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The Jewish Community of Lizhensk

Lizhensk

Yiddish: Lyzhansk, Polish: Lezajsk. Alternate English spelling: Lizensk, Lezhensk

A town in the Rzeszow province, Southeast Poland

HISTORY

The Jews of Lizhensk are first mentioned in 1538. By the middle of the 17th century the community had built a wooden synagogue and a cemetery.

During the 17th and 18 centuries, the Jews of Lizehensk were engaged in the grain trade, weaving wool cloth, brewing beer, and working as estate and innkeepers. According to the census of 1765, 909 Jewish taxpayers lived in Lizhensk and its environs.

When the Hasidic rebbe, Elimelech Weisblum, settled in the town, Lizhensk became an important center of Hasidism in Poland and Galicia. Every year on the anniversary of the death of Rabbi Elimelech of Lizhensk (the 21st of the Hebrew month of Adar), thousands of Jews journeyed to pray at his grave.

Fires in 1834 and 1873 severely affected the community's economy, but conditions began to improve towards the end of the 19th century.

During the interwar period, Zionist parties and youth movements were active in the won. The town also hosted Tarbut, Yavneh, and Beth Jacob schools.

The Jewish population fluctuated between 1,868 people (38% of the total population) in 1880, 1,494 (28% of the total) in 1900, 1,705 (32% of the total) in 1910, and 1,575 (31% of the total) in 1921.

The number of Jews in Lizhensk rose to more than 3,000 in 1939, after the outbreak of World War II. Jewish self-defense was organized in response to Polish looting of Jewish stores and attacks on Jews.

The Germans entered Lizhensk on the eve of Rosh Hashana, 1939. They set synagogues on fire and burned sacred books in the town square. Shortly thereafter, on the eve of Sukkot, most of the Jews were deported to areas under Soviet control, on the opposite side of the San River. Those who remained were concentrated into a ghetto, and in 1942 many were deported to concentration camps or death camps. The Jews who had been deported to the Soviet zone were living under very difficult economic conditions, and in the summer of 1940 most of them were deported once again to the Soviet interior. A few hundred Jews from Lizhensk survived, most of whom had spent the war in the USSR. The old Jewish cemetery was destroyed by the Nazis, who built a park in its place. Only the grave of Rabbi Elimelech remained.

Place Type:
Town
ID Number:
217930
Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People
Nearby places:

Related items:
Tombstone of Rabbi Elimelech of Lezajsk.
Many Jewish pilgrimgs come to this burial site,
Poland, July 1998.
Photo: Bernd Heinz.
(Berlin, Bernd and Hannelore Heinz collection)
The former Jewish market place
in Lezajsk, Poland, 1983
Photo: Jacob Weitzner
(The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot,
Grunstein-Shamir Collection)
Tombstones in the Jewish cemetery in Lezajsk,
Poland, July 1998.
Photo: Bernd Heinz.
(Berlin, Bernd and Hannelore Heinz collection)
Tombstones at the Jewish Cemetery
in Lezajsk, Poland, 1983
Photo: Jacob Weitzner
(The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot,
Grunstein-Shamir Collection)
Market Place in Lezajsk,
Lvov Province, Poland, 1983
Before World War II most houses and shops
in the market place belonged to Jews
Photo: Jacob Weitzner
(The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot,
Grunstein-Shamir Collection)
The building in the Jewish cemetery where
the Tzadik (holy man) Rabbi Lipman is buried,
Lezajsk, Poland, 1983
Photo: Jacob Weitzner
(The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot,
Grunstein-Shamir Collection)
Birth Certificate of Yakov Bril, issued by the Registration Office of the Jewish Community.
Lezajsk, Poland, 1905
(The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot,
courtesy of Ilan Tor, Israel)

Names of the parents: Moshe and Chaya Bril.
"Sandak" (person who holds the baby on his lap during a brit milah, godfather): Rotenberg, who was also the 'Shamash'
Mohel: Shmuel Birnbaum
Midwife: Ludmila
Text of prayer that is read before praying
at the tombstone of Rabbi Elimelech of Lezajsk,
Poland, July 1998.
Photo: Bernd Heinz.
(Berlin, Bernd and Hannelore Heinz collection)
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The Jewish Community of Lizhensk

Lizhensk

Yiddish: Lyzhansk, Polish: Lezajsk. Alternate English spelling: Lizensk, Lezhensk

A town in the Rzeszow province, Southeast Poland

HISTORY

The Jews of Lizhensk are first mentioned in 1538. By the middle of the 17th century the community had built a wooden synagogue and a cemetery.

During the 17th and 18 centuries, the Jews of Lizehensk were engaged in the grain trade, weaving wool cloth, brewing beer, and working as estate and innkeepers. According to the census of 1765, 909 Jewish taxpayers lived in Lizhensk and its environs.

When the Hasidic rebbe, Elimelech Weisblum, settled in the town, Lizhensk became an important center of Hasidism in Poland and Galicia. Every year on the anniversary of the death of Rabbi Elimelech of Lizhensk (the 21st of the Hebrew month of Adar), thousands of Jews journeyed to pray at his grave.

Fires in 1834 and 1873 severely affected the community's economy, but conditions began to improve towards the end of the 19th century.

During the interwar period, Zionist parties and youth movements were active in the won. The town also hosted Tarbut, Yavneh, and Beth Jacob schools.

The Jewish population fluctuated between 1,868 people (38% of the total population) in 1880, 1,494 (28% of the total) in 1900, 1,705 (32% of the total) in 1910, and 1,575 (31% of the total) in 1921.

The number of Jews in Lizhensk rose to more than 3,000 in 1939, after the outbreak of World War II. Jewish self-defense was organized in response to Polish looting of Jewish stores and attacks on Jews.

The Germans entered Lizhensk on the eve of Rosh Hashana, 1939. They set synagogues on fire and burned sacred books in the town square. Shortly thereafter, on the eve of Sukkot, most of the Jews were deported to areas under Soviet control, on the opposite side of the San River. Those who remained were concentrated into a ghetto, and in 1942 many were deported to concentration camps or death camps. The Jews who had been deported to the Soviet zone were living under very difficult economic conditions, and in the summer of 1940 most of them were deported once again to the Soviet interior. A few hundred Jews from Lizhensk survived, most of whom had spent the war in the USSR. The old Jewish cemetery was destroyed by the Nazis, who built a park in its place. Only the grave of Rabbi Elimelech remained.

Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People
Prayer Text at the Tombstone of Rabbi Elimelech of Lezajsk, 1998
Birth Certificate of Yakov Bril, issued by the Jewish Community. Lezajsk, Poland 1905
The building where Rabbi Lipman is buried, Lezajsk, Poland, 1983
Market Place in Lezajsk, Lvov Province, Poland, 1983
Tombstones at the Jewish Cemetery in Lezajsk, Poland, 1983
Tombstones in the Jewish Cemetery of Lezajsk, Poland, 1998
The former Jewish market place in Lezajsk, Poland, 1983
The Tombstone of Rabbi Elimelech of Lezajsk, Poland, July 1998
Text of prayer that is read before praying
at the tombstone of Rabbi Elimelech of Lezajsk,
Poland, July 1998.
Photo: Bernd Heinz.
(Berlin, Bernd and Hannelore Heinz collection)
Birth Certificate of Yakov Bril, issued by the Registration Office of the Jewish Community.
Lezajsk, Poland, 1905
(The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot,
courtesy of Ilan Tor, Israel)

Names of the parents: Moshe and Chaya Bril.
"Sandak" (person who holds the baby on his lap during a brit milah, godfather): Rotenberg, who was also the 'Shamash'
Mohel: Shmuel Birnbaum
Midwife: Ludmila
The building in the Jewish cemetery where
the Tzadik (holy man) Rabbi Lipman is buried,
Lezajsk, Poland, 1983
Photo: Jacob Weitzner
(The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot,
Grunstein-Shamir Collection)
Market Place in Lezajsk,
Lvov Province, Poland, 1983
Before World War II most houses and shops
in the market place belonged to Jews
Photo: Jacob Weitzner
(The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot,
Grunstein-Shamir Collection)
Tombstones at the Jewish Cemetery
in Lezajsk, Poland, 1983
Photo: Jacob Weitzner
(The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot,
Grunstein-Shamir Collection)
Tombstones in the Jewish cemetery in Lezajsk,
Poland, July 1998.
Photo: Bernd Heinz.
(Berlin, Bernd and Hannelore Heinz collection)
The former Jewish market place
in Lezajsk, Poland, 1983
Photo: Jacob Weitzner
(The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot,
Grunstein-Shamir Collection)
Tombstone of Rabbi Elimelech of Lezajsk.
Many Jewish pilgrimgs come to this burial site,
Poland, July 1998.
Photo: Bernd Heinz.
(Berlin, Bernd and Hannelore Heinz collection)