The following election to the Jewish kehilla was supposed to take place in 1918 but it was cancelled. The representatives of the political parties were offered seats in the kehilla Board. The Zionists and Mizrachim did not accept the offer, whereas supporters of the Aguda agreed to the solution provided that the election would be conducted promptly. Majer Rundstein was elected the kehilla president.
Various conflicts arose inside the Jewish community on a continued basis. One of the greatest religious disputes in the interwar period was a conflict over Rabbi Samuel Poznański from 1921. Since 1908, he served as a rabbi in the Great Synagogue on Tłomackie Street. In 1921, the community of progressive Jews put forward his candidature for the Warsaw rabbi. The Hasidic Jews, supporters of the tzadik from Góra Kalwaria, protested against their claims. Although the certificate of appointment clearly stated that he would perform his function solely towards the supporters of Reform Judaism, clashes broke out before the kehilla building.
Riots broke out also when the kehilla handed over a plot of land in Praga intended for the construction of
a Jewish dormitory. Finally, the dormitory for 300 students was constructed in 1926 in a different location thanks to the financial support of numerous social organizations. The dormitory headmaster since 1928 was Ignacy Schiper, an eminent historian.
In 1923, Moses Schorr was appointed extra-district rabbi for the supporters of Reform Judaism. Sebastian Bregman became president of the board the same year. The authorities of the Warsaw Jewish kehilla comprised of the Council and the Board with 50 and 15 members respectively. The Warsaw Rabbinate was composed of 21 people.
The Aguda won the 1926 election and the Zionist lost by a narrow margin of votes. Eliasz Kirszenbaum of Aguda was elected Council President and Joszua Farbstein from the Mizrachi party was appointed Board President. In 1929, the Bundists resigned from work for the kehilla. The reason for their decision was a refusal to grant financial aid to TSISHO (Jewish Central School Organization). When the Aguda party was in power, money was granted only to religious organisations and the Bund criticised disregard for non-believers’ needs. The Folkists, in turn, took issue with high salaries of the rabbis and expenditure on Palestinian funds .
The 1931 election, boycotted by the Bund, was won once again by the Orthodox parties. The Council was made up of 19 members of Agudat Israel, 5 members of other Orthodox parties, 12 Zionists and 6 from their allied parties. Jakub Trokenheim was elected Council President and Eliasz Mazur became the Board President. Orthodox Jews administered all departments. There was a constant disagreement among the parties. Consequently, that tenure was characterized by a neglectful approach to many essential aspects of the kehilla activities. In 1934, it even happened that the Council session, during which the budget was to be passed, was cancelled. The situation of Warsaw Jews deteriorated due to the aggravating economic crisis and progressing pauperization of the Jewish population. Nevertheless, the Jewish kehilla dealt with serious matters; for instance, it tried to oppose the limitation of ritual slaughtering, intervened repeatedly with the Polish authorities about the anti-Jewish excesses or supported financially the Jewish people from the cities where pogroms took place.
The last pre-war election to the kehilla was held in September 1936. The Bund won and took 15 seats, Aguda -13, Mizrachi – 4 and Zionists – 11. Jakub Trokenheim was again elected president but the Council was not able to set up a Board. When the Council was not able to cooperate and discharge its duties, the capital city of Warsaw Government Commissioner stepped onto the scene.
In 1937, he appointed receivership, called Provisional Board with Maurycy Mayzel as its president. The new authorities immediately started their work and carried out many crucial reforms. A number of kehilla-owned institutions, including schools and the cemetery in Praga, were renovated.
In the 1930s, the majority of Warsaw Jews were impoverished, the majority dealt with small-scale trade and craft. The kehilla Board tried to provide help for the poorest. Many Jews sought help in charitable institutions, such as “Joint” (“American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee”). The refugees from the Reich also could count on assistance starting from the second half of the 1930s.
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