Welcome to Bodzentyn.net! This website commemorates the lost Jewish community of Bodzentyn.
The history of Jews in Poland dates back over a millennium. Through photos, videos, featured articles and testimonies — we visit the day-to-day lives of the Jews who once formed a substantial minority in this tiny Polish town.
Bodzentyn, a small market town, was Baizetshin in Yiddish to its Jews — a shtetl in every sense, a community within a community organized to maintain the synagogue, the ritual bathhouse, the cemetery and schools. The majority of the Jews were poor. The unpaved streets were often muddy and dusty. Most dwellings were single-story houses. Fires erupted frequently — sometimes disastrously. Commonly there was a dwelling at the rear of a shop, which faced the street. In addition to shop keeping, Jews also earned their living as artisans of every sort, coppersmiths, carpenters, leather workers, butchers, tailors and cobblers, to name a few. They also participated in fairs held regularly for trade in horses, cattle, grain and many craft products.
Typical as Baizetshin may have been for shtetls in Eastern Europe, there are factors in its history that are unusual, perhaps even unique. Please read on.