Balmazujvaros Jewish Cemetery
The Jewish cemetery of Balmazújváros was established as early as 1872, since it appears on the cadastral map of that year. The cemetery is reported to have been closed in 1944. It was declared as protected in the late 1990s, and the mortuary and fence were renovated, and some of the tombs were restored. There is an ohel in which community’s rabbi Nathaniel b. Yechiel Fried and his wife Pesl are buried.
In 1840, 44 Jews lived in Balmazújváros. The Jewish population increased considerably in the following decades. The orthodox community of Balmazújváros was founded in 1845 by Noe Hartstein, Mayer Lichtschein, Samu, Menyhért, and Mór, who were tenants and landowners that moved to the village from Tiszadob. The community built a synagogue in 1850 and opened an elementary school in 1878. The Chevra Kadisha (burial society) was founded in 1866 and the Women’s Association followed in 1887. In 1880, Jews accounted for 386 people of the village’s total population of 9,861. The first rabbi of the community was Nathaniel Hakohen Fried, who previously led a yeshiva in Kisvárda. In 1894, soon after his installation as the community’s rabbi, he founded a popular yeshiva in the settlement with 30 students. His lectures and halachic rulings were published in his lifetime under the title “Pné Mevin” (Munkács, 1913). After his death, his writings on the Torah were published under the same title (Beregszász, 1927). The next rabbi of the community was his son, Jehiel Mikhal Hakohen Fried. He was a worthy successor to his father who sought to bring peace within his community. By 1920, there were 415 Jews in the village. 40 Jews from the community served in World War I, 9 of whom died in service. In 1929, 74 members of the Jewish community were taxpayers, including the following: two farmers, one teacher, 12 merchants, 1 lawyer, 1 labourer, 3 doctors, 1 private official, 12 craftsman, 20 private citizens, and 33 others. In 1941, Jews accounted for 388 people of the town’s population of 16,318 (2%). In 1944, the orthodox community had 340 members though they no longer employed a rabbi. The grade school had 50 students and one teacher, and the Chevra Kadisha had 52 members.