The first reference to Jews living in Inowłódz dates back to 1537. The earliest community probably disappeared after the Polish-Swedish wars and was later brought back to life by new settlers.

The local Jews were subject to the Jewish Community Co-operative in Ujazd for a long time. In 1820, an independent Jewish community with its own brick synagogue and a cemetery was established. In 1827, the Administrative Council designated a settlement area for the Jewish population. It was located on low-lying land near the Pilica River. However, it was a flooded area, which was quite often damaged by floods. Therefore, in the 1830s, the settlement area given to the Jewish community in Inowłódz was extended by the northern part of the Inowłódz market square and Mostowa Street (Polish: ul. Mostowa).

In 1858, 35 Jewish families lived here. One of the most important figures of the local community at that time was Abraham Rosenberg, for nearly 30 years regarded as the leader of the local Jews. A shelter for the poor had been operating in the town since the beginning of the 19th century. It was renovated, as well as the synagogue, in 1858.

The small community of Inowłódz did not have its own rabbi for a very long time. The function of the rabbi was usually performed by judges (dajanim). Before 1827, these were Dawid Peperkorn, a native of Biała Rawska, and after his death, Szymon Lajb Frumer, born in Inowłódz. From the 1830s until 1848, Abraham Michael Lewi from Pińczów performed the function of a judge; in the last years of his life, the title of rabbi was used for him. From then on, there were only rabbis in Inowłodz: Yosef Jungbach of Opoczno (1848-1860), Nachum Rozenblum (1860-1908), Icchak Meir Kanal (1908-1910), Jecheskel Halsztok (1910-1920). The last was A. I. Gingold, serving until the outbreak of World War II.

At the end of the 19th century Inowłódz became a fashionable summer resort settlement, mainly for Jews from Tomaszów, Łódź and Warsaw.

In the interwar period, in 1921, 408 Jews lived in Inowłódz. Their occupation was related both to servicing the still fashionable summer resort and supplying the population of the surrounding villages with clothing, purchased from wholesalers in Łódź and Tomaszów Mazowiecki. There were also many local tailors.

During World War II, in September 1939, Inowłódz was occupied by the German army. There were 426 Jews in the town at that time. In May 1941 there were still 130 people who had come here from other towns. In the autumn of 1941, the Germans had established a ghetto there, which was liquidated in August 1942. In April 1942, there were 545 Jews, including 172 refugees. Eventually, over 600 Jews were transported to the ghetto in Tomaszów Mazowiecki.

After the end of the war, two Jews returned to Inowłódz. The first of them decided to sell all his pre-war properties. The second one got a job in the Provincial Security Office in Łódź and moved there.

Bibliographical note

  • Inowlodz, [in:] Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities in Poland, Volume I (Poland). Pinkas Hakehillot Polin, Jerusalem 1976, p. 54.

 

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