Rzeszow, Poland Yizkor Book

Project Name. Translation of Rzeszow, Poland Yizkor Book

Project Leader
Marian Rubin

JewishGen Yizkor Book Project Manager:
Lance Ackerfeld

Project Synopsis

Rzeszow was a privately owned Polish town from the 13th century to the end of the 18th century. Although the exact date Jews settled in the town is unknown, evidence suggests it was at least as early as the 16th century. Under Austrian rule, Rzeszow became an economic center, particularly in the latter half of the 19th century after the railway from Vienna to Lvov began to pass through Rzeszow. Following World War I, Rzeszow reverted to Polish rule. Between 1880 and 1921, the Jewish population nearly doubled, from 5,820 to 11,361, but fell from a high of 52% of the total population to approximately 46%.

In 1967 the former residents of Rzeszow published a 762-page yizkor book: Rzeszow, Poland: Kehilat Raysha; sefer zikaron (Rzeszow community; memorial book), Editors: M. Yari-Wold, Tel Aviv, Former Residents of Rzeszow in Israel and the USA, 1967 (Hebrew, Yiddish, English). Of the 762 pages, 142 pages are in English, 372 in Hebrew, and 248 in Yiddish. To date, 395 pages have been translated and are online at An index of names in the book has been created at, and additional names will be included as the translation proceeds.

Key Audiences

Jewish genealogists seeking to trace their roots in this town constitute the primary audience for the material.  However, the material has the potential to be of broader interest to scholars specializing in Jewish history and society in this region.

Project Importance

Yizkor books are unique sources of information on once vibrant towns, primarily in central and eastern Europe, whose Jewish populations were destroyed in the Holocaust. Written after World War II by émigrés and Holocaust survivors, yizkor books contain narratives of the history of the town, details of daily life, religious and political figures and movements, religious and secular education, and gripping stories of the major intellectual and Zionist movements of the 20th century. The necrologies and lists of residents are of tremendous genealogical value, as often the names of individuals who were taken to extermination camps or shot in the forests are not recorded elsewhere. Usually written in Hebrew or Yiddish, these important books are not accessible to most users, who cannot read these languages. Thus, the translation of these books into English unlocks this information to many more researchers all over the world. The JewishGen Yizkor Book Project received the award in 2002 for outstanding contribution to Jewish genealogy by the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies.

Rzeszow is located midway between Krakow and Lviv and was part of the former Austro-Hungarian province of Galicia. With a pre-World War II Jewish population of 12,000-14,000, it was the center for business, and drew Jews from the nearby towns of Czudec, Dynow, Glogow, Kanczuga, Kolbuszowa, Lancut, Ranizow, Sedziszow, Sokolow and Tyczyn, both for market days and general business, as well as for religious observance and family simchas.

Project Description

Approximately 367 pages, 194 in Hebrew and 173 in Yiddish, remain to be translated and placed online at To accomplish that JewishGen will need to raise sufficient funds to continue with the excellent translator who started the translation. The project coordinator selects the order of the chapters to be translated. The translator and project coordinator work closely to ensure a grammatically correct and idiomatic translation. The project coordinator's tasks consist of proofreading, editing, and preparing the work for submission to the Yizkor Book Project.

Estimated Cost. $13,765


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Updated 14 Mar 2009 by LA