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Jewish Families of Opatów

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  • Mordechai Ben-Dror (1898 - 1991)
  • Aba Leib Gruwajs (1885 - c.1944)
    Aba Lejb Gruwajs Mandatory Palestine Naturalization Applications, 1937-1947 Hebrew name: Hebrew name Birth: 1885 - Place Naturalization: Day Month 1940 Wife: Name of wife Children: Gruwajs Jachok Alter...
  • R' Aryey Lieb Lipschutz, Admur Apt (b. - 1929)
    ר' ארי' לייבוש מאפטא חתן ר' חיים מאיר מפינטשוב ב"ר יצחק חתן הס"ק מראדושיץ (אבי ר' ישכר דוב מאונגוואר אבי ר' יחזקאל שרגא מסטראפקוב)
  • R' Issachar Ber Lipschutz, Admur Ungvar (1888 - 1944)
    Rabbi Isakhar Lipschitz was born in Apta, Poland in 1888 to Hadasa. He was a great hassidic rabbi and married to Ester. Prior to WWII he lived in Ungvar, Czechoslovakia. During the war he was in Ungvar...
  • Icek Wulf Rozenfeld (1869 - d.)

Opatów ([%C9%94%CB%88patuf]; Yiddish: אַפּטאַ, אַפּט‎) is a town in Poland, in Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship, historic province of Lesser Poland. It is the capital of Opatów County. Its population is 7,833 (2007). Opatów is located among the hills of Lesser Polish Upland, with the Opatówka river dividing the town into two parts. The town marks the intersection of two main roads - European route E371, and national road nr 74 (Piotrków Trybunalski – Hrubieszów). Opatów, however, has no rail connection. Nearest station is at Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski, 17 km (11 mi) away.

Jewish community of Opatów

Opatów was the first town in the Sandomierz Voivodeship, in which Jews settled. The original Jewish privileges were issued in 1545 by the Grand Crown Hetman Jan Tarnowski, the starost of Sandomierz and the owner of Opatów. Local Jewish community was first mentioned in the books of the Roman Catholic ecclesiastical Chapter in 1612.

Prior to World War II, Opatów had a substantial Jewish population. Known as 'Apt' in Yiddish, Opatów became home to 6,000 Jews with a history of rich cultural and religious life. Best known from among the locals was the 18th century Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Heshel (Apter Rebbe), who was instrumental in the development of the Chasidic movement, and the famous Noda Be'Yehuda of Prague, one of the leading halakhic authorities of 18th Century Europe. Jewish life in Apt has been chronicled by Professor Gershon Hundert in his 1992 book The Jews in a Private Polish Town, drawn upon a variety of sources from the history of Jews in Poland. The work describes the demographic and historical background as well as the structure of the Jewish community of Apt (Opatów) with population numbering about 2,000 in 1765, exceptionally large for any Jewish shtetl in the 18th century Europe. The town's Jewish inhabitants enjoyed considerable prominence also in the following centuries. Hundert uses the Jewish Opatów as a case study for Polish Jewry. More than three quarters of them lived on private lands of powerful magnate aristocrats known as the Szlachta. Hundert's work also describes the vibrant interaction of the Jews of Apt with their Polish Christian neighbours. It is a challenge to previous historiography which describes Jewish life in Poland in alleged isolation.

During World War II the community was herded into the new Opatów Ghetto set up by the Nazis along the Joselewicza, Zatylna, Wąska and Starowałowa Streets. The ghetto held about ten thousand Jews. It was destroyed during the Holocaust in Poland, with about 8,000 Ghetto inmates deported to Treblinka extermination camp throughout October 1942 and additional 2,000 Jews sent to labour camps never to return. Opatów was a large center of the underground resistance in World War II. On the night of March 12/13 1943, a unit of Jędrusie, together with soldiers of the Home Army, attacked the local prison, releasing 82 inmates.

For more information on the town, please see the Opatów Wikipedia Article.