"Dobra" - Encyclopedia of Jewish
Communities in Poland, Volume I
(Poland)

51°55' / 18°37'

Translation of the "Dobra" chapter from
Pinkas Hakehillot Polin

Published by Yad Vashem

Published in Jerusalem


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Acknowledgments

Project Coordinator

Morris Wirth

Our sincere appreciation to Yad Vashem for permission
to put this material on the JewishGen web site.

This is a translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot: Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities, Poland,
Volume I, pages 85-86 published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem


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(pages 85-86)

Dobra
(District of Turek)

Translated by Shmuel Kehati

Population Statistics
YearTotal
Population
Jewish
Population
1764/65?355
1808908507
18272,1201,058
18572,4071,300
18972,7191,185
19213,0551,207
1.9.1939?Aprox. 1,000

Dobra obtained city status before 1514, lost it in 1870 and regained it after 1918.

It is know that from the beginning of the 17th century a Jewish community existed in Dobra. The leaders of the community were very involved in the activities of the Council of the Four Lands. Most of the Jews earned a living based on trade. In the middle of the 18th century, Dobra had 3 inn-keepers, 3 whiskey makers, 11 tailors, 4 furriers, 2 smugglers, 2 glass cutters (glazers), 2 butchers and 3 barbers. The community had 3 beadles (Shamashim) and a shelter for the poor, sick and needy (Hekdesh). During the 19th century the Jews of Dobra were amongst the entrepreneurs who established a textile industry in town. At the end of the century, Jews owned flour-mills and small oil factories. Also, they dealt in leather, fabric manufacturing and crafts.

The community institutions were built at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century. Rabbi Hersz Ber was elected Rabbi of the community in 1850 and served for more than 20 years. There were Chassidic Minyanim in Dobra, as well as a charity fund (established in 1901). A committee for helping the poor and comforting the sick operated in Dobra at the beginning of the 20th century, as well as a a Jewish school (Talmud Torah). A Zionist youth organization (Agudat Tsieri Zion) was established towards the end of the First World War, when the German authorities allowed community activities. The movement had 70 members in 1918, and a library, which attracted many of the Jewish youth.

The economic conditions of Dobra's Jews declined between the two World Wars. The charity fund resumed its operation and provided assistance to merchants and craftsmen that suffered due to the Polish economic boycott.

The Orthodox community, which was under the influence of Agudat Israel, had control over the community institutions. The Zionist circles in Dobra were mostly under the regional leadership of Kalisz. Up to 50 voting delegates were sent to the Zionist Congress. The Zionists of Dobra belonged mainly to the following: General Zionist Movement (Al HaMishmar), League for Working Israel, Mizrachi, Revisionist Movement and Betar.

Groups of Polish Anti-Semites harmed Jewish merchants in June 1937, destroying merchandise and damaging their stands.

Immediately following the occupation of the town by the Germans during the first half of September 1939, Jews were taxed, taken hostage, badly beaten and sent to forced labor. The Judenrat was established in December 1939, and under the orders of the Germans, was in charge of the forced labor and the registration of the Jewish population. During 1940 Jews were confined to the ghetto. In October 1941 the Jews, including the last Rabbi of Dobra, Dov Ber Issachar, were transferred to a rural ghetto near Kowale Panskie. There they suffered the same destiny as that suffered by the rest of the Jews in the area.


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