Communal organization

Photo of the board of the  Jewish communal organization in Bodzentyn. From the left: Yitzchak (Icek) Szafir, and next to him, the Rabbi of Bodzentyn (most probably Rabbi Herszka Szwarc, also known as Henry Schwartz and Hirsh Shwartz), followed by Meir Grossman (Morris Grossman) and Nus'n Szachter, who was formerly organization's secretary. The two men at the far right have not yet been identified. However, the gentleman on the far right may be the young Shmiel Weintraub.

A community within a community

The Jewish population of Bodzentyn formed a community within a community. The communal organization comprised eight members: a chairman, a secretary and an administrative committee. Also, the rabbi was part of the organization.

The board's elected members were responsible for tending to all Jewish communal needs, such as providing personnel 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 board of the communal organization* was elected every fourth year. Men over 25 were able to vote.

For 20 years, from 1920, the organization was headed by Josek Sztarkman, then 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).

* In Polish gmina wyznaniowa, kahal in Yiddish and kehila in Hebrew.

Learn more about gmina wyznaniowa / kahal



  • 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.