In 1686, Hieronim Lubomirski, the owner of the city at that time, issued a consent to erect a new masonry Jewish school at the embankment in the Nowe Miasto district , which indicated that a school must have functioned there before that date. From 1788, there was the Judischdeutcheschule in Rzeszów. In the 1870s, the Agudat Achim Society (Brothers’ Covenant) ran evening craftsmanship classes, attended by 128 boys in 1883. There were also many private cheders in the town. Before World War I and in the interwar period, many Jewish children attended secular state schools. In the school year 1918/1919, 4,563 pupils in total, including ,2946 Catholics and 1,617 Jews attended 11 schools combined with departmental schools. The strong and well-organized Zionist circles in Rzeszów put great emphasis on education. As early as the beginning of the 20th century, there was a Hebrew school in the city; its head was Abba Apfelbaum, a well-known Zionist activist. Later, the school was managed by the Tarbut society. There was also a bilingual school in the city, located in the Beit Ha-am Jewish cultural centre. The school offered primary and secondary education, ensuring access to well-equipped study rooms, a press reading room and a library with books in Hebrew, Yiddish and Polish. The school was maintained by members of the Jewish community in Rzeszów sympathizing with the Zionist movement. There was also the Beit Yaakov school for girls in Rzeszów, established in late 1920s by Agudat Israel, as well as a reformed cheder functioning from 1920 under the patronage of Mizrachi. The Jewish Peoples’ School Society ran a common school and a gymnasium for boys and girls. In 1928, there was a Hebrew school in the city and an open university operated by the Tarbut society[1.1]. The Jewish inhabitants of Rzeszów also engaged in social and cultural activities of the town. In 1903, Moses Goldberg set up a printing house in the city where, in the years 1905-1911, he printed Tygodnik Rzeszowski (The Rzeszow Weekly)[1.2]. Other Jewish newspapers and periodicals were also published in the town. Some of them, like the Zionist weekly Di Naye Folkstsaytung published by Naftali Glucksman or Di Gerekhtikeit, founded by Efraim Hirschhorn, were only published for a short period of time. Before Poland had regained independence, the Di Yidishe Folkstsaytung daily was published in the town, which was very popular with the residents of Rzeszów and nearby localities. Many renowned Jewish figures came from Rzeszów, for instance: Moshe David Geshwind (1840-1905), translator of J. Słowacki’s works into Hebrew, or Abraham Abba Appelbaum (1861–1933), well-known Zionist activist. Other well-known persons affiliated with Rzeszów are: Moses Alter (1894-1942), doctor of philology, professor at the Polish State Gymnasium named after M. Konopnicka in Warsaw in the interwar period and director of the Tachkemoni Jewish Religious Seminar; Antoni Alster (1903 -1968), graphic artist, Communist activist on the central level in Poland after the war; Roman Maurer (1852 - 1884), medievalist historian; Henryk Rowid (1877-1944), real name: Naftali Herz Kanarek, Polish educational activist, editor of Chowanna who perished in Auschwitz; Maurycy Allerhand (1868 - 1942), renowned lawyer, from 1919 a member of the Polish Codification Committee of the Republic of Poland and of the State Tribunal. Berish Vaynshteyn, famous American poet, was also born to a Jewish family from Rzeszów. In 1870, Julian Klaczko (1825-1906), real name: Yehuda Leyb, political activist, literary critic and historian of art became a honorary citizen of the town. He was the first Polish writer of the Jewish origin to become famous. His work, Wieczory florenckie (Evenings in Florence) (published in 1881) were particularly valued. In 1912, the honorary citizenship of Rzeszów was granted to Leon Biliński (1846-1923), Minister of the State Treasury in the Second Polish Republic[1.3] and Nahum Sternheim ((1879-1943), musician and singer inspired by both the folk music of the Rzeszów region and the Jewish music. He died in the Rzeszów ghetto.
Translated by LIDEX
- [1.1] After: Rzeszów [in:] The Encyclopedia of Jewish Life Before and During the Holocaust, S. Spector, G. Wigoder, eds., vol. II, New York 2001, page 1111.
- [1.2] Potocki A., Żydzi w Podkarpackiem, Wydawnictwo Libra, Rzeszów 2004, page 158
- [1.3] Potocki A., Żydzi w Podkarpackiem, Wydawnictwo Libra, Rzeszów 2004, page 161