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Zgierz

Polska / łódzkie

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

Summary

Province:łódzkie / łódzkie (before 1939)
County:zgierski / łódzki (before 1939)
Community:Zgierz / Zgierz (before 1939)
Other names:Zgerż זגערזש [j. jidysz]; 'זגירז' זגייז [j. hebrajski]; Згеж [j. rosyjski]
 
GPS:
51.8548° N / 19.4061° E
51°51'17" N / 19°24'22" E

Location

Kamila Klauzińska

Zgierz is located in the valley of Bzura River in the Łódź Uplands. The city belongs to the Łódź agglomeration, which is inhabited by more the one million inhabitants. Zgierz is inhabited by 58,1 thousand people.

Zgierz has a convenient tram connection with Łódź, and a railway connection with Warszawa. There is a A2 highway, north of Zgierz. There are also roads throughout the city, connecting among others, Gdańsk and Gdynia with the southern part of Poland.

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History

Kamila Klauzińska /

The information concerning Jews appeared in official town documents already in 1813. These were the letters of a sub-prefect of the Zgierz county and the mayor of Zgierz regarding the right of the Orthodox Jews to buy houses there. In 1818, the commissar of the Łęczyca district demanded from the mayor of Zgierz the foundation of a separate Jewish district. In response the mayor proposed to separate Christians from Jews. The plan included prohibiting Jews to settle in the market square, but allowing them to settle in Sowia Street, which was significantly distant from the city centre. Those Jews who owned houses in the centre were forced to sell them quickly to Christians. They were threatened that if they had not obeyed, their whole property would have been confiscated.

On 30 March 1821, the commissar Witkowski of the Administrative Department of Mazowieckie Province Board accompanied by German industrialists came to Zgierz willing to settle there. They signed an agreement concerning the foundation of a textile industry centre in Zgierz. According to it, every settler was to receive a plot and a garden. Moreover, Jews were not allowed to live with the Germans. It designated that they should settle along the western side of Łódzka Street up to Rudnicka Street.

On 21 December 1824, a decree concerning the creation of the Jewish district was issued. Those who were not willing to adhere to it, needed to be expelled from homes by force. On 13 June 1825, town’s authorities issued a decree aimed at Christian residents and house owners, which stipulated the punishment of those who after 1 July 1826 would rent flats to Jews.

An independent Jewish community in Zgierz was established probably at the beginning of the 19th century. In 1824, Jews had their own synagogue supervision. The first community council comprised: Lejzer Bornsztajn, Baruch Steinbok, Meir Blumental. By the end of the 19th century, the community owned a cemetery, a brick synagogue, a beth midrash and a shelter for the poor and the needy. The first rabbi of the community was Hirsz Ha-Kohen, often called a “Wise Man”. He established a yeshiwa in the town and as a consequence, the town was given a prestigious name “Talmudic”. As many as 50 rabbis graduated from this renowned school. Rabbi Hirsz Ha-Kohen died in 1877 and was succeeded by Eliezer Ha

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