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Translation of Bohorodczany chapter from
Pinkas Hakehillot Polin
Translation of Bohorodczany chapter from
Published by Yad Vashem
Published in Jerusalem
Published in Jerusalem
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This is a translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot:
Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities, Poland, Volume II, pages 71-72, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem
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[The note in parenthesis below the first entry in the Jewish Population column notes: "includes Jews of subordinate villages".]
Bohorodczany was founded as an urban settlement under the private ownership of the nobility, apparently toward the end of the 17th or the beginning of the 18th century. In the 19th century, the city served as the administrative center of the district.
The first Jews settled in Bohorodczany at the time of its founding. In 1717, the Jews of Bohorodczany and the adjacent villages paid a head tax of 756 gold coins. In 1785 a school of the H. Homburg school network was established, but this school closed after a few years. The Jewish settlement increased during the 18th century and reached its peak in population in the 1890s. From that time a decline began, due to people leaving for larger cities, and emigration overseas. At the time of the Russian conquest in 1915, the Cossacks perpetrated a pogrom against the Jews of Bohorodczany. Several Jews, including children, were murdered, women were raped, and a large amount of property was plundered. Several women were brutally raped in the synagogue where they had tried to find refuge.
In the 18th century, the Jews were engaged in leasing, innkeeping, bartending, commerce and in artisanship. The main source of sustenance of the local merchants in the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries was in the manufacture of linens based on the growing of flax in the area; the lumbermilling industry, and the lumber trade. Jews were also engaged in tanning and shoemaking, and others worked as coachmen. In 1911, the Jews received permission from the authorities to establish a printing press. In 1929, a charitable organization was established with the assistance of the Joint. However, its functions were limited: the sum of loans that were given out in 1933-1934 was 540 Zloty, divided among 7 borrowers. In the following year the sum of the loans was only 140 Zloty, which was divided among 3 borrowers only.
From the beginning of the 18th century, an organized community with institutions and Rabbis existed in Bohorodczany. The first Rabbi that we know about was Rabbi Shimshon Halevi-Heller the son of Reb Avraham, who served from 1720. His son, Rabbi Meir the son of Reb Shimshon Halevi, inherited his position and served from 1750. The Halevi-Heller dynasty also included Rabbi Meshulam Feibish the son of Reb Baruch-Yitzchak, who served also as Admor (Chassidic master). He died in 1830. At approximately 1870, Rabbi Meir Hakohen Rappaport served in the city, and was succeeded by Rabbi Uri-Shraga (Feivel) Shreier, who died in 1898. The latter was known for his sympathies toward Zionism. After the passing of Rabbi Shraga-Feivel Shreier, Rabbi Pinchas Horowitz was appointed as the Rabbi of Bohorodczany and the head of the Yeshiva. He died in 1920. He left behind written responsa on the four sections of the Shulchan Aruch  , novellae on the Talmud, a work on the Torah, and other writings. At the same time, Rabbi Hillel the son of Yitzchak Moshe Langerman served as teacher. He founded the Yeshiva "Torat Chaim" in 1905. After the passing of Rabbi P. Horowitz, a dispute broke out over the succession. This conflict was resolved only in 1927, after the arbitration of 3 Rabbis from outside of Bohorodczany.
Already by the end of the 19th century, communal activities and Zionist activities began to spread out. In 1896, a "Ezrat Yisrael" group was founded as a branch of the "Zion" group of Lwow. The purpose of this organization was to participate in the founding of a "Galician" Moshav in the land of Israel. It had 50 members. In 1898 a Zionist organization was established, and was headed by the aforementioned Rabbi Shreier. In 1902, Bohorodczany had a Zionist union called "Beit Yisrael", and from 1923, a branch of Poale Zion functioned. In 1934 Poale Zion had 36 members. In 1925 an Ezra  branch was established, and in 1931 a branch of the Revisionist movement. In 1939 a branch of Brit Hachail  was established under its auspices. In the 30s, a Zionist youth group functioned in the city. In the 1935 elections to the Zionist Congress, the General Zionists received 31 ballots, the Mizrachi -- 31 ballots, and the Eretz Yisrael List -- 96 ballots.
A number of the Jewish youth of Bohorodczany were counted among the members of and sympathizers of the Communist Party. In the lawsuit against the Communists in 1938, one of the Jews of Bohorodczany was included among the defendants.
In 1903, a Baron Hirsch school was established. In 1906-1907 it had a student body of 206 children, under the direction of 3 teachers of general studies and one teacher of Jewish studies. Apparently, this school closed in 1937. In 1907 courses in the Hebrew language were offered by "The Union of Hebrew Teachers of Austria". In 1909 there was a Jewish school for girls. Between the two world wars courses in Hebrew were offered in Bohorodczany, and in 1923-1924, classes in general studies were offered by the Jewish Union of Public Schools and High Schools of Lwow.
After the outbreak of World War Two, groups of Ukrainian farmers streamed into the city on the days of 16-18 of September 1939 in order to attack the Jews. The were armed with sticks and axes, and called out anti-Semitic proclamations. They also perpetrated hostilities against the retreating Polish soldiers, and attempted to capture their arms. These events did not result in a pogrom, since after a few days the Red Army entered into Bohorodczany. We do not know very much about the story of the Jews of Bohorodczany during the period of Soviet rule, and later during the time of the Nazi conquest. We do know that Bohorodczany was liquidated in September 1942. The Jews that were still living in Bohorodczany were evacuated to Stanislawow, and they shared the same fate of the Jews of that city.
Alef Yod Vav Shin: 03/1642
Alef Mem Tav Yod: P 83 (F 3)
Alef Tzadi Mem: A.214-1; F.3-3; S.5-1704; Z.4-234/11C, Z.4-2996
Stanislawow ("Arim Veimahot Beyisrael", volume 5), Jerusalem 1952, page 21.
"Morgen" 2.3.1920; 24.1.1927; "Hamagid 15.10.1896, 24.11.1898, 5.1.1899; "Hamitzpeh" 17.3.1905, 23.6.1905, 27.12.1906, 24.1.1908, 16.5.1913, 22.9.1915; "Stanislawower Nachriten" 16.5.1902, 9.5.1903, 3.11.1911.
"Chwila" 7.9.1929; "Chwila Wieczorna" 11.5.1937, 12.8.1938; "Hanoar Hacijoni" 15.6.1935; "Nasz Glos" 30.1.1934; "Przyszlosc" 5.7.1898; "Wschod" 7.12.1902, 7.1.1903.
 Code of Jewish Law. (back)
 Ezra here seems to be the name of an organization, but from the spelling, it may also mean "An assistance organization" or a "Benefit Organization". (back)
 The Covenant of the Soldiers. (back)
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