Jews in Križevci
The last decade of the 19th century was the peak of the Jewish community in Križevci and in that period the number of members ranged between 230 and 245 people.
At the solemn assembly of the Jewish community on November 18, 1894, its president Marko Breyer made an official proposal for the construction of a synagogue, and for the needs of construction, land was purchased south of the then religious community. Financial assistance for the construction of the synagogue was provided by numerous donors, and funding was also provided by the Royal Croatian-Slavonian-Dalmatian Provincial Government, the Križevci City Council, the Share Savings Bank in Križevci and the First Croatian Savings Bank in Zagreb. The contract with the builders, the company Hönigsberg & Deutsch, was concluded at the end of 1894, the first works began on April 1, 1895, and the cornerstone was laid on May 14, 1895, with the consecration of Rabbi Lavoslav Löw from Križevci.
The construction lasted extremely short, only five months, and the new Križevci synagogue was completed and consecrated on September 16, 1895, in the presence of a large number of Križevci residents, as well as representatives of Jewish communities from Zagreb, Bjelovar, Koprivnica, Slavonski Brod, Krapina, Ludbreg, etc. The new place of worship was built in a combination of Neo-Renaissance and Neoclassical style.
For the next almost half a century, the synagogue was the center of religious and social life of a prominent Jewish community in Križevci. As the Jewish religious community in Križevci completely disappeared during the Second World War, the Alliance of Jewish Religious Communities of the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia concluded a purchase agreement in 1949 with the Križevci district for a synagogue and a neighboring “rabbi’s” house. an obligation to arrange a new Jewish cemetery destroyed in the war by the end of the year.
In the first half of the 1950s, the synagogue was remodeled in a socialist-realist style, removing all architectural decorations from the façade, walled up the main entrance, and made a new side entrance. The architecturally devastated synagogue building, now renamed the Youth Home, still remained the center of the city’s cultural and social life. Between 1967 and 1985, the Križevci City Library operated on the ground floor of the synagogue, and since 1971 the Križevci Theater has been operating occasionally. It also houses the Community of Technical Culture and numerous associations.
In 1984, the roof and facade were renovated, and during 2014, the synagogue was thoroughly renovated for the needs of the Tourist Information Center.