History of school

The Jewish faithful in Levice had also their school. It was situated just beside the synagogue. The first school ever was founded in 1853, first as the private, than as the community one, and its public status was retained until 1854. Kurlander and Neufeld were the first teachers there. In 1898, there were five classrooms at the school attended by 179 pupils. 

The building of the old Jewish state school at Holubyho street in Levice. The new building was erected between 1934 and 1935. Ing. arch. Jacques Oblatt was the author of the project.

Since 1870, Ignác Steiner (later Headmaster) as well as Leopold Reisz, Vojtech Blau, and Emanuel Grunberger were the teachers at the Jewish school. Dr. Jakub Klein, chairman of the Jewish school office in Levice, was mentioned in 1893. E. Grunberger, Adolf Deák, František Bányai, and Headmaster Ignác Steiner were teachers at the Jewish state school. After Ignác Steiner, the title of Headmaster was taken over by Adolf Deák, then František Bányai and Karol Lévai. Ignác Erdos was a teacher at the Jewish school in Levice since 1910; in 1929, he became Headmaster thereof.  In the 1930’s, there were three teachers at the school; Headmaster plus Anna Mayerová and Armin Muller. 

Teachers at the Jewish school: From the left Ing. Erdos, teachers A. Mayerová and Al. Muller.

In the first third of the 20th century, the old single storey building of the Jewish school did not meet capacity or hygienic requirements anymore, so the Jewish faithful decided to build a new modern school building. The new school building according to the project of Jacques Oblatt, an architect from Vienna, was built in 1934 and 1935 and it is a characteristic piece of the functionalist architecture from the thirties. In was completed in 1936. No higher Jewish school has been established in Levice. The Sunday revision school existing by the Jewish state school in 1882 could be considered a predecessor of vocational schools. Emanuel Grunberger was a teacher at the revision school and the teachers from the Jewish state school were also teaching at the vocational school founded in 1885. First students from the Levice Jewish community started to study at the local Piarist secondary grammar school no later than after the first half of the 19th century. Two of them were studying here in the school year 1846/49: Adolf Ehrenfeld and Šalamún Fridman (both of them listed in the register of 1844). In 1875, 45 of 130 students of four grades of the school were of the Jewish origin. Since there was no town school for boys until 1923, boys from Jewish families had attended at least three or four grades at the secondary grammar school before they became involved in family businesses. Talented Jewish children continued their studies at universities; several Jewish lawyers and doctors ran their businesses in Levice as early as at the turn of the 19th century.  After the establishment of the Czechoslovak Republic, technical engineering disciplines such as civil engineering, architecture, geodesy or chemical engineering were also studied along with conventional law and medicine. Children from Jewish intelligentsia families were the students in particular: Leo, the oldest of four children of rabbi Liebermann, became a lawyer, the younger children Margita, Helena (Lilly), and Ernest finished their medicine studies. All three children of František Bányai – Alexander, Zoltán, and Janka – became doctors.

Students of the Jewish primary school in Levice in 1939.

It is a very sad fact that the Jews enjoyed their school a few years only and the same building was then used as a ghetto for gathering them before deportation…