Jakab Singer

December 13, 1867, Sajókazinc, Hungary - November 7, 1939, Timişoara

Rabbi. Author of biblical studies

Between 1885 and 1895 he studied philosophy at the University of Budapest and was a student at the Rabbinical Seminary. In addition to Hungarian, Hebrew, Romanian and German, he knew Arabic, Turkish and Tatar. After obtaining the diploma of rabbi and doctor of philosophy, in 1896 he was elected rabbi as the successor of Rabbi Bertalan Kohlbach, then first rabbi at the synagogue in Fabric, Timişoara, where he held this position until his death. Initially it belonged to the status-quo-ante current, which, since 1920, joined the neolog current in the Union of Western Rite Communities in Transylvania and Banat.

For a short time he served as the campaign rabbi of the Honvez army in the First World War. He was a member of the presidium of the Hungarian Israeli Literary Society, which he founded. He carried out a sustained activity in the Fabric Comrade Association.

As a historian of religions, he has published numerous articles and studies in Hungarian and German on the history of Judaism in the Timişoara region in newspapers, magazines published in Budapest and Timişoara, as well as in independent volumes.

He enjoyed great prestige in the community and in the city. In 1921, on the 25th anniversary of the activity, a celebration was organized in honor of the rabbi, attended by hundreds of people and representatives of the authorities, including the mayor of Timişoara, Dr. Cornel Grofsoreanu, Archpriest Oprea, on behalf of the Greek-Eastern Church, lawyer and politician Dr. Aurel Cosma and others.

He was married to Ilona, b. Rotter, who died shortly after her husband's death on April 7, 1940. They had a daughter and three sons. One of the sons was László / Ladislau, a pharmacist, born in 1958, buried in the Jewish Cemetery in Timişoara, another George / Gyuri, who survived, with fake papers, in the Holocaust in Budapest. In 1957, George managed to emigrate to Australia with his family. His daughter, Agi, has 7 grandchildren who are faithful to the Jewish tradition.

Selection of publications

  • Jakab Singer, Temesvári rabbik a XVII és XIX-ik században. Wieder Jakab Könyvnyomdája, 1928. It can be accessed online: https://mandadb.hu/common/file-servlet/document/1101073/default/doc_url/817_Singer_Jakab_Temesvri_Rabbik_1928_159839e72dedb57c_col.pdf
  • Jakab Singer, Timisoarai zsinagógák, în Almanahul Evreesc – Jüdisches Jahrbuch – Zsidó naptár, 1936-1937, Timişoara
  • Jakab Singer, A temesvári zsidók az 1848-1849-iki szabadságharcban, Temesvár, Csanádegyházmegyei Könyvnyomda, 1914. Reprint from : Történelmi és régészeti értesitö, 1913, III şi IV


  • Magyar Zsidó Lexikon, Az 1929-ben Ujvári Péter szerkesztésében
    megjelent kötet internetes változata  http://mek.oszk.hu/04000/04093/html/
  • Lucian Popescu, Interwar Timisoara and the social universe in Romania, 2004
  • János Szekernyés, A magyarság emlékjelei a Bánságban (Evocative signs of Hungarianness in Banat), HangArt könyvek, Timişoara 2013
  • Baruch Tercatin, Lucian-Zeev Herşcovici, Rabbinic presences in the Romanian perimeter in the 16th - 21st centuries. Hasefer Publishing House, 2008
  • Tibor Schatteles, The Jews of Timisoara in historical perspective. Hasefer Publishing House, 2013
  • Western rite (Jews) wikipedia
  • http://ro.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ritul_occidental_%28evrei%29
  • Jewish Encyclopedia
  • http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/14302-temesvar
  • Phone conversation with Agi, Rabbi Singer's daughter, in Australia