Bauska ( pronunciation (help·info)) is a town in Bauska municipality, in the Zemgale region of southern Latvia. The town is situated at the confluence of the rivers Mūsa and Mēmele where they form the Lielupe River. Bauska is located 66 km from the Latvian capital Riga and 20 km from the Lithuanian border.
Bauska was home to a thriving Jewish community in the 19th century, many employed as scholars or in occupations such as baking and distilling. The town hosted several notable rabbis, including Abraham Isaac Kook, later chief rabbi of Israel, Mordechai Eliasberg, and Chaim Yitzchak Hacohen Bloch.
In 1850, Jews made up 50% of Bauska’s population. By 1920, the Jewish population had dwindled to about a sixth of the size it had been 40 years earlier. In 1941, following the Nazi invasion, the remaining Jews of Bauska and environs were tortured and executed.
An exhibition on the city’s Jewish history was opened following a conference on Bauska’s Jewish cultural heritage in the 1990s. A group of Jews who were former inhabitants of Bauska proposed to establish a memorial on the site of the synagogue that was burnt down in July 1941 but have been consistently refused approval by the council.