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Góra Kalwaria

Polska / mazowieckie

Synagogues, prayer houses and others Cemeteries Sites of martyrdom Judaica in museums Andere


Province:mazowieckie / warszawskie (before 1939)
County:piaseczyński / grójecki (before 1939)
Community:Góra Kalwaria / Góra Kalwaria (before 1939)
Other names: גער [j. jidysz]; גורה קלוואריה [j. hebrajski]; Гура-Кальваря [j. rosyjski]
51.9767° N / 21.2154° E
51°58'36" N / 21°12'55" E


Tomasz Kawski + izrael badacz

Góra Kalwaria – town in central Poland, Piaseczno District, Mazowieckie Province. It is located 19 km south-east of Piaseczno, 33 km south of Warsaw, on the left bank of the Vistula.



K. Bielawski

Żydzi z Góry Kalwarii. Fotografia z kolekcji Yankla Jurkevitza | Nieznany

The first Jews settled  in Góra Kalwaria in 1802. Initially, Jews rented rooms and houses in which they established a house of prayer and a cheder. Subsequently, they began to construct their own buildings for religious purposes. In 1820, a bet ha-midrash was established at 39 Pijarska street. Shortly thereafter, the Jewish community was officially established in 1821. In 1849, a wooden synagogue was erected in Pijarska street. After it burnt down, a new brick synagogue was built in the same location in 19011902.

As the Jewish community grew, Jewish merchants, tradesmen and craftsmen brought economic competition to the town, a phenomenon that bred resentment among the Christian petite bourgeoisie. Rising Jewish incomes in the manufacturing and alcohol economies became a particularly contentious issue eventually causing the townspeople to demand that all Jews be banned from taking up such occupations.

Góra Kalwaria became the site of the Alter dynasty of tzadiks, which was a new stimulant for development of the local community. Icchak Meir Rothenberg Alter, called Gerer Rebe in Yiddish, came to that town from Warsaw in 1859. The tzadik's knowledge, authority and charisma attracted thousands of Hasids from various parts of Poland and Central and Eastern Europe. Juda Arie Lejb (1847-1905) -- or Sfas Emes (Language of Truth) in Yiddish -- succeeded his grandfather Gerer Rebe and subsequently constructed a new Hasidic synagogue. When Juda Arie Lejba died, his son, Abraham Mordechaj Alter assumed leadership over the Hasidic court in Ger. He was a well-known bibliophile. Unfortunately, his collection of books was likely stolen or destroyed by Germans.

After WWI, the tzadik's court became a significant cultural and political centre. Polish and international Hasids made pilgrimages to Góra Kalwaria. As one of the most important centers of religious life, Góra Kalwaria was made the unofficial headquarters of the Aguda political party. Part of the growth of Góra Kalwaria's religious community was undoubtedly due






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