The beginnings of the Jewish community of Cieszowa date back to the mid-14th century. Probably there was a school and a Jewish cemetery in Cieszowa already in the 14th century[[ref:|Cieszowa: Lubliniec, [in:] International Jewish Cemetery Project [online] May 1, 2009, https://iajgscemetery.org/eastern-europe/poland/cieszowa [accessed on February 9, 2020].]].  Marcin Wodziński holds a different opinion and believes that the oldest cemetery dates back to the 17th century as he notes after Marcus Brann that information on such origins of the community is based solely on tradition[[ref:|Wodziński M., Hebrajskie inskrypcje na Śląsku w XIII–XVIII wieku (Hebrew Inscriptions in Silesia in the 13th-18th Centuries), Wrocław, 1996, pp. 57–58.]].

After the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648), a number of Silesian towns were left depopulated. Trying to bring more money to the state's coffers, the Habsburgs introduced a more moderate policy towards Jews, allowing them to settle down in Silesia upon payment of a special fee. In ca. 1741, a wooden synagogue was built in Cieszowa. The rabbi's house, which also housed a Jewish school, stood beside the synagogue[[ref:|Piechotka M. and K., Bożnice drewniane (Wooden Synagogues), Warsaw, 1957, p. 197.]].

During the First Silesian War, in 1742, most of Silesia became part of Prussia. Initially, Prussian authorities were indifferent towards Silesian Jews, but with time Frederick II's policy towards them became more strict. Various taxes were introduced which provided financial benefits for the state. During the Seven-Years' War (1756-1763), Prussia's economic situation became very difficult. In order to alleviate the consequences of the economic crisis, the Prussian authorities offered special privileges to the richest Jewish factory owners and businessmen. They received the right to naturalize, but the privileges were applicable to a very small group. Records show that Jews living in Cieszowa paid six guilders in tolerance tax in 1757 (Tolerazsteuer) [[ref:|Myrcik J., Cieszowa, Kirkuty.xip.pl [online] http://cmentarze-zydowskie.pl/cieszowa.htm [accessed on February 9, 2020].]].

On 8 August 1781, Prussian King Frederick II expelled Jews from Upper Silesian villages, ordering them to go to cities and deal with trade only [[ref:|Ziviera E., “Rozwój osadnictwa żydowskiego na Górnym Śląsku (The Development of Jewish Settlement in Upper Silesia)” [in:], Zeszyty Gliwickie, 2002, vol. 30, p. 243.]]. An exception was made in the case of four villages: Langendorf (Polish: Wielowieś), Czieschowa (Cieszowa), Kraskau (Krasków) and Städtel, mistakenly interpreted as Sośnicowice, while in fact it was the village of Miejsce. In 1787, Prussian authorities withdrew the regulations regarding the resettlement of Jews to designated resettlement towns as the locations they had left suffered too serious economic losses. Additionally, in 1791 Jews were allowed to establish their own craftsmen’s guilds.

In February 1808, Prussian authorities abolished all feudal privileges of guilds and cities, including de non tolerandis Judaeis privilege. Since that time, Jews were allowed to settle down in all Silesian towns and freely acquire property, as approved by the authorities. The acquisition of civil rights and of the freedom to choose the place of living in the early 19th century caused an outflow of the Jewish population of Cieszowa. Local Jews moved mainly to big and industrialized German cities. In 1830, there were 45 Jews in the village and in 1845 – 28[[ref:|Myrcik J., Cieszowa, Kirkuty.xip.pl [online] http://cmentarze-zydowskie.pl/cieszowa.htm [accessed on February 9, 2020].]].

In 1855, the village was inhabited by 18 Jews, or 3.8% of all its inhabitants[[ref:|Myrcik J., Cieszowa, Kirkuty.xip.pl [online] http://cmentarze-zydowskie.pl/cieszowa.htm [accessed on February 9, 2015].]]. The last rabbi was Samuel Schloshof, who died in 1871. When the Union of Upper Silesian Synagogue Communities (Oberschlesische Synagogen-Gemeinden) was established in 1872, Cieszowa had no representative in it. In 1894, only four Jews were still living in the Cieszowa, but they left the village in the early 20th century. By 1905, there were no Jews in Cieszowa. The synagogue building was sold in 1908 to Cieszowa parish priest Father Karol Urban. In 1911, the wooden synagogue building and the adjacent rabbi's house were taken down.

 

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