Jewish Women in the Former Yugoslavia


Publication Date: November 1999

Publisher: Hadassah International Research Institute on Jewish Women

Author(s): Ana Lebl

Research Area: Culture and religion; Population and demographics; Social conditions

Keywords: Women; Jewish Organizations; History

Type: Brief


The author provides an overview of Jewish history in the former Yugoslavia, with an emphasis on the lives and activities of women. Until the Holocaust, the diverse Jewish community prospered and Jewish womenÂ’s organizations multiplied and grew. Jewish women were active in organizing and providing aid, in supplies and medical work, in every Balkan war. After the decimation of the Holocaust, only a fraction of the community remained. Yugoslavia enjoyed relative freedom of movement and freedom of religion under the Soviet regime, however, and eventually some womenÂ’s organizations were rebuilt and were able to continue their benevolent work throughout the modern conflicts, even at the high point of violence in Sarajevo. Each of the new countries continues to have its own womenÂ’s organizations, even in smaller communities like Split, where the Jewish population is only 120.