Print | A A A | Report a bug | 43 213 680 chars | 84160 photos | 731 video | 116 audio | 1920 towns


Polska / mazowieckie

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


Province:mazowieckie / warszawskie (before 1939)
County:ostrołęcki / ostrołęcki (before 1939)
Community:Ostrołęka / Ostrołęka (before 1939)
Other names:אסטראלענקע[j. jidysz]; אוסטרולנקה [j. hebrajski]; Остроленка [j. rosyjski]
53.0874° N / 21.5562° E
53°05'14" N / 21°33'22" E


Tomasz Kawski /

Ostrołęka - a city with county rights in central Poland, in Masovia Province. It lies 51 km south-east of Warsaw, by the Narew River.




Pocztówka z Ostrołęki, obieg 1916 r. | nieznany

Jews began to settle in Ostrołęka in the last decade of the eighteenth century. In 1794, a plot of land was selected for a Jewish cemetery and a synagogue was built around the same time. One of the first rabbis was named Izaak.

In 1812, Ostrołęka’s Jewish population comprised 14 families whose members engaged in the following businesses: 4 shopkeepers, 3 innkeepers, 3 butchers, a watchmaker, a hatter, a circumciser and a teacher. Jews lived in the market square vicinity. In 1824, their number grew to 73. They lived in six houses, three were of which were by the market square while the rest were on a street leading to it. The remaining Jews rented houses in different parts of the town.

In 1826, the boundaries of the Jewish Quarter, which encompassed the Horse Market, was bounded by Cygańska St., Magazynowa St., Różańska St., Solna St., Piaski St., Folwarczna St. and Tylna St. Two families were allowed to live outside the area provided they built a brick house.

The craft village located at the outskirts of the town accelerated the development of the Jewish settlement. Jews began to set up larger craft workshops for processing amber, milling and spinning. Spinning pioneers included the Bondi family of Austrian origin, which established a cotton mill in 1829. In 1832, it expanded and provided employment for 20 people. The company's products received awards at fairs in 1839 and 1842. A sizable group of Jews found employment in farming, tar production, and amber processing. Others were involved in traditional crafts (glaziery, butchery, shoemaking, tailoring, etc), inn keeping, leasing of local taxes and trade.

During the 1830-31 uprising, Ostrołęka was partly destroyed and the synagogue was burned. Services were then conducted in a wooden house on Rożańska Street, the condition and location of which left much to be desired. In 1832, Mordka Fiszel Shapira made efforts to take over the position of rabbi.


Local history

Tomasz Kawski

The town of Ostrołęka began as a fortified settlement on the Omulwia river, an estuary of the Narew River. The settlement was located in the area now known as the Old Town, or Stare Miasto, and was situated on a prominent trade route between the regions Mazovia and Prussia. Because of its location, the small settlement soon grew into a center of trade, and as early as 1373 had gained town privileges under Chełmno law, as confirmed by Siemowit III, Duke of Masovia.

More privileges were granted to the town in 1427, 1436 and 1437. Together, these privileges provided the necessary conditions for the town to grow. The privileges were extended after Masovia was incorporated into the Crown Kingdom of Poland in 1526. The newly named “Ostrołęka Crown Land” (Polish: Starostwo ostrołęckie) became the property of the queen, Bona Sforza. The town’s many farms and the forests in the surrounding area, the Kurpiowska Forests, provided basic income to the town. Products such as beer, one of the town’s most notable products, were shipped up the Narwia and Wisła rivers to Gdańsk, where they were shipped throughout Western Europe. In addition to shipping and brewing, many local people were involved in shoemaking, fishing, butchery, and the milling industry.

An outburst of wars (especially the Swedish Deluge) and epidemics in the 17th took a toll on the town. Damage from the Northern War (1702-1709) occupation by the Swedish and Russian armies led to the town’s collapse. Only in the later part of the 18th century did the town experience notable economic recovery, and trading relationships with Gdańsk, Królewiec and Warsaw resumed.

A Cavalry Brigade commanded by General Antoni Madaliński was stationed in Ostrołęka in the months preceding the outbreak of the Kościuszko Uprising. In March 1794, Madaliński refused to carry out a demobilization order and set off towards Kraków, which was the beginning of the uprising.

The town became a part of the Prussian partition after the third partition of Poland and was a part of New East Prussia in the Province of Płock. In 1807 it became part of the Duchy of Warsaw, and after 1815 the Kingdom of Poland (Russian Partition, Płock Province). On May 26, 1831 the Russian army defeated the Polish army in the battle of Ostrołęka, which was the beginning of the end of the November Uprisi




Genealogical Indexes

Jewish Records Indexing
5,000,000 Jewish Records Available Online!


Resources for Jewish Family History

People who like this city: