The oldest records of the Jewish settlement date back to the end of the 18th century. Before that, the town owners, who presumably did not want to come into conflict with the monks, did not tolerate members of other religions. It was under Prussian rule that the Jewish Diaspora started to grow. The first information about the Jewish kehilla dates back to 1852. There was a synagogue, a mikveh and a cemetery in town. The Jewish community embraced the Skępe settlement and municipality with Lubowiec, Łąkie, Sarnowo, Szczekarzewo and Wymyślin. In the first half of the 19th century local Jews were most probably subordinated to the Lipno kehilla. In the period 1921-1933, the Jewish community in Skępe consisted of ca. 320 - 330 (members) and in the years 1938-1939 of 300 members. Among them, many earned their living trading and performing a craft activity. The latter group, however, was considerably smaller and less important. In 1939, among all members who paid the the contribution for the community, merchants made up 44%, craftsmen 20% and representatives of other professions 6%. There is no information about 30% of the payers. The most affluent members of the community were predominantly merchants, e.g. Josek Adler, Izrael Bursztyn, Abram Bursztyn, Rywen Winkielman, Anszel Rozenwaks and Szlama Pozmanter. There was also a small group of rich craftsmen, for instance Anszel Adler (baker) and land owners: Wolf Czarnoczapka, Arnold Łabędź and Zalman Cukier. Among the payers there were also: a clerk (1), a hairdresser (1), a leather-stitcher (1), tailors (2), bakers (2), butchers (4) and a worker (1). The following rabbis performed their religious duties in Skepe in the 19th century: Abraham Naftali Herc and Berisz Blumberg, the founder of a highly praised yeshiva in town, who died during the First World War. For a short period his son Bencjon Abram Blumberg replaced him. At the beginning of the 1920s Jachiel Halewi Zontag took over the post (he died in Skępe in 1932 or 1933). In 1933, Josef Gelernter, the previous assistant rabbi, became rabbi. The following Jewish citizens were elected to the community board on the 30th of the August 1936, in the last election before the outbreak of the Second World War,: Jakub Baruch Pisarz, Icchak Jaskółka, Icchak Pagat, Eliezer Pieta, Meir Rosbard, Nachman Szperling, Chaim Mosze Rzeszotko. At first J. Gelernter was first elected chairman, yet, he refused to take on the post. Jakub Baruch Pisarz replaced him. In 1938 the real property of the community was estimated at 8,000 zlotys (the synagogue 4,000 zlotys, the bath house 200 zlotys, the cemetery with a house 500 zlotys, the poultry slaughterhouse 200 zlotys, squares and land 3,100 zlotys). The moveables were estimated at 200 zlotys. The community had 2,500 zlotys of debt. The history of the Jewish community in Skępe came to an end between September and December 1939. Those, who did not flee from the town during the first days of the war or were not exterminated on the spot (e.g. Kurczak, who was mentally ill, was shot dead), were sent to Warsaw on the 15th of December 1939. After the Second World War the Jewish settlement in Skępe did not revive. Only two town inhabitants of prewar Skępe survived the war[1.1].

  • [1.1] Tomasz Kawski, Kujawsko-dobrzyńscy Żydzi w latach 1918-1950, „Wydawnictwo Adam Marszałek”, Toruń 2006, p. 268; Tomasz Kawski, Gminy żydowskie pogranicza Wielkopolski, Mazowsza i Pomorza w latach 1918 – 1942, „Wydawnictwo Naukowe GRADO”, Toruń 2007, p. 208-209.