Jews – initially, the name of the members of the tribe of Judah, belonging to the tribal community of Semitic origin (12 tribes of Israel), later living in ancient Judah, gradually extended to denote all followers of Judaism. The name J. derives from the Hebrew Yehudi [‘Inhabitant of Judah’] and its meaning gradually extended to refer to all followers of Judaism. As a result of multiple migrations, J. mixed with the inhabitants of the countries in which they settled, which resulted in the formation of several ethnic and cultural groups of Jews, of which the most important were the Sephardi and Ashkenazic Jews; the main factor binding Jewish communities and enabling them to preserve their distinct identity (particularly in diaspora conditions) was religion.
Originally, the history of Jews was connected with the territory of Palestine, where they came in the 13th century BC, forming the Kingdom of Israel in the 11th century BC (ancient Israel); it owed its development to the kings: David (the Jewish tradition considers the period of its reign to be the Golden Age in the history of the nation) and Solomon (who built th First Temple of Jerusalem). After his death (around 922 BC), conflicts between the tribes led to the split of the kingdom into the northern (Israel) and southern part (Judah). In the 8th century BC, Israel was conquered by Assyria, whilst Judah was destroyed by Babylonia and the inhabitants were exiled (Babylonian captivity); after the fall of the Babylonian state, Palestine became a part of the Persian empire, whilst in the 4th century BC — of the monarchy of Alexander III the Great. In the second century BC, the areas of Palestine inhabited by Jews obtained independence (the reign of Maccabees), from 63 BC, it was under control of Rome as an allied state, whilst in AD 6, it became a Roman province (Judea); in that period, there were about 2.5 mln J. living in Palestine, in other countries - about 5.5 mln. At that time, various religious streams appeared among the followers of Judaism, among others, the Essenes, the Pharisees, the Sadducees; a group of disciples of Jesus of Nazareth gave origins to Christianity. The Roman ruling resulted in the protests of Jewish people, who rose up against the foreign power twice; the Romans, quashing the uprising in the years 66–73, destroyed the Temple of Jerusalem (which resulted in the transformation of Judaism, among others, the end of the priesthood hierarchy), whilst after the defeat of another uprising in the years 132–135, nearly all Jews were expelled from Judea.
In the period of the “great dispersion”, also referred to as diaspora (Hebrew: galut), lasting until the present, the Jewish life developed in various countries of the Middle East and the Mediterranean Basin in the colonies which they formed or which had already existed; in daily existence, religion became tremendously important as a factor distinguishing J.. Apart from that, there was an increase in the role of spiritual leaders of that community and of those who knew Halakha, that is, the religious law (rabbi). In the 5th century, the community in former Babylonia became a center of intellectual life. It was the place where one of the versions of the Talmud, the so-called Babylonian Talmud was created. It is a collection of written (previously transferred orally) deliberations, commentaries, discussions and stories explaining the religious and legal doctrine of Judaism.
The political status of J. in Muslim countries was regulated by the edict of caliph Umar I (637), by which they were regarded as protected infidels (similarly to Christians); in some regions under the Muslim rule, Jews found good conditions for developing various forms of social and professional activity, which resulted in the restoration of the Jewish culture. In Christian countries in the early medieval period, their situation was generally good; however, their possession of land was restricted, so that they were mainly involved in trade, facilitating exchange between the West and the East; as the Catholic church condemned granting loans on interest, usury became the Jewish domain. Generally, secular rulers appreciated the economic activity of Jews and protected them; the situation began to change from the end of the 11th century, when, in the period of the Crusades, religious fanaticism increased; the anti-Jewish riots occurred, among others, during the preparation for the following Crusades (under the slogan of fighting against “the murderers of Christ”), and during the plague in the years 1348–51 (J. were accused of poisoning wells); the activity of the Inquisition also contributed to the increase in anti-Jewish attitudes (accusing Jews of insulting the Catholic religion, ritual murders etc.), they also had economic grounds (reaction to the Jewish usury activity, competition in trade); the persecution was accompanied with the introduction of legal restrictions (among others, orders to live in separated ghettos and wearing clothes distinguishing them from Christians, granting cities the privilege De non tolerandis Judaeis — the right to remove Jews outside the city walls. In the 13th-15th century, Jews were expelled from England (1290), France (1306 and 1394), Spain (1492), Portugal (1496–97) and certain German principalities; their main place to live was Poland and the Ottoman Empire; at the end of the Middle Ages, Jews were thrown into the spiritual and physical ghetto and no longer took part in the cultural and economic development of Eastern Europe; the Jewish community concentrated on the problems of their own life, establishing the forms of local government tolerated by the state (self-governing communities were responsible for taxes, welfare, schools and some of the courts).
In the period of the Reformation, Jews were attacked by both Lutherans and Calvinists; during the Counter-Reformation, Paul IV popularized (1555) a system of ghettos in papal cities, considering Judaism as a mortal danger for Christianity. The situation of oriental J. and J. in the Central and Eastern Europe was much better. At the beginning of the 16th century, their importance in the economic life in the territory of Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine increased; Polish J. began to gain a dominant position among the Ashkenazic Jews; however, that process was impeded in the 17th century due to the political and economic crisis, as well as accompanying persecution and pogroms; at that time, the religious movements appeared which referred to the tradition of Zohar: Sabbatianism, the Frankist Movement, later Hasidism. In the 18th century, the situation of Jews gradually improved, which was connected, among others, with the economic transformation of the capitalistic nature and the impact of the idea of the Enlightment; the countries gradually removed restrictions towards J. (among others, 1786 Sweden, 1787 USA); in the 18th century, a part of the Jewish society (Western and Central Europe), initiating the assimilation movement, decided to participate in the cultural life of the country of settlement (Haskalah). On the other hand, the situation in Central Europe changed as a result of the partitions of Poland, since the monarchies at that time, tolerating wealthy J. only (Austria, Prussia) or not allowing them to stay (Russia), annexed the territories with a relative high percentage of the Jewish inhabitants.
The French Revolution 1789–99, and, after that, the Napoleonic codifications, contributed to popularizing the idea of equal rights for J. In the 19th century in Central and Western Europe, they were granted full citizen rights (France 1791, Belgium 1830, Italy 1870, Germany 1871, Switzerland 1874); however, emancipated Jews constituted merely a small percentage of their community. In the 19th century, there were about 7 million Jews living in Europe and about 750 thousand in Asia and Africa. Most of the Jews living in Russia (where they could only settle in the so-called settlement zone) and Romania were still subject to persecution and legal discrimination (pogroms, 2); it contributed to the emigration (from 1881) of Jews. Many of them went to the USA, where the Jewish community increased from 250 thousand in 1879 to over 3 mln during World War I. Another popular place of destination was Palestine.
In Western Europe, the emancipation of a significant part of Jews was accompanied by the religious conversion and national and cultural assimilation; in Eastern and Central Europe, the supporters of Judaism were dominant. They had disputes, among others, on the issue of the choice of the language (Yiddish, Hebrew or the language of the country of settlement), in which the Jewish culture, flourishing in the 19th century, was supposed to express itself. In the second half of the 19th century, the activities aimed at the equality of rights and the increasing role of Jews in political life (particularly in the elections to local authorities and parliaments) were accompanied by the formation of political programs and — in the territories of partitioned Poland — of the Jewish national ideology, which manifested themselves in a form of establishing the Bund party (illegal in the Russian state), Zionism and other. The increased activity of Jews and their presence in the political, cultural and scientific life was accompanied by the development of antisemitism.
World War I severely affected the existence of Jews; hundreds of thousands of them were resettled by Russian authorities, others (in the territory annexed by Austria) tried to escape to the West from the offensive of the tsar army, under the German occupation, many J. were forced to work in Germany; 1917–20 they became the victims of bloody persecution in the Ukrainian, Polish and Belarusan territories where military activities were conducted (in Ukraine 1919, about 70 thousand J. were murdered). After the victory of the October Revolution in 1917, J. in Russia were granted equal rights, whilst in 1934, the Soviet authorities established the Jewish Autonomous Oblast in the south-western part of Khabarovsk Krai; however, the rights obtained did not concern practising religion and the freedom to manifest their national aspirations. J. were thought to be the followers of communism; an argument supporting that opinion was that some of the activists of the Jewish origin were among the leaders of the Russian Revolution and then in the USSR regime authorities, though, in time, the evolution of relations in the period of J. Stalin rule led to discrimination or even antisemitic persecution.
Concerned about the nationalistic trends in Western and Central Europe, the Jewish representation at the peace conference in Paris (1919) forced a project of the international protection of rights of national minorities, which did not prevent the acts of discrimination and pogroms of Jews (among others, in Poland and Romania).
In 1917, the Zionist movement obtained from Great Britain a promise concerning the establishing of the Jewish “national home” (the Balfour Declaration) in Palestine, which resulted in the gradual flow of Jewish emigrants from Europe to that territory; by 1939, around 500 thousand of them had come to Palestine (with the total number of Jews at that time of around 18 mln). Jewish settlements and the political plans of the Zionist movement were in conflict with the ambitions of Arab elites and the spread of the national ideology among Palestinian Arabs. As a result, from 1929, Palestine became a territory of more and more intensified conflicts between Arabs and Jews.
From 1933, the main source of racist antisemitism in Europe was the Third Reich, in which Jews, most of them assimilated, constituted about 0.6% of the population of the country; following the example of Germany or under its pressure, anti-Jewish laws were also introduced, among others, in Romania (1937), Italy (1938), Hungary (1938), Slovakia (1940); The Germans also introduced anti-Jewish laws in Austria after Anschluss (1938) and in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia (1939); after the outbreak of World War II, the Nazi fully revealed their sinister plans towards Jews. (see subsection The Holocaust).
The events in Europe strengthened the determination of the Zionist movement in a fight for a Jewish state; under the influence of the tragedy of the Holocaust and as a result of a compromise between the superpowers, the UN adopted a resolution on division of Palestine, making it possible to establish the state of Israel in 1948. After over 2 thousand years, Palestine became a centre of the political and cultural life of J., though about 62% of the population still lives in other parts of the world: in 2002, out of the total number of J. of over 13 million, about 6.5 million lived in America (about 6 million in the USA), about 5 million in Israel, about 1.5 million in Europe (about 1 million in Western Europe, about 95 thousand in Eastern Europe and in the Balcans, about 435 thousand in the countries established after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, of which about 30 thousand in its Asian part), about 88 thousand in Africa (mainly in the south), about 104 thousand in Australia and Oceania.
M. Grant, Dzieje dawnego Izraela [History of Ancient Israel] , Warsaw 1991;
I. Abrahams, Życie codzienne Żydów w średniowieczu [Jewish Life in the Middle Ages], Warsaw 1996;
H. Haumann, Historia Żydów w Europie Środkowej i Wschodniej [History of East European Jews], Warsaw 2000;
A. Chojnowski, J. Tomaszewski, Izrael [Israel], Warsaw 2001;
M. Gilbert, Atlas historii Żydów [Atlas of Jewish History], Warsaw 2002;
A. Unterman, Żydzi: wiara i życie [Jews: Faith and Life], Warsaw 2002.
A History of Jewish People, ed. H.H. Ben-Sasson, Cambridge (USA) 1976;
Encyclopedia of the Jewish Life before and during the Holocaust , vol. 1–3 New York 2001;
Jews in Poland The presence of J. in Poland from the 10th century is confirmed by historical sources, among others, Abraham ben Jacob, the author of the first description of the Polish territory in the period of ruling of Mieszko I, mentions Jewish merchants visiting Poland; from the end of 11th century, Jewish people immigrated from Western Europe (mainly as a result of the persecution in the period of the Crusades). That process lasted, with varied intensification, until mid-17th century; as a result, the Republic of Poland became the territory with the highest number of J. in Europe; most of them were Ashkenazic J., whilst Sephardic J. immigrated occasionally. The legal status of J. was determined by charters granted by the rulers, particularly the Statute of Kalisz issued by Duke Boleslaus the Pious (1264) and confirmed by King Casimir III the Great (1334, 1364, 1367); due to the fiscal benefits, they provided J. with the protection of a sovereign (treating them as his servants and the servants of his treasury: servi camerae), personal safety, community government, freedom of trade; J. gradually dominated the loan activity (usury), as well as the tenancy of various payments due to the state, later also inns. The basis of the Jewish self-government was a community (kahal), which made decisions concerning religious and educational issues (own schools), had a limited court autonomy and the representation before external authorities; in the 16th century, the so-called general seniorates for Lesser Poland and Greater Poland existed temporarily as a higher form of the Jewish self-government, whilst in the years 1581–1764, the council of Jews from the territory of Poland (Waad) convened; as a result of the rights received, J. obtained a position similar to that of a separate class.
The increase in the economic importance of J., particularly in the period of reign of Casimir the Great, resulted in social conflicts between them and Christians, particularly in cities (among others, the riots in 1349 in Pomerania, 1407 in Cracow); the cities tried to eliminate the competition of the Jewish craftsmanship and trade, also by way of obtaining the privilege De non tolerandis Judaeis — in the 16th century, it was obtained by about 20 centers. It became more popular in the 17th century; Polish rulers, however, were still favorable towards J. due to the taxes they paid. In the period of florishing of the Nobles’ Republic of Poland (16th century–first half of the 17th century) the strong economic position of J. and the specific symbiosis of its interests with the interests of gentry and noblemen (particularly various forms of lease of court incomes, the so-called arenda) were accompanied by the manifestations of discrimination; however, comparing to the situation of J. in other European countries, their living conditions in Poland were advantageous. The number of Jewish people increased sharply; it is estimated that at the end of the 15th century it was 30 thousand, whilst in mid-17th century, it reached from 350 to 500 thousand. From the second quarter of the 17th century, along with the increasing political and economic crisis of the Republic of Poland and as a result of the wars it fought (with Cossacks, Tatars, Russia, Sweden, Turkey), there was a decline of cities and the Jewish population became poorer and poorer as well; a part of it moved to Ukraine and found employment in large estates, among others, at organizing the export of agricultural produce; in those areas, particularly for the peasants affected severely as a result of the military activities, a Jew-usurer and a Jew-lessor became the synonyms of evil; there were anti-Jewish riots; in the period of the Khmelnytsky Uprising (1648) about 100–125 thousand J. were murdered (in the Jewish literature, that period is called Great Catastrophe — Gezerah), during the Koliyivshchyna 1768 — about 50 thousand (among others, the Uman massacre). As a result of the persecutions and the deteriorating economic situation of J., mystical and religious movements appeared among them: in 1755 J. Frank (the founder of Frankism) began his activity in Poland, in the 18th century, Hasidism developed, which was fought against from the end of the century by the followers of Haskalah (the Jewish Enlightenment movement), as well as Jewish traditionalists and Orthodox rabbis.
The intensification of persecution of J. in Poland in the 18th century drew the attention of the Polish political elite to the Jewish issue; in the period of the Four-Year Sejm (1788–92), work began on reforming the situation of Jewish people (the representatives of J. also express their opinions in that matter), whilst in 1792, J. were covered by the personal immunity right ( neminem captivabimus nisi iure victum). At the moment of fall of the Republic of Poland, its territory was inhabited by about 800 thousand J.; 2/3 of them lived in cities, over 1/3 lived on trade, 1/3 on craftsmanship, whilst for about 14%, the source of income was lease and inn-keeping (among the lessors in villages, there were 80% of them).
The occupants introduced various legal regulations, mostly of a discriminatory nature. In Prussia, the cultural assimilation of J. and their Germanization was a target; in 1797, the Jewish self-government was abolished and kahals were only granted the authority in religious issues, J. were prohibited to trade in villages and their emigration was supported (within the first 70 years of the 19th century, nearly all J. left the Poznań land). The Austrian authorities also supported the emigration of J. and inspired the processes of Germanization; in 1776, J. were prohibited to trade in the goods being the monopoly of the state. In the territories annexed by Russia, many restrictions concerning personal freedom were introduced in 1804, for example, the prohibition to buy estates; J. could live in Russia only within the so-called settlement zone, that, is, in the former territories of the Republic of Poland and in south-western governorates of the Empire; from 1823, J. were moved from villages to cities and assigned specific areas in which they were allowed to settle. Jews were also refused political rights in the Republic of Cracow (in which they constituted 13% of the inhabitants) and in the Kingdom of Poland (1816 — 8.7% of the inhabitants), where, out of 450 cities and towns, 90 enjoyed the former charters of “not tolerating Jews”, whilst in 30 of them, J. were prohibited to live on specified streets.
The changes in the situation of J. took place in the second half of the 19th century; in Europe, the development of capitalism was accompanied by the modernization of social life, the sphere of citizen freedoms expanded; at the end of the century, J. in Germany and Austria-Hungary were granted full equality of rights (though in Austria-Hungary they were not allowed to use Jewish languages in public life). In the Kingdom of Poland, the reforms of A. Wielopolski (1862) revoked nearly all restrictions by which J. had been covered, concerning their place of living, buying real estates, performing public functions, they also cancelled separate taxes for J. After the fall of the January Uprising 1863–64, their rights were limited again; J. were not allowed to public service (except health service), from 1887, the percentage of J. in secondary and higher education was limited, 1891 they were prohibited to buy and lease agricultural land; in Russia, the authorities were not only opposed to the emancipation of J., but also used the official, state antisemitism when attempting to solve the increasing internal social tensions.
The efforts of J. aimed at obtaining their emancipation and equal rights also comprised the attempts of fundamental reconstruction of traditional religious and social norms; most of the Jewish inhabitants of Poland were Orthodox, cultivating the customs and practices which originated from Judaism. The appearing assimilatory trends had various forms — from aspiring to a full identification with the Polish, German and, rarely, Russian culture, through various forms of combining assimilation with the preservation of own tradition; in the territories occupied by Russia, that phenomenon comprised a part of the emerging Jewish class of intellectuals. The process of self-polonization could also be observed among the representatives of the rich bourgeoisie involved in industry and trade; it took place on a wider scale in the territories occupied by Austria, and particularly in those under the Prussian occupation (identification with the German culture); however, the scale of assimilation in the Polish territories was small, as it was impeded by the resistance of both a part of the Polish society and the Jewish traditionalists; the activity of the ideologists and politicians speaking about the national identity of J. (particularly Jewish socialists and Zionists) was even of a greater importance — as a result, the Jewish community gradually transformed from a religious community into a modern nation. At the end of the 19th century, the Jewish movement called Zionism developed, which treated J. as a separate nation and aspired to its secularization, calling for the establishing of a Jewish national state in Palestine; as early as at the beginning of the 20th century in the territories of Poland (mainly in those occupied by Austria), the structures of the World Zionist Organization were active. Among a part of the Jewish community, socialistic postulates became very popular; the politicians of the Jewish origin were active in all fractions of the Polish workers’ movement; in 1897, the Social Democratic General Jewish Labour Bund of Lithuania, Poland and Russia (Bund) was established.
At the end of the 19th century, J. continued to be mainly a municipal community; the territories of the Kingdom of Poland were inhabited by about 1.3 mln J. (14% of all inhabitants), Galicia — about 800 thousand (11% of all inhabitants), whilst the area of Poznań and Pomerania — about 50 thousand; large groups of Jews lived in the so-called settlement zone in the western and south-western part of Russia; in early 20th century, the number of the Jewish inhabitants in the Kingdom of Poland increased as a result of the immigration of the so-called Litwaki - Jews from western Russia, Lithuania and Belarus (partially Russified), fleeing pogroms, as well as those removed by administrative decisions by Russian authorities.
In the restored Polish state 1921, there were about 2.8 mln Jewish inhabitants (over 10% of all inhabitants; 76% lived in cities (where they constituted 30% of the population), 25% were concentrated in Warsaw, Łódź, Cracow, Lviv and Vilnius; the source of income of over 1/3 of the J. was trade, 42% worked in crafts and small industry; many of them represented the so-called freelance professions. The situation of J. in Polish eastern territories, where they became involved in Polish-Russian and Polish-Ukrainian conflicts, was particularly complicated; accusing them of pro-Ukrainian and pro-Bolshevik attitudes led to many anti-Jewish riots (among others, the pogroms in Lviv on 22 November 1918 and Częstochowa on 28 May 1919; in Pińsk on 5 April 1919, an officer ordered to shoot several dozen Jews without court proceedings); those incidents made Jewish politicians call for establishing the international guarantees for minority rights in Poland. The outcome was the so-called Little Treaty of Versailles (28 June 1919), which guaranteed, among others: the freedom of religion and equality of rights for all citizens, the freedom of using the native language in private life, in print and in public assemblies; J. were also granted the right to establish their own organizations, schools etc. at the financial support of the state and local authorities; the most important declarations of that treaty were included in the constitution of 1921 and 1935. In the interwar period, there were many Jewish political groups: he main organization of traditionalists was the party Agudat Jisrael; the Zionist stream was represented, among others, by the Zionist Organization in Poland and Mizrachi; the Bund was dominant in the labor movement, there was also The Jewish Social Democratic Labour Party Workers of Zion (Poale Zion); 1921–26 Jewish politicians cooperated closely with the representatives of other national minorities (an electoral alliance). In 1926, Polish authorities declared support for the purposes of the Zionist movement; however, as a result of the lack of fulfilment of many essential Jewish postulates, Zionists gradually moved to the opposition. In early 30s, Jewish parties devoted particular attention to the increasing wave of anti-Jewish riots, caused primarily by the intensifying agitation of the antisemitic radical stream of national democrats.
The Jewish people, enduring badly all crisis phenomena in economy (among others, due to the one-sided vocational structure and lack of capital for investments), were particularly affected by the reconstruction of the tax system in the period of reforms of W. Grabski 1924–25 — which resulted in a wave of emigration, the so-called Grabski Aliyah (aliyah, 3) — and by the great economic crisis 1929–35, during which the phenomenon of economic antisemitism occurred (among other, the boycott of Jewish shops); at that time, the Revizionist fraction appeared in the Zionist movement, which called for a more intensified fight for an independent Jewish state in Palestine; its leader, W. Żabotyński, established the New Zionist Organization (1935) and announced the 10-year plan of emigration of 750 thousand J. from Poland and, as a result, received help from Polish authorities. In the second half of the 30s, the drafts of legislation discriminating J. appeared; 1936 the Parliament adopted a resolution on restrictions concerning ritual slaughter, 1937 an ordinance was published allowing rectors of schools of higher education to introduce the so-called bench ghetto.
In spite of those obstacles, Jewish intellectual life developed intensively in three language streams: Hebrew, Yiddish and Polish; there were several hundred scientific, charity, sport and other societies; 1928, 193 press titles were published; it was a period of intensive development of literature, theater (among others, the Vilnius Troupe), film, visual arts. (about 500 painters and sculptors). Most of the Jewish children attended free public schools with the Polish language of instruction; at private schools (1937 there were 1237 of them with over 180 thousand pupils), Yiddish or Hebrew were the languages of instruction or the languages in which certain lectures were given; there were also scientific institutions and schools of higher education, among others, the Institute of Judaistic Sciences in Warsaw, the Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva, the Jewish Scientific Institute in Vilnius.
In 1939, in the Polish territories seized by Germany, the Nazi authorities began to persecute Jewish people, which soon developed into systematic extermination (see the Holocaust subsection). After the war, within the so-called repatriation, about 137 thousand J. returned to Poland from the USSR; in the country, about 50–80 thousand J. survived the war. In Poland, the system transformation was supported by a part of the left-wing Jewish community, which had been connected with the communist and socialist movement before the war. The attempts to restore the Jewish life in Poland were not successful, the memory of the recent Holocaust, current events (like, for example, the Kielce Pogrom) and establishing the state of Israel encouraged emigration; 1946–50 about 120 thousand people went from Poland to Palestine; next waves of emigration took place after 1956 and 1967–68 (March 1968). During the census in Poland in 2002, the Jewish nationality was declared by 1133 people; religious and social organizations are active, as well as cultural, educational and scientific institutions, particularly the Union of the Jewish Religious Communities in the Republic of Poland, the Federation of Jewish Societies in Poland, the Social and Cultural Society of Jews in Poland (as provided in the data of the Central Statistical Office (GUS), it had 2328 members in 2003), the Association of Jewish Combatants and Victims of World War II in Poland (1000 members), the Children of the Holocaust Association in Poland (793 members), the Ester Rachel Kamińska State Jewish Theatre in Warsaw and the Jewish Historical Institute. The Scientific and Research Institute; social and cultural periodicals are published: “Słowo Żydowskie — Dos Jidisze Wort” (formerly “Fołks-Sztyme”) and “Midrasz”.
Żydzi w Polsce Odrodzonej. Działalność społeczna, gospodarcza, oświatowa i kulturalna [Jews in Restored Poland. Social, Economic, Educational and Cultural Activity] , I. Schiper, A. Tartakower, A. Hafftka (eds) vol. 1–2, Warsaw 1936;
A. Eisenbach, Emancypacja Żydów na ziemiach polskich 1785–1870 na tle europejskim [Emancipation of Jews in Poland 1785-1870 on the European Background], Warsaw 1988;
I. Schiper, Dzieje handlu żydowskiego na ziemiach polskich [History of Jewish Trade in Poland], Warsaw 1990;
E. Mendelsohn, Żydzi Europy środkowo-wschodniej w okresie międzywojennym [The Jews of East Central Europe between the World Wars], Warsaw 1992;
Najnowsze dzieje Żydów w Polsce [Contemporary History of Jews in Poland] , J. Tomaszewski (ed.) Warsaw 1993;
A. Michałowska, Między demokracją a oligarchią. Władze gmin żydowskich w Poznaniu i Swarzędzu (połowa XVII–XVIII wiek) [Between Democracy and Oligarchy. The Authorities of Jewish Communities in Poznań and Swarzędz (mid-17th - 18th century) , Warsaw 2000;
Żydzi w Polsce. Dzieje i kultura [Jews in Poland. History and Culture], J. Tomaszewski, A. Żbikowski (eds), Warsaw 2001.