“Jeżów” - Encyclopedia of Jewish
Communities in Poland, Volume I
(Jeżów, Poland)

51°49' / 19°58'

Translation of “Jezow” chapter
from Pinkas Hakehillot Polin

Published by Yad Vashem

Published in Jerusalem


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Deborah Long

 

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This is a translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot: Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities, Poland,
Volume I, page 133, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem


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{Page 133}

Jeżów
(Brzeziny District)

Translated by Amy Samin

 

YearTotal
population
Jews
1793-4(?)5
families
180858627
182778861
18571,172308
18971,935733
19212,6501.048

Until 1793, the town of Jeżów was the property of the monastery in Lubiń. Its status as a city was taken away in 1870. Only at the time of the Prussian occupation, towards the end of the 18th century, did the first Jews – the family of a Jewish innkeeper - settle here. The Jewish community in Jeżów began to grow in the second half of the 19th century.

During the First World War, heavy battles between the Russian and German armies took place in the area around Jeżów. Control of the town changed hands many times. The suffering of the Jews at that time could not be blamed entirely on the battles. The Russians hanged three Jews from Jeżów, claiming they were German spies, and a number of Jews were exiled to Siberia. They only returned to their homes after the revolution. In 1931 and in 1937 fires struck the town; a number of wooden homes owned by Jews burned down, and a few families were left homeless and destitute.

Until the 1860s, the community of Jeżów was subordinate to the community of Brzeziny. The laws of kashrut were supervised by a rabbinical judge who lived in Jeżów and who performed this service without recompense. Starting in the 1820s a rabbinical judge named Shlomo Weinberger served the community. In 1852 he was formally appointed to his position on the recommendation of the rabbi of Brzeziny. In the 70s, the community of Jeżów was given its independence, and the cemetery was consecrated. At that time, Rabbi Yaacov Landau, the son of the Admor (master, teacher and rabbi) Rabbi Avraham of Ciechanów, served the community. After the death of his father (in 1875) and his brother Rabbi Zev of Stryków, Rabbi Yaacov was crowned the Admor of Ciechanów. At the end of the 19th century Rabbi Moshe Yoel served for a time as the rabbi of Jeżów; he later served the communities of Cyców and Żarnowiec. From 1908 until his death in 1927 Rabbi Moshe Menachem Mendel Cohen served as rabbi. In 1927 Rabbi Yosef Alfus took over the position, serving until his death in the Holocaust.

A few of Jeżów's native sons took part in the Polish revolution in 1863, including Yosef Fuchs, who took part in battles against the Cossacks in the area around the town.

Many Zionist organizations were established in Jeżów during the period between the world wars, including: the General Zionists, Hashomer Hazair, and Young Mizrachi. In the elections for the Zionist Congress, the General Zionists won all the votes: in 1935 – 30 votes, in 1937 – 67 votes. The Zionist organizations in Jeżów established a public library. Agudat Yisrael was also active in the town.

Between the wars, the neighboring Jewish community of Rogov joined with the community of Jeżów (161 Jews in 1921). In 1931 two Zionists were elected to the community board; one was a representative of Agudat Yisrael and the other was a representative of the workshop owners' organization. Two representatives of the Jews of Rogov, one of whom was a Zionist, also joined the board.

In the period between the two world wars, the Jews of Jeżów suffered from anti-Semitism. In 1923 the infamous Haller's Army took advantage of the fact that, in 1915, the Germans had executed one Pole and jailed an additional fourteen, and accused the Jews of having turned them over, so to speak, to the Germans. A few Jews were jailed, though after a while they were cleared of all charges and released. In May of 1935 there was an outbreak of violence against the Jews. The rioting lasted for two days; Jews were beaten, a few of them injured seriously, and the Jewish library suffered massive damage. There was a repeat of this kind of violence against Jews in October of the same year. Only one rioter was jailed; the court sentenced him to either pay a small fine or spend two days in jail. However, a few years prior to these events, there had been signs of a good relationship between the Jews and Poles. For example, at the time of the town fire in 1931, the priest and good number of Poles hastened to save Jewish children and property from the flames.

During the Nazi occupation, the number of Jews in Jeżów increased due to the influx of refugees and exiles (from, among other places, Łódź, Stryków, and Głowno). On 1 February 1941 there were approximately 1,570 Jews (600 of whom were refugees) in the town. In that month, the Jewish settlement in Jeżów was destroyed, and the Jews were sent to the Warsaw Ghetto.


Sources

AP Łódź: Anteriora PRG 2498; LDS 448.
Y. Paks, Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotchk, Jerusalem 1967, page 47.
Heint” 21.9.1923, 21.9.1925; 19.4.1931; 27.5.1931; 31.7.1935; 14.7.1937.
“Niya Palksavlat” 19.9.1923; 21.9.1923; 1.10.1923; 27.5.1934; 29.6.1937.
“Niya Palks-Zeitung” 26.5.1935; 29.5.1935.
“Nasz Przgląd” 18.9.1923.
“Kurier Łódzki” 25.10.1935; 30.6.1937.


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