Polska / mazowieckie
|Synagogues, prayer houses and others||Cemeteries||Places of martyrology||Judaica in museums||Andere|
|Province:||mazowieckie / warszawskie (before 1939)|
|County:||grójecki / grójecki (before 1939)|
|Community:||Warka / Warka (before 1939)|
|Other names:||Vorke װורקע [jidysz]|
Varka Варка [j. rosyjski]
The town is located in Mazowieckie Province, on the edge of the Warsaw Flatlands and the Kozienice Flatlands, on the Pilica River. It has 11.300 inhabitants (2007).
Distances: Radom – 44 km, Czersk – 21 km, Warsaw – 58 km, Kielce – 122 km, Łódź – 129 km, Lublin – 122 km.
The oldest mention of local Jews dates back to 1581, but regular settlement started in the 18th century with the appearance of the essentials, that is, the synagogue and the cemetery.
The growth of the Jewish community was aided by choosing Warka as the seat of a tzaddik dynasty in 1829. In that year Izrael Icchak Kalisz (1779-1848) settled in the town. Influenced by David Biedermann, a tzaddik from Lelow, he became an adherent of Hasidism and a disciple of Jaakow ha-Levi Horowitz from Lublin and later of Simcha Bunem from Przysucha. After the death of the latter in 1829 he went to live in Przysucha and he became a leader for some of the local Hasids. Later, he moved to Warka. Izrael Icchak Kalisz’s teachings were published in the books Ohel Icchak and Huccak Chen. His disciples, who later became tzaddiks, were: Jaakow Arie Gutermann from Radzymin, Jechiel Danziger from Aleksandrów and Dow Ber from Biała Rawska. Jaakow David, his oldest son, started a dynasty in Mszczonów. Mordechaj Menachem Mendel Kalisz from Warka, his younger son, resigned as his successor in favour of Szraga Fajgel from Grójec. A few months later Szraga Fajgel died and Mordechaj Menachem Mendel Kalisz was forced to take the post and run the Hasidic manor in Warka. He was marked by continual silence, which he believed was a type of prayer. That earned him the nickname ‘the silent tzaddik’.
After his death in 1868 his son Symcha Bunem took the post, soon to relocate the manor to Otwock. Menachem Mendel from Marczewice (died in 1919) was the next tzaddik.
During the First World War he moved to Warsaw.
In the 19th century many supporters of the assimilation movement came to Warka from nearby Warsaw, but they were put to the sidelines at the turn of the 20th century. Hassidism dominated, but it had to reckon with a growing number of the national movement followers.
It was they who created a Hebrew library, a drama club and a squadron of shomres in the interwar period. They, in turn, rivaled the socialist movement, which was promoted by tailors’ and shoemakers’ guilds. The youth diligently attended self-learning meetings.
After the outbreak of the Second World War many Jews fled to the Soviet Union. Those who remained suffered numerous repressions. On 28.11.1941 a ghetto was created. Lat
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