuman is sentenced to10 lashes, and the Rabbi to three days of house arrest. Other participants at the ball, namely Jakub Finta, Izrael Löwy, Izrael Bayer, Abraham Stern and the servant Gabriel Neuman, who knew about the decree and danced regardless of it, each received a penalty of seven guilders and 30 pennies plus two imperial thalers for the poor house.
The representative of the town gave as his excuse that he was not at home on the day, and police commissioner Jan Jedlička was reprimanded for not reporting the event. The court threatened that he would lose his job if there was any repetition.
Furthermore, the five musicians who played at the ball were each sentenced to 12 hours imprisonment.
The legal changes in 1848 made Jews fully equal to the gentiles. Before this year, the following Jews lived in the Jewish town in Kasejovice:
The Jewish Reeves
At the head of the Jewish community were the Jewish reeves, among whose duties was the collection of the Jewish taxes.
We know the following:
Lajbl had already been reeve for 18 years in 1676. In 1679, there was an election of reeves; in 1691, Šmul Lajbl was the reeve; in 1697, Jakub řesanský and Lajbl Šmul senior; in 1763, Volk Markus; in 1763, Josef Samuel Skákalík; in 1783, Josef Moses; in 1790, Salmek and Josef Samuel; in 1795, Jakub Wass Salamon; in 1814, Michael Orlík – chairman of the Jewish community; from 1818 to1830, Seligman Ohrenstiel, senior reeve; from 1836 to1837, Aron Basch. ,p> Jewish records have been kept since 1788.
Of the rabbis, we know only the following: in 1651, Šalamoun; and in 1733, Jakub Lazar.
Since 1784 there were regional rabbis:
Isák Sabat, qualified mohel, 1835-1853;
David Khon, 1848-1854;
Dr. Fillip Bondy, rabbi in Kasejovice, probably in 1869.
Teachers, as far as they are known
There was already a cantor here in 1766;
Jakub Her Levy, teacher, 1785;
Juda Stern, teacher 1797;
Levi Steiner, 1840;
Marek Bloch, 1842-1844.
The Jews had their own tax collectors. One of these was Hastrlín, the collector of the tax on foodstuffs in 1792; in 1799 Glückmann was the bookkeeper; from 1836 to 1837, Zachariáš Herzig was the bookkeeper.
The synagogue was refurbished in 1818 and repaired in 1825.
In 1828 a new school building was built with one floor. Until 1864, the Jewish children had to attend the gentile school on three days per week. In 1864, the Jewish school became independent with separate classes, with two teachers in addition to the rabbi.
There was a hospital for the poor and sick. The Jews also had a bath (mikvah) in their town. They also had their own physicians. From 1836 to 1838, Heřman Lewy was the physician; born in 1818, he was a qualified physician. Between 1842 and1860, he was ‘injuries physician’ in Radomyšl; he retired to Písek, where he died. Jakub Gartenzaun was surgeon from 1853/1854 to 1867.
The cemetery outside the town was extended a few times. In my opinion, the Kasejovice Jews paid 30 guilders for an extension in 1764. It was also extended in 1808 and 1836. It is not used just for Jews from Kasejovice, but also for those from surrounding places such as Lnáře, Blatná and Kadov.
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