Jews started to settle in Lipsk in the first half of the 17th century. In 1643 they received from king Władysław IV privileges allowing to build a synagogue, their own stalls as well as to produce and sell alcoholic beverages. These privileges were confirmed by king Jan III Sobieski on 15 March1679. Probably in the 18th century a cemetery was set up in the town.
In 1680 there were 10 Jews living there. Later their number grew; however, they never constituted the majority of residents of the town. In 1799 in Lipsk there were 171 Jews (19.5% of the town's population); in 1820 – 264; in 1860 – 464 (26.8%). At the beginning of the 20th century Lipsk was inhabited by 510 people of Jewish origin, which constituted 32.6% of all residents.
The percentage of Jews in Lipsk was never high enough as in other towns of Podlasie. Outflow of workers and the First World War also decreased the population. In 1921, Lipsk had 87 Jewish inhabitants. Before the Second World War there were 22 Jewish families living in Lipsk.
In a book-essay titled What the Furies Bring the Canadian writer and poet, Kenneth Sherman, who works at the university of Toronto, recalls his grandfather from his father's side, born in Lipsk, a tailor trainee, who in 1904 decided to emigrate to the New World. He reached Toronto in 1905, travelling through Germany, Holland, the UK, where he worked as a tailor's helper[1.1].
In 1941 99 Jews from Lipsk were taken to the ghetto in Grodno and Augustów, from where at the turn of 1942 and 1943 they were transported to German Nazi extermination camps.
- [1.1] Sherman K., What the Furies Bring, Ontario 2009, p. 13.