Constantly arriving Jewish families in Bodrogkeresztúr overtook the wine trade from Greek merchants. They made an impact in the modernization of grape cultivation and wine production, and the distribution of their own kosher wines. The first Israelite temple was built in 1767. The growing Jewish community and village rose to fame through Reb Steiner Saje, wonder Rabbi Reb Sájele, the Tzadik of Keresztúr.

700 Jews from Keresztúr were deported during the Holocaust. A plaque has been installed in their memory in Heroes’ Park (Kossuth u., road 38)

Bodrogkeresztúr synagogue
(Bodrogkeresztúr, Kossuth u.)
The town once boasted with three synagogues, today only the largest one commemorates the once populous Jewish community. Built in 1809 on the Bodrog shore, the former neologue (progressive) temple has five large stained-glass windows ending in a shamrock motive on each side. The building was renovated. Today it houses office of the Aggtelek National Park (Kossuth u. 26.), with original plans to become a tourist center.

Reb Steiner Saje wonder rabbi memorial house
(Bodrogkeresztúr, Kossuth u. 65.)
The former home of the wonder rabbi is now a memorial home. Together with his resting place in the cemetery on the Dereszla hill, it is without a doubt the most well-known place of Jewish pilgrimage in the country. Thousands of hassids visit it each year from all over the world. Reb Sájele became the symbol of charity and donation in his lifetime, and especially after his death. A mikveh (Jewish ritual bath) is located next to the memorial house.

Bodrogkeresztúr Jewish cemetery
(Bodrogkeresztúr, Dereszla Hill, Felső u. 6.)

The cemetery with picturesque views, located on Dereszla Hill, dates back to the 18th century. There is an ohel (Jewish tomb stone) made of stone with iron gates where Reb Sájele and his wife rest under the beautifully carved and painted headstones. Other famous rabbis have resting places in the main part of the cemetery.

www.csodarabbik útja
Illyés Bence: Zempléni csodarabbik (2021.)
Photo: Juhász István