The special position of the Jews in Leszczyński estate could have made representatives of this religion to exist even in 17th century. If it really was so, is not sure. The first data regarding the presence of the Jews in this town is dated on 18th century. Meetings of regional counsil of Greater Poland, in which participated numerous cricle of jewish scholars and scientists (e.g. the Poznań rabbi Naphtali Cohen), took place there during years 1713 –1714. In 1714 Naphtali Cohen met with the king residing in Rydzyna, August II.

The Jews appeared in Rydzyna in greater number after the fire of Leszno in 1767. According to available sources, 17 families who lived in this city then paid the tax.

On 4th September 1775 the then owner of Rydzyna, prince August Sułkowski, made out a protective letter for the Rydzyna Jews which guaranteed them freedom of trade, excluding spices, salt and herring. They mustn’t have been licensed for beer and wine with except of kosher one. However, they were given freedom to practise craft which they could be in with accordance to their skills. [A. Heppner, I. Herzberg, Aus Vergangenheit und Gegenwart der Judeun und der jüdischen Gemeinden in den Posener Landen, Koschmin-Bromberg 1909, p. 896. ].

Rydzyna is the seat of prince’s court, staff and two companies of king’s-polish regiment, regional school, monastery of piarist. Nearby villages build suburbs of the town.The town has two churches: catholic and evangelical one. Moreover, it posesses all kind of data on vast commercial city, regarding abundance of water which can be used by dyeworks, tannery and other factories. [L. Preibisch, Zamek i klucz rydzyński, Rydzyna 1938, p. 116-117.]

August’s efforts at gaining new burghers who would be profitable for the were successful. The number of Jews in Rydzyna increased in such a degree that they were able to create an independent community and to build a synagogue in a short period of time. In 1791 33 jewish households were counted.

During the whole year of living in the town, the Jews were mainly in trade. In General Table dated on 1797 were noted down no less than 39 so called ‘main persons’. Among them as much as 30 people were in trade. There could be found also 3 craftmen, 3 maids and 1 servant. In case of 1 person no profession was provided and 1 person was a postman. In this period of time 120 people earned their living at trade, 25 at craft. They obtained other meanings to live on from tenancy, pension, service or they were financed by the local government. [D. Czwojdrak, Żydzi w Rydzynie w latach 1793-1920 [in:] „Rydzyniak” 1996, no. 5-6, p. 42, 42.].

In the first half of the 20th century, after the initial decrease caused by Jews emigration to Leszno and Silesia, the number of Jewish population came to 70 – 80 people (probably about 20 families) who were often close – knit to each other. To the most popular surnames belonged at that time: Cohn (Kohn), Peiser, Rawack, Zoffer, Bloch, Neumann, Marcus, Scherek and Schand.

In 1800, 23 Jewish buyers and traders were noted down and moreover 1 broker, 1 leaseholder, 1 butcher, 1 tailor, 1 servant of a synagogue, 1 person with no profession provided and 1 person providing postal services. In 1809 there were 17 professionally active people, in 1830 – 15, in 1845 – 16, in 1867 – 13 and in 1892 only 2 people were professionally active. The structure of performed job activities was not changed during the whole 19 century and involved only a few cases with other kinds of profession. [D. Czwojdrak, Żydzi w Rydzynie w latach 1793-1920 [in:] „Rydzyniak” 1996, no. 5-6, p. 44, 45, 46. ]].

Between t years 1843 – 1845 the budget of Jewish district came to 172 thalers and 18 silver groshens and conscript taxes (Rekrutensteuer) was up to 12 tahlers. Rydzyń Jews paid on elementary school an amount of 16 thalers. The costs were spread out for 18 people (13 buyers and traders, 1 worker, 1 tailor, 1 shoemaker, 1 furrier and 1 midwife) )[[refr:| A. Heppner, I. Herzberg, Aus Vergangenheit und Gegenwart der Judeun und der jüdischen Gemeinden in den Posener Landen, Koschmin-Bromberg 1909, p. 896. ].

Among the elders of the district and members of board of Jewish coorporation in Rydzyna in 18th and 19th century the most often listed were: Abraham Loebel Blonde, Boas Joseph Zoffer, Isaac Meyer Neumann, Falk Zoffer,Michael Schand, David Neumann, Kasriel Kohn, Berel Rawack, Gabriel Scherek, D.J. Cohn, Moritz Rawack and Henschel Peiser.

The Jewish district in Rydzyna did not posess their own rabbi and during the whole peroid of their history they used the support of district in Leszno. The on exception was vicerabbin Gabriel Leib Schereck, who is called in sources also as ‘scholar’ (Gelehrte). The corporation engaged only agents and shochet.

Between years 1847 – 1918 in Rydzyna were noted 51 mariages, 125 births and 82 deaths.

The self-dissolution of the district took place in 1920 because of departure of all citizens of Jewish origin. When Rydzyna was joined to Poland (January 2010), 6 Jewish people still lived there. During first months of independence they moved to Wroclaw.

Between years 1941 – 1943 in Rydzyna and neraby village Kloda existed a compulsory labour camp for Jews. They were engaged to cleans up ditches, land reclamation, to build intrusive rock and to work in a forest. At the beginning in the camp stayed approximately 100 people. 78 people were kept there in March 1943 and in May 1943 – 38 people. Two executions were noted down. The director of the camp (Lagerfürer) was Paul Dupski from Westfalia. Jews came mainly from Łęczyca and Grabów. [ A. Piwoń, Przyczynek do historii żydowskiego obozu pracy w Kłodzie [in:] „Tydzyniak” 2000, no. 10-11, p. 38-40.]
 

 

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