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  • Writer's pictureJessica Feinstein

Family heirlooms: Maurice’s Haggadah

This Haggadah, used to tell the story of Passover, was owned by Ari’s 3x great-grandfather Maurice Katz, as you can see by the name written on the first page in gold pen.

It had been published by Jos. Schlesinger in Vienna, and came from Talmud-Thora at 11 Malzgasse 16, which seems to be a synagogue and school that had been built in 1884, the year after Maurice was born in Ekaterinoslav (Dnipropetrovs’k), Ukraine. The building was set on fire on 10 November 1938 (Kristallnacht) but not completely destroyed.

Photo by Bob Martens CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

The publisher was Josef Schlesinger, who had founded a Hebrew bookstore and publishing house in 1858, with a shop at Seitenstettengasse 5 in Vienna’s 1st district. For more information see, which led me to the very interesting Kosher Melange, the blog of the Austrian Jewish Museum (

This is the third edition, published in 1929, so it may well have been used while Ari’s great-great-grandmother Judith and her sister Rosalind were still living at home. (I need to get on with transcribing Judith’s letters, to see if there is any mention of Passover!)

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