The Judaica Forschung’s collection showcases the development of Vienna’s Jews from Joseph II’s Edict of Tolerance in 1782 through the building of the Stadttempel during the Biedermeier, the creation of the “Wiener Ritus” by Rabbi Isaak Mannheimer and the Chasan Salomon Sulzer, the consolidation of the Jewish Community, through emancipation and equality, the flourishing of the Jewish population during the second half of the 19th Century all the way to its destruction in the Shoah and beyond.

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Ariel Muzicant, the CEO of the Judaica Forschung’s collection, became active in the Vienna Jewish community early on, serving in many functions including as its president from 1998 to 2012. Since 1998, he holds the position of vice-president of the European Jewish Congress. Ariel Muzicant started to collect over 40 years ago, fascinated by books dealing with Jewish topics relating to Austrian history, politics, and cultural life. Today, this part of the holdings of over 5,000 volumes covers reports and publications by the Jewish community in Vienna from its very beginnings onwards as well as by various Jewish organizations.
The collection of Jewish ritual objects reflects the spectrum of Jewish history in the Habsburg Empire with Vienna as its center, with several unique pieces from adjacent regions complementing it. Other areas cover archival documents, a collection of postcards displaying synagogues from around the world and about 1,200 books of classic literature by Jewish authors from Austria. Also represented are Jewish clubs and societies such as the sports club Hakoah, manuscripts from the “Siebengemeinden” (“Scheva Kehiloth”) in today’s Burgenland, and objects with Zionist association, Herzliana, and art by Ephraim Moses Lilien and Isidor Kaufman as well as a collection of more than 15,000 Jewish ex libris. So far, we published three volumes of catalogues of the Muzicant collection, starting with Jewish ritual objects in 2016, the archival and library collections in 2018, postcards, photographs, fiction and exile literature, theatre and art holdings in 2019. We hope to finish our fourth volume on the bookplates by 2021. In autumn 2020 we also started a research project, together with Felicitas Heimann-Jelinek, with the working title “Aspects of cultural and contemporary history of Austrian Jewry based on Judaica collections in Austria”. We expect to publish its outcomes by 2023.

No example object submitted (yet)!