Photo taken in:KarlsbadYear when photo was taken:2001Country name at time of photo:Czech RepublicCountry name today:Czech Republic
This photo was taken on the occasion of a seder supper at athe Karlovy Vary Jewish community in the year 2001. From the left it shows my wife Miluska, then me, Alexander Gajdos, and sitting on my left is our community's shammash, Mr. Petr Rubin. About 30 of us get together each year on this occasion. First we pray, then we read from the Haggadah, and finally we eat supper. For several years I was on the board of the Jewish community in Karlovy Vary. At one time I was vice president. The president of the community at that time didn't meet the expectations of the rest of the members. According to them, he was arrogant. For example, at Passover he didn't want to give matzot to someone because he didn't come to the community often enough, and so on. He locked up the cemetery, and people had to go to him for the key. But he didn't want to lend the key out to everyone. He was simply not liked. Finally, at one annual meeting Mr. Gubic spoke up, that the functions of religious leader of the community and that of the community president should be separated. Finally they voted that the former president would stay as the community's spiritual leader, and they elected me president. This was about seven years ago. My role is to take care of the community's property. Religious matters are taken care of by Rabbi Koci and the shammash, Rubin. They take care of the sphere or religion. As time passes, the community has less and less active members. There's about ten of them. There are seven of us on the board; about those you can say that they're more or less active. There are about 98 members in total. Not all of them are right in Karlovy Vary. We also have members in surrounding towns, like for example Sokolov and Jachymov. The Jewish community has its own prayer hall, where people meet every Friday and Saturday to pray. Sometimes they don't have a minyan, there are only five or six. But Karlovy Vary is a spa town, with many guests, Jewish ones, too. So it's nothing exceptional for even twenty men to gather here. Some of the spa guests that have already been here several times automatically also come to the prayer hall. We also observe the high holidays. For Sukkot we also put up a sukkah in the courtyard of the community building.