This project seeks to collect all of the Jewish families from the town of Stopkov, Slovakia.
- The Jews of Stropkov, 1942–1945: List of Resident's Names, by Melody Amsel
- Between Galicia and Hungary: The Jews of Stropkov , by Melody Amsel
Jews first settled in Stropkov, located on the Ondava River, in 1648 fleeing the Chmielnicki pogroms in Poland. Jews soon led the economy of Stropkov; although many Jews lived in poverty. Jews owned all the taverns and shops in Stropkov. Possibly because of their economic success, the Jews of Stropkov were expelled to Tisinec in 1700. In 1800, many Jews returned to Stropkov and reclaimed their position in the local community. Stropkov grew to become the largest Jewish community in the area.
Rabbi Moshe Schonfeld was the first rabbi of Stropkov and led the community until 1820. The community maintained a synagogue, rabbinical court, and mikveh. Many famous rabbis practiced in Stropkov and the town became the center of Torah study in Greater Hungary.
From 1400-1892, Jews were not permitted to bury their dead inside Stropkov and therefore established a cemetery in Tisinec, 4 miles away from Stropkov. Hundreds
of Jews were buried from Stropkov in this massive gravesite. From 1892 to 1942, the Jewish community of Stropkov established a second cemetery on the outskirts of the town, which was utilized until World War II.
Prior to the Holocaust, approximately 2,000 Jews lived in Stropkov. By 1939, influenced by the rise of Nazism, more and more anti-Semitic laws were imposed on the Jewish community of Stropkov. The first transport left Stopkov on March 24, 1942, carrying hundreds of Jews to Auschwitz . By 1945, only 100 Stropkov Jews remained. Today, no Jews remain in Stropkov.
- Rabbi Moshe Schonfeld (17??-1826) was the first rabbi of Stropkov and/or of Tisinec. According to Avraham Weinstein, Rabbi Schonfeld left Stropkov for a position in Vranov, where he lived until his death in 1826.
- Rabbi Yekutiel Yehuda Teitelbaum (1818-1883) served as Stropkov’s chief rabbi and head of its Rabbinical Court until leaving for a post in Ujhely, Hungary.
- Rabbi Chaim Yosef Gottlieb (1790-1867), the “Stropkover Rav”, became Stropkov’s chief rabbi and head of its Rabbinical Court on the recommendation of Rabbi Chaim Halberstam of Sanz, who claimed the appointment was by heavenly decree. Even today, his descendants and followers name children in his honor. Even today, his descendants gather at his grave at the Tisinec cemetery on the anniversary of his death.
For further information regarding these memorial services, as well as concurrent services in NYC and Jerusalem, contact either the Committee for Preservation of Tisinec/Stropkov Cemeteries, 1622 52nd Street, Brooklyn, NY 11204 or the Rabbi Chaim Yosef Yeshiva, Beth Hora’ah, 37 Chaim Ozer Street, P.O. Box 1243, Jerusalem, Israel.
- Rabbi Yechezkel Shraga Halberstam (1811-1899) , the son of Rabbi Chaim Halberstam of Sanz, became Stropkov’s chief rabbi and head of its Rabbinical Court, as well as a Talmud Torah at the death of the Stopkover Ruv. His scholarship, piety, and personal charisma transformed Stropkov into one of the most respected Chassidic centers in all Galicia and Hungary. Rabbi Halberstam passed away in Sienawa on 6 Tevet.
- Rabbi Moshe Yosef Teitelbaum (1842-1897), the son of Rabbi Yekutiel Yehuda Teitelbaum (see above), was appointed Stropkov’s chief rabbi and head of its Rabbinical Court in 1880. He died on 24 Tevet in Ujhely, Hungary.
- Rabbi Yitzhak Hersh Amsel (c1855-1934), the son of Peretz Amsel of Stropkov, traced his line to the Maharal of Prague. Charismatic and and scholarly, he was beloved by all. Rabbi Amsel held the post of “Zborover Ruv” (rabbi of Zborov) all his life, even while becoming first a Stropkov Rabbinical Court judge and then head of its Rabbinical Court. Rabbi Yitzhak Hersh Amsel died while at prayer in Zborov, and is buried in the Stropkov cemetery where a "tent" still protects his grave.
- Rabbi Avraham Shalom Halberstam (1856-1940), the son of Rabbi Yechezkel Shraga Halberstam, became Stropkov’s chief rabbi and head of its Rabbinical Court in 1897. Jews, learned and simple alike, sought the advice and blessing of this "miracle rabbi of Stropkov," revered as a living link in the chain of Chassidut of Sanz and Sienawa. Rabbi Halberstam served in Stropkov for some forty years, until the early 1930's, when he assumed a rabbinical post in the larger town of Kosice. He died there on 6 Sivan.
- Rabbi Menachem Mendl Halberstam (1873-1954) became Stropkov’s chief rabbi and head of its Talmud Torah when his father, Rabbi Avraham Shalom Halberstam, left for Kosice. During the Holocaust, the Rebbe initially hid in Budapest, and then, when the Nazis occupied Hungary, was spirited to Bratislava, Slovakia--along with his wife, a granddaughter, and one son. After his wife and son were killed, the Rebbe and his granddaughter were accepted into an underground bunker on the condition that the Rebbe guarantee—in writing, that all its seventeen occupants would survive the war. Both grandfather and granddaughter survived.
After the war, Rabbi Menachem Mendl Halberstam taught at the Stropkover Yeshiva, founded in his honor in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He died there on 6 Iyar, and is buried on Har Hamenuchot in Jerusalem. Source