Discovery notes


These sculptures depict a band from Bodzentyn. From the left: violinist, drummer, bassist. The photo of the sculptures was taken in 1969 by Rutowska Grażyna, and documented by Kwiatek Filip.

Source: Narodowe Archiwum Cyfrowe.

Once every year, on Rosh Hashana—the Jewish New Year—after the services in the synagogue with the sounding of the shofar, and after the traditional meal in the homes, Bodzentyn's Jewish families strolled to the river. There, behind the castle ruins, the ceremonious prayer was recited and enacted. While reading the prayers in their holiday prayer book, people would be emptying their pockets—symbolically casting their sins into the [Psarka] river.

Source: Szachter Kalib et al., 1991, p. 42.

Learn more about the tradition of Tashlich

Find the castle ruins and Psarka river on Google Maps

In 1886 a new slaughterhouse was built to serve all people in Bodzentyn. The building was set up at the site of its predecessor at the Psarka river, close to the bridge on Opatowska Street. It was leased by Cala (Zalel) Szafir.

Source: Wołczyk, 2007, pp. 122. 

In 1929 Bodzentyn received its first dentist; her name was Chana Leizerowicz (or Chana Lejzurowicz). She took her degree in Warsaw.

Source: Wołczyk, 1987, p. 14.

The Jews in Bodzentyn insisted that they needed to set up a trade with salt, especially as they could not buy it anywhere in town as the Catholic residents had salt on the same table as lard.

Source: Wołczyk, 1987, p. 11.

There were Jewish organisations in Bodzentyn that organised the teaching of illiterates, set up a library, and produced amateur theatre productions such as "Josef in Egypt" and "Hamlet”. The shows were performed in the Community House—the Fire Station at Rynek Górny, the Upper Market Square.

Source: Wołczyk, 1987, p. 27.

Abram Fryzeman arrived in Bodzentyn from Szydlowo in 1819. He wrote a letter to the mayor letting him know that he was a barber-surgeon and wished to put up a sign at the door. In 1826 he received permission and served as a medical practitioner until 1831. Fryzeman also instructed his son in law, Majer Szuch, in the profession. They both saved many lives during the cholera epidemic of 1827.

Source: Wołczyk, 1987, pp. 7.

In 1824 some Jews settled in Bodzentyn even though at this time they were not allowed to own their houses and stores. These families are know as Abus Silbersztajn (Abush Zylbersztajn), Mordka Binensztok (Binshtok), Abram Fryzeman, Heinich Grinblat, Chaim Silberberg, Szmul Wstega, Mendel Goldmintz, Lewek Lutgarten, Chaim Grinspanholc, Mordka Wajngold, Kopel Grinblum, Mosiek Brothandel. All in all 50 people.

Source: Wołczyk, 1987, p. 5.


This painting from 19xx by Józef Fafarski, a local Polish amateur painter in Bodzentyn, depicts some of the Jews in the town.

Source: The painting was displayed during an exhibition in 2009. Photo reproduction by the Editor.

Artemiusz Wołczyk (1910-2000) was a local historian in Bodzentyn originally from Ukraine. He spent most of his life in the town and researched its history. During his time as the secretary of the municipal office, one of his achievements was to organise and preserve documents related to the Jewish community. Some of his findings can be found in the unpublished work called Pozostał po nich tylko kirkut ... (translation: The Jewish cemetery is all that is left), produced by Wołczyk, A. (1987), Bodzentyn.

> Open the link to read an article in Polish about Artemiusz Wołczyk' work to build bridges between Poles and Ukrainians.

> More books by Artemiusz Wołczyk

Artemiusz Wołczyk. Photo: Private archive of the family, courtesy of Stefan Rachtan.

Pozostał po nich tylko kirkut ... (6th edition) was produced as a booklet in 1987 and submitted by the author as a contribution to a competition focusing on regional history, announced by the President of Towarzystwo Przyjaciół Górnictwa, Hutnictwa (Society of Friends of Mining and Metallurgy) and Przemysłu Staropolskiego, Kieleckie Towarzystwo Naukowe, Oddział Polskiego Towarzystwa Historyczneg (The Staropolski Industry, Kielce Scientific Society, branch of the Polish Historical Society). The booklet was made available to the Editor by the Rachtan family.

Artemiusz Wołczyk also wrote other works in which he relates the history of the Jewish community and the Jewish cemetery:

  • Cmentarze Bodzentyna: 1801–1980, by Artemiusz Wołczyk; Elżbieta Postoła; Julian Mróz (1983).
  • Bodzentyn jako miasto i osada : prawa miejskie - ich nabycie, utrata i próby odzyskania, by Artemiusz Wołczyk (2007). Przedsiębiorstwo Poligraficzne Głowaccy.



  • Szachter Kalib, G., S. Kalib, and K. Wachsberger (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.