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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:Nowa Jerozolima [j. polski]
Ger גער
Gur [j.jidysz]
Гура-Кальваря [j. rosyjski]
Gura Kalvarâ [j. mazurski]
51.9767° N / 21.2154° E
51°58'36" N / 21°12'55" E


Tomasz Kawski + izrael badacz /

Góra Kalwaria | K. Bielawski

Góra Kalwaria – a city in central Poland, in Piaseczno County, Mazowieckie Province. It lies 19 km southeast of Piaseczno, 33 km south of Warsaw, on the left bank of the Wisła River.



Tomasz Kawski

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

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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