Polska / mazowieckie
|Synagogues, prayer houses and others||Cemeteries||Places of martyrology||Judaica in museums||Andere|
|Province:||mazowieckie / warszawskie (before 1939)|
|County:||piaseczyński / grójecki (before 1939)|
|Community:||Góra Kalwaria / Góra Kalwaria (before 1939)|
|Other names:||Nowa Jerozolima [j. polski]|
Гура-Кальваря [j. rosyjski]
Gura Kalvarâ [j. mazurski]
Tomasz Kawski + izrael badacz /
Góra Kalwaria, a town with a population of 11,400 (as of 2006), lies in Piaseczno County, in Masovian (Mazowsze) Province. It is located on the borderland between the Warsaw Plain and the Middle Vistula River Valley, on the left bank of the Vistula River.
Distances: Lublin 134 km, Siedlce 90 km, Warsaw 34 km, Łódź 150 km.
The first Jews settled in Góra Kalwaria in 1802. At first they rented rooms and houses, including those in which the first prayer house and the cheder were located. Over time, they began to erect their own religious buildings. They built a bet ha-midrash at 39 Pijarska Street in 1820. They constituted a Jewish community in 1821. A wooden synagogue was built at Pijarska Street in 1849. Following a fire, a brick synagogue replaced it in 1901-1902. The Christian lower middle class reacted defensively to the growing competition from Jewish merchants and artisans. The Jews’ income from the production and sales of alcohol in bars gave rise to especially defensive emotional reactions. The lower middle class demanded taking the example of Grójec and banning Jews from the alcohol business. A new boost to development was the location of the seat of the Alter dynasty of tzaddiks in Góra Kalwaria. In 1859 Icchak Mejer Alter (Gerer Rebe) arrived from Warsaw. His wisdom, authority and charisma attracted thousands of Hassidic Jews from all of Poland and elsewhere in East-Central Europe. Gerer Rebe’s grandson Arie Lejb (Swas-Emes) became his successor. During the period of his leadership, the construction of a synagogue began. His son, Abram Mordechaj Walter, was even more widely known. The German author Alfred Döblin described a 1924 pilgrimage in his Journey to Poland:
“In the afternoon the pilgrims crowd around the tzaddik’s great table. The crush is as great as during the morning audience, or even worse. The great table has been brought into the large hall. Some have crawled under the table much earlier so that they could be close to the righteous man. The tzaddik sits down with his sons and important guests. The others stand around them. As they eat, the tzaddik explains commentaries of the Talmud and the Torah, gives new interpretations. The supporters observe him and the guests, watch his movements, catch his every word and explain them to one another. The most desired are the shiraim, the leftovers from his bowl. They fight over them. At times, the tzaddik himself gives someone a bite from his bowl.”
The installation of the narrow gauge rail line from Warsaw to Góra Kalwaria, nicknamed “Rebes kolejka” (rebbe train), facilitated the pilgrimages. Abraham Mordechaj Alter loved books. The
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