The Jewish Museum in Lviv – in 1933[1.1] the Jewish Community of Lviv adopted a resolution on the creation of the Museum[1.2]. The Museum Board[1.3] was established by the Community together with the Society of Friends of the Jewish Museum. Rabbi Dr Ł. Froind – the president of the Society of Friends of the Jewish Museum and the head of the Board of the Jewish Community – assumed the position of the chairman. Mtters connected to the institution’s organization were handled by Wiktor Chajes, the leader of the Jewish Community, the president of the local bank and the vice mayor of Lviv in the years 1930–1939. On 17 May 1934, the museum was officially opened. It was located on the third floor of the community-owned building at Bernstein Street (currently Szolem Alejcham Street). It was open every day (except for important Jewish holidays) between 11am and 3pm and had free admission. The function of the custodian was assumed by Ludwik Lelle, a painter, art historian, literary critic, and collector.
The collection of the museum included items belonging to the Society of Friends of the Jewish Museum and the Museum of the Jewish Religious Community, as well as those privately owned by Marek Reichenstein. Among them were synagogue objects, fabrics from synagogues of Lviv dating back to the 17th century, the 18th century and the 19th century, Hanukkah lamps, models of ritual ceramics, faience products from Lubycz Królewska, Potełycz, and Glińsk, patterned fabrics printed in the workshops of Jewish printers from 56 localities, drawings, watercolour paintings, and photos of architectural monuments and tombstones. The collection of decorative and functional art objects was complemented by paintings, mostly portraits of famous community members from the middle of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century.
On 25 November 1939, the Committee for the Protection of Cultural Monuments nominated Maksymilian Goldstein for the function of the head of the museum. In February 1940, however, the institution was dissolved and its collection was donated to the Museum of Handicraft, which in the summer of 1941 also agreed to deposit Goldstein’s collection[1.4].
- [1.1] Historical sources indicate various dates – February or March 1933.
- [1.2] The institution was also known under other names: the Museum of the Jewish Religious Community, the Museum by the Jewish Religious Community and the Jewish Museum in Lviv.
- [1.3] The Board was divided into four sections: the museum section, the section for the protection of synagogues and cemeteries, the legal section and the propaganda section.
- [1.4] L. Allerhand, Żydzi Lwowa. Opowieść, Kraków–Warsaw 2010, p. 111; I. Horbań, Ośrodki przechowujące dziedzictwo kulturowe narodu żydowskiego we Lwowie – historia i stan obecny [in] Żydzi w Lublinie–Żydzi we Lwowie. Miejsca–Pamięć–Współczesność, eds. J. Zętar, E. Żurek, S. J. Żurek, Lublin 2006, pp. 53–54; R. Czmelyk, Rola muzeów w odrodzeniu zniszczonego świata Żydów we Lwowie [in] Żydzi w Lublinie–Żydzi we Lwowie. Miejsca–Pamięć–Współczesność, eds. J. Zętar, E. Żurek, S. J. Żurek, Lublin 2006, pp. 110–111.