The Jewish Community Council of Bodzentyn discussing the forthcoming war. From the left: Icek Szafir, and next to him, the Rabbi of Bodzentyn (most probably Rabbi Herszka Szwarc (also known as Herszek Szwarc, Henry Schwartz and Hirsh Shwartz), followed by Meir Grossman (Morris Grossman) and Nus’n Szachter, who was formerly secretary of the organization. The two men at the far right have not yet been identified. The gentleman on the far right may, however, well be the young Shmiel Weintraub.
A community within a community
The Jewish population of Bodzentyn formed a community within a community. The communal organization consisted of eight members, a chairman, a secretary and an administrative committee. Also, the rabbi was part of the organization.
The board's elected members were charged with overall responsibility for tending to all Jewish communal needs, such as providing personal to maintain the synagogue and the ritual bathhouse, mikveh.
They were also responsible for keeping records of the Jewish population and promoting education. When circumstances demanded, the communal organization represented the Jewish community at the offices of the city police and mayor.
The communal organization was elected every fourth year. Men over 25 were able to vote.
For a period of 20 years, from 1920, the organization was headed by Josek Sztarkman, followed by Lejzor Chmielnicki, Josek Federman, Majer Szachter and then Nus'n Szachter (Nusym Szachter). In old documents from the early 1930s, one may see that the name of the head was Josek Sztarkman and that the secretary was Shmiel Weintraub (Samuel Wajntraub).
Stay tuned, in January 2022 you will find a video filmed interview with a Holocaust survivor on this page.
- Kalib Szachter, G., Wachsberger, K., & Kalib S. (1991). The Last Selection: a Child's Journey Through the Holocaust. Massachusetts: University of Massachusetts Press.
- Wołczyk, A. (1987). Pozostał po nich tylko kirkut ... (6th edition), Bodzentyn.
Wołczyk A. (2007). Bodzentyn jako miasto i osada. Bodzentyn.