Polska / łódzkie
|בתי כנסת, בתי תפילה ועוד||בתי קברות||אתרי זכרון ליהודים שנרצחו||יודאיקה במוזיאונים||אחר|
|פרובינציה:||łódzkie / łódzkie (לפני 1939)|
|מחוז:||łaski / łaski (לפני 1939)|
|קהילה:||Łask / Łask (לפני 1939)|
|שמות אחרים:||Ласк [j. rosyjski]|
Łask is a town situated in the Łódź Province, in the county of Łask, and it is the seat of the urban – rural municipality. It is located on the Łaska Height, on the Grabia River. From 1975 to 1998 Łask administratively belonged to the Sieradz Province.
The town of Łask is part of the Łódź agglomeration, 35 km far from Łódź. The following towns, situated near Łask, belong to the largest in the province: Pabianice, Wieluń, Bełchatów, Zduńska Wola and Sieradz.
Kamila Klauzińska /
Jews began to settle in Łask in the 16th century. A significant influx was observed in the 17th century, when the town belonged to Stanisław Wierzbowski. He granted some privileges to Jewish people such as freedom regarding religious practices, trade, and craft. The only limit concerned a ban on settlement in the area of the market square and of the collegiate church. In that period, the Jewish district was formed in the western area of Łask along Żeromskiego and Kilińskiego Streets. A synagogue was built in Żeromskiego Street, and a cemetery was located nearby. A Jewish inn was opened on the outskirts of Łask. The Jewish kehilla of Łask, along with the Christian community, suffered from numerous disasters in the 17th century including two fires in 1624 and 1688 and a plague that killed 25% of the town’s population.
In the 18th century, Łask became property of the Załuski family. They regulated the Jewish legislature and gave Jews the right to join unions, and as a result many Jews immigrated to Łask. The community at that time also included the neighboring towns of Burzenin, Pabianice, Zelów, Widawa, Szadek, and Zduńska Wola. In 1747 the synagogue burned down in yet another fire. It was rebuilt in 1752. In 1764, 890 Jewish people lived in Łask. In that period, the city was home to several famous rabbis: Izrael Ithamar, Meir Eliakim Goetz, Pinkas Zelig and Mosze Leib Zilberberg. In 1793 the Jewish population of Łask stood at 1,327 people, 77% of the total number of citizens. In the late 18th century, Beniamin Hilel built a new synagogue in the town.
In the 19th century, during the period of early industrialization, most workshops belonged to Jews. The branches of economy that developed the fastest were the tannery, textile, and food industries. Many people worked in the nearby summer resorts. At that time, the Jewish community was mostly Chasidic, and they had their own house of prayer near the synagogue. The town’s population grew considerably. in 1827, it amounted to 1,984 people, 1,270 of whom were of Jewish origin. In 1897 the number of inhabitants was 4,210 people, with 2,862 Jews (68%). 204 out of 363 building plots were owned by Jews. The rabbis of Łask were Dawid Meisel (died in 1876) and later Cwi Juda.
In 1921 the population of Łask numbered 4,890 people, including 2,116 Jews. Jewish schools were located i
Alongside with town rights, Łask was granted the privilege to hold fairs on Saint Frances’ Day. In the 15th century the town developed economically and gained a new urban shape, whereas its inhabitants became more and more prosperous. In the same century a market square was established and surrounded with bourgeoisie houses. Moreover a town hall was built there. The 15th century witnessed the development of craft unions in Łask, mostly of shoemakers, potters, brewers, blacksmiths and other professions. The craft union played a significant role in the town’s life, craftsmen belonged to the urban patriciate, decided about electing town mayors, councilors and aldermen.
At the beginning of the 16th century, the town was granted the right to organize more annual fairs, which resulted in an influx of merchants and tradesmen, and provided the townsmen with additional incomes, necessary to rebuilt the town after the great fire of 1523. The Łaski family contributed the most to fast town development in the 16th century, as thanks to their acquaintances with famous politicians and scholars they made Łask world famous.
After the prosperous 16th century the situation of the town deteriorated. In 1624 another great fire broke out, destroying thoroughly almost 150 houses. The town suffered also from the Swedish Deluge. As a result of long wars and massive devastations, the inhabitants were no longer able to restore it. Moreover, the number of craftsmen was decreasing. Another fire, which broke out in 1474 and burnt down 258 houses, worsened the situation. At the end of the 18th century, Łask was the second largest town in the Sieradz Province, with the population of about 1,700 people (the largest town was Piotrków then).
In the 19th century a cholera epidemic afflicted the town, followed by a fire in 1848, which destroyed 160 houses. However, the town population began to increase: there were 1,600 inhabitants in 1810, and about 3,800 in 1860. After the fires, the market square was reconstructed, being given the current shape. It was also agreed that only brick buildings can be constructed in this part of the town. In 1811 there were only 4 of them, but their number grew up to 56 in 1827. Then, routes to Pabianice, Piotrków and Sieradz were marked out, changing thoroughly the road structure of Łask.
In 1867, as a result of part