Polska / podkarpackie
|Synagogues, prayer houses and others||Cemeteries||Sites of martyrdom||Judaica in museums||Andere|
|Province:||podkarpackie / lwowskie (before 1939)|
|County:||leski / leski (before 1939)|
|Community:||Lesko / Lesko (before 1939)|
|Other names:||Lesko [j. niemiecki]; לסקו [j. hebrajski]|
Lesko – a city in southeastern Poland, in the Subcarpathian Province, a county capital. It lies 91 km southeast of Rzeszów and 390 km southeast of Warsaw.
The first mentions of Jews living in Lesko come from the 16th century. The 1542 Census of the townsmen lists a Iudeus, i.e. a Jew. Jewish people were later mentioned in the 1547 Census (a man by the name of Mateusz) and in the 1554 Census (Moszko). In the years 1562–1583, 23 Jewish families came to Lesko, among them Lazarus from Kraków and Salomon from Halicz (1564), Jakub from Gogieczyn, Abram from Dynow, and Aron from Komarn (1565), Aron from Bełz (1567), Aron from Rymanow (1574), Lazarus from Moravia, Simon from Pilzno (1574) and Rachwał from Bircz (1575). In 1563, there were 20 Jewish families living in Lesko. A local Jewish cemetery was built as early as in 1548.
In the years 1562–1570, 13 Jews were accepted as the town's citizens and included in the municipal register. In 1580, the Jewish community had its own school. At the time, 18 Jewish families lived in the town of Lesko (ca. 100 people in total). In 1608, a synagogue and a hospital for the poor were established in the town and in 1614, the Jewish school was re-opened. In 1613 and then later in 1868, the cemetery was expanded. A registry of head tax payers from 1676 mentions 137 Christians and 83 Jews (heads of families). The Jewish community grew quickly, especially in the second half of the 17th century. In 1705, an epidemic, most probably cholera, killed 303 Jews.
The Jews of Lesko collected the czopowe tax and traded in leather, herrings, grain, cloth, wine, oxen, rams, and lead. Some were artisans: butchers, goldsmiths, brewers, and tailors. They gave loans on interest (with annual interest rate of 42–44%). They owned taverns, inns, and mobile market stalls (they travelled to even the most remote villages in the Bieszczady Mountains). In 1612, two Jewish stall-keepers from Lesko were robbed in Wola Michowa. They also took journeys to Kraków (1593), Lviv (1654), and Zamość (1608).
High economic status of the local Jews resulted in