BIBLIOTEKA GMINY WYZNANIOWEJ ŻYDOWSKIEJ WE LWOWIE (1901–1939)
The library of the Jewish religious community in Lviv (1901–1939)
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The Jewish Religious Community Library in Lviv was founded in 1901 but its roots can be traced back to the late 19th century. The library owes its origin primarily to Samuel Buber – a renowned Lviv’s maskil (grandfather of Martin Buber, the famous Jewish philosopher). Not only did he come up with the idea of a library available to the whole Jewish community but he also donated his private book collection. However, this institution would have never come into existence if it wasn’t for the support of the Zionist movement and many prominent figures from the Jewish intelligentsia. Its book collection was not supposed to be limited to religious writings but intended to open up the readers’ minds to the outside world, support further studies, and provide entertainment. Very quickly the library became popular among the Jewish community in the city and was well attended by students, scholars, professionals, and even Christians. Despite financial difficulties, it managed to continue functioning until the outbreak of the Second World War. In 1939 its book collection consisted of about 20 thousand volumesand was considered to be one of the most significant Jewish libraries in interwar Poland.
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