Jew, Slovak-speaking in Slovakia

Jew, Slovak-speaking
Photo Source:  Josh Appel - Unsplash 
Map Source:  People Group location: World Jewish Congress, Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Jew, Slovak-speaking
Country: Slovakia
10/40 Window: No
Population: 2,700
World Population: 2,700
Primary Language: Slovak
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Jews
Affinity Bloc: Jews
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Jews have been living in Europe for more than 2,000 years. During the last few centuries, Eastern Europe had the largest Jewish population in the world. National attitudes toward the Jews were ambivalent, depending on the usefulness of the Jewish inhabitants to the nations' rulers.

They have resided in Slovakia since the 11th century. Throughout this time, persecution has been common and often extreme. Yet the Jews in this region have prospered. A small number of them remain in Slovakia though a high percentage have emigrated to either the United States or Israel.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Jewish emigration from Eastern Europe is cause for concern among the remaining aged Jewish population. As the older Jews die, the Jewish community dwindles. Many of the younger Jews are not familiar with their Jewish identity. They are non-observant or have assimilated into the Slovakian culture.

There are efforts to keep Jewish culture alive in Slovakia and other countries of Eastern Europe. They are opening Jewish schools, hospitals and retirement homes. Some are promoting Judaic studies in universities. Jewish community centers also promote cultural events such as the Israeli dance, theater, Yiddish and Hebrew lessons, and sports

The Jews in Slovakia are spread throughout the country. Many have become leaders in business and industry.

What Are Their Beliefs?

For religious Jews, God is the Supreme Being, the Creator of the universe, and the ultimate Judge of human affairs. Beyond this, the religious beliefs of the Jewish communities vary greatly. European Jews are extremely diverse in their religious practices.

One of the unique features among European Jews is the distinction between the Ashkenazic Jews and the Sephardic Jews. The word Ashkenaz is derived from a biblical word for the larger Germanic region of Europe. Therefore, Ashkenazim Jews are those whose ancestry is linked to that area. This group traditionally speaks the Yiddish language, which is a German dialect that has Hebrew and Slavic elements. The word Sephard was the name used by Jews in medieval times for the Iberian Peninsula.

The Ashkenazic Jews are the most prevalent, representing the Orthodox, ultra-Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform movements. The unusual and adamantly traditional Hasidic movement was born in Poland and has gained a strong following in the United States and Israel. The Sephardic denomination is similar to the Orthodox Ashkenazic but is more permissive on dietary rules and some religious practices. Each Jewish denomination maintains synagogues and celebrates the traditional Jewish holiday calendar. While most European Jews are religiously affiliated, there is a significant minority which is not religious.

What Are Their Needs?

The Jews understand their connection with the Abrahamic covenant. However, they have historically rejected Jesus Christ as Messiah, the one who has fulfilled that covenant.

Prayer Points

Ask the Lord of the harvest to send forth Messianic believers to work among the Jewish communities in Slovakia.
Ask the Holy Spirit to grant wisdom and favor to the mission agencies that are focusing on the European Jews.
Pray that the Jewish people will understand that Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah.
Pray for an unstoppable movement to Christ among the Slovak-speaking Jews in Slovakia.

Text Source:   Joshua Project