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The History of the Jews of Stanislav {Cont.}

These taxes were leased out in a public sale; and the lessees and their agents oppressed the population. The ordinance of April 25, 1848, known in short as the April Ordinance, did not explicitly repeal these taxes. But the fact that paragraph 25 spoke about the equality of all of the population regarding taxes and army duty was interpreted by the Jews to their benefit. The government of Galicia did not interpret this in the same fashion. When the parnassim (communal administrators) of Lvov came to the chief commissioner Stadion and demanded that he put a stop to the collection of the tax on kosher meat, he answered them that the fact that the Jews eat kosher meat obligates them to pay a higher tax, in the manner of the taxes on wine and beer [58]. Most of the regional governments, including the one in Stanislav, saw here a place to declare publicly that the rumors spread regarding the repeal of the kosher meat tax and candle tax were false, that the community should realize that they are false, and the government is required to continue collecting these taxes. The Jewish newspapers spoke out against this standpoint, and the masses refused to pay these taxes. In those communities, the government ordinances led to disturbances. In Stanislav, they even fell upon the hated lessees and collectors and the masses were barely prevented from deeds of destruction  [59].

In the parliament that convened in September in Vienna and later in Kremsier, there was a great deal of discussion regarding the need to repeal these taxes. One of the first people who struggled for their repeal was the representative of Brody, the rabbi from Vienna, Noach Manheimer. He spoke expertly on the perversion of justice that is exemplified by the imposition of special taxes on a portion of the population. Due to his merit, the parliament decided on October 5, 1848 (with a vote of 243 for and 20 against) to repeal all of the Jewish taxes. The Jews were decreed to be citizens with equal rights to the rest of the population. The brief period of Jewish emancipation in Austria began, which lasted only until 1851. It goes without saying that this era had an effect on the development of Jewish life in Stanislav. First of all, the Maskilim attempted to make changes in the education of children. In 1848, a private school was established, which was forced to close a short time later due to a lack of means. During these years, the Haskalah movement flourished in the city. Several writers arose from it, who had an influence upon the cultural development of the Jewish population.

This circle of Maskilim maintained strong ties with the Maskilim of Bolekhov and Tysmienica. In particular, the Maskilim of Bolekhov, Yaakov Goldenberg, Leib David Mondshein and Zelig Hirsch (Tzvi) Mondshein (1812-1872), one of the most experienced teachers in Galicia in those days, had an influence on the Maskilim of Stanislav. The latter's influence was that he inspired the youth of Stanislav to read the new Hebrew literature. He sent them Hebrew newspapers so that “each of us poured into the heart of his fellow ideas and new creations”. For the Maskilim of Stanislav, the central stage of Hebrew literature was “Kochvei Yitzchak” of Mendel the son of Reb Y. Stern, in whom they saw “the one who stands firmly on the holy guard”[60].

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The poet Avraham Yaakov Bibering (1818-1882), a native of Stanislav, served for many years as the secretary of the community. In this office, he influenced the youth with the spirit of the Haskalah. He himself published lyric poems, which emphasized particularly nature and its beauty. His writings were collected in the book “Agudat Shoshanim” (Vienna, 5636 – 1876). He was one of the few Maskilim who insisted on paying attention to the study of the Hebrew language. He complained that the progressive intelligentsia abandoned the Hebrew languages and turned its back upon it[61].

The central personality of the Maskilim of Stanislav was Shlomo Frankel, a native of Tysmienica. Along with Avraham Shulman and H. Cohen, he founded the organization for the promotion of Haskalah in the midst of the Jews. Shlomo Frankel was born in 1816 in Usicie-Zielona, lived for a number of years in Tysmienica, and moved at the end of the 1840s to Stanislav, where he worked in commerce and dedicated himself also to scientific literature. He died in Stanislav in 1894. He was one of the important critics of “Kochvei Yitzchak”[62]. He had a broad level of knowledge and his sharp pen wrote his writings that came down strongly against every vain pursuit and custom and teaching style that was not, in his opinion, based on science. He exchanged letters with Mordechai Jost in which he dealt with an investigation into the words of the sages, and demonstrated in his writings a grasp and knowledge of the historical situation during the era of the sages of the Talmud. His research was well received by Jost, who used it in his history book. Frankel also had a linguistic sense, as is demonstrated from his sources of research of the book “Erech Milin” [63] by Shlomo Yaakov Rappaport. His investigative sharpness brought him into conflict with Mordechai Doshach and others.

Yechiel Meller[64] was different from him. He was born in 1822 in Podhajci. He worked as a middleman merchant in Stanislav, where he died in 1893. He was a Maskil who fought for the ideals of the Haskalah. He published novels and reviews, and dedicated a detailed monograph to Shimshon Halevi Bloch, the author of “Shvilei Olam”[65]. The main topic of his literary works was dedicated to a battle against Hassidism[66]. He translated and transcribed several of the poems of Schiller, Heidenreich, and John Paul. However, despite his extreme views with regards to the Haskalah, he kept tradition. In his opinion, the spiritual state of the Jews of Galicia was in a serious situation, because the older generation supported Hassidism, and the youth tended to heresy[67].

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His stories, which had an intellectual orientation, excelled in their descriptions of the life of Jews in Galicia[68] during the first half of the 19th century. During his lifetime, Meller published an anthology of his letters: “Nitei Neemanim”, which was published in Lvov in 1883. Nathan Meller (1851-1874), who died in his youth, was known as a poet, mainly for his translations of German poetry into Hebrew.

Hillel Kahana (1827-1901) was also a member of this group. He was one of the pioneers of the Hebrew Haskalah in Romania. He also began his literary works in “Kochvei Yitzchak” of Stern, and later he also participated in “Hamagid”, “Hamevaser”, “Ivri Anochi”, “Hashachar”, “Haboker Or”, and in other Hebrew periodicals during the 1870s and 1880s. He left Stanislav in 1860 and went to Romania. He settled in Botosani and worked in spreading of Haskalah. Through his efforts, a Hebrew school was founded, which he ran. He was one of the pioneers of modern Jewish education in Romania. He published the book “Glilot Haaretz”[69]. From among the Maskilim of Stanislav, Moshe Halevi Horowitz (born in 1842) also went to Romania, and served as a teacher in Iasi. He published the Hebrew-Romanian newspaper “Timpol” in 1871, but he was forced to stop it after a brief period. Later, he went to Bucharest to run a Jewish school. He also began to translate the bible into Romanian. After he was dismissed from his position he converted to Christianity, but he later recanted. In 1878 he joined the group of Avraham Goldfaden. He emigrated from Romania to America, and there he dedicated himself to the Jewish theater. He wrote plays. He died in 1910.

The bibliographer Chaim David Lipa (1823-1900) was also among the Maskilim who left Stanislav. He went via Chernovitz and Hungary to Vienna. His brother Dr. Karpel Lipa (1830-1915) was among the first people in Stanislav who studied medicine in university in Lvov. He left in 1861 for Iasi, and there he filled important roles in Jewish communal life. He was one of the first of Chovevei Tzion, and he joined the Herzlian Zionist movement in 1896.

Binyamin Schwartzfeld was among the Maskilim of Stanislav who left for Romania. He published poems in “Kochvei Yitzchak” as well as descriptions about the cultural situation in Galicia, Bukovina and Romania. Among the Maskilim are also numbered Nachum Inwald, Shmuel Leibsman[70] (1834-1903), the bookseller Leib Rubin, and Binyamin Shmerler.

This circle of Maskilim obviously had its influence on the direction of spiritual life. However, for the most part, they were keepers of traditions, and did not aspire to extreme changes in communal life. Their entire sphere of activity was conducted in gatherings in the homes of one of the Maskilim.

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During those years, the house of Reb Moshe Bernfeld served as their center (Moshe Bernfeld was the father of the writer Dr. Shimon Bernfeld). There they studied bible with its commentators, and debated Hebrew grammar and translation[71].

The communal leadership, which was in the hands of the Orthodox, turned in 1850 to the Interior Ministry with a request to permit Jewish merchants to open their stores on Sunday, for it was difficult for them to rest two days a week. This double period of rest, combined with Jewish and Christian holidays, totaled to 149 days a year, which took an economic toll upon them. This matter occupied even the cabinet ministers on February 2, 1850[72]. The Interior Minister Dr. Bach informed them that the equal rights of various religions do not include the necessity of equality regarding the celebration of holidays. After a lengthy debate, they decided to request from the highest governor of Galicia, Baron Agenor Golochovski to offer his recommendation, and afterwards, they would issue a clear decision on this mater.

After the Jews were permitted in 1850 to acquire immovable objects, 37 Jews of Stanislav presented requests to acquire immovable objects, houses and plots. The following people had their requests fulfilled: David Landau, Mendel Rubensztejn, Mendel Boral (a shoestore), Yosef Helfach (who finished two years in a Real School), Chaim Zecher (a government and civic contractor), M. Stein (a butcher and cattle merchant), Y. Kupferman (owner of a general store), Wolf Lustgarten (a provider of meat), Chana Lande (the richest female merchant in town), Y. Kindler, W. Weingarten, Avrahem Shlosser, Nathan Treibfader, Ziskind Horowitz, Avraham Halpern (a member of the civilian town council, the head of the Jewish community, a member of the board of trade and manufacturing in Lvov, a member of the commercial court of law in Stanislav), Binyamin Markus, Pinchas Horowitz, K. Kizler (a money changer), Avraham Fishler (who obtained rights of citizenship), Moshe Lindner, Avraham Kupferberg, M. Jonas, Y. Zinz, W. Boral, L. Stern (innkeeper), M. N. Weishaus (landowner and manufacturer), M. Tz. Kran, Meizler (workshop owner), Rosenberg-Banet (grain supplier), Reis (army supplier), Dov Stein, W. Meller, Bleiberg, Rosenstock (the three of them were fluent in the German language), and Zylber[73].

At this time there were 5,958 Jews in Stanislav from among a general population of 10,866. In 1857, the Jewish population had increased to 6,920, from among a general population of 11,682 people. The city grew and increased in area. The economic life was centered in the hand of the Jews. All commerce, both wholesale and retail, as well as manufacturing that was found there was in the hands of Jews, and the economic status of the Jews thereby increased. The building of the Lvov-Chernovitz-Iasi railway was completed in 1869, and the railway management was set up in Stanislav. This particularly improved the economic status of the Jews of Stanislav.

The Jewish influence in the crafts also increased. In the middle of the 19th century, there were 367 craftsmen (Meister) in Stanislav, of which 135 were Jewish. There were 65 shoemakers, including 57 Christians and 7 Jews.

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On the other hand, from among the tailors, there were 48 Jews and only 16 Christians. However, with the passage of time, the number of Jewish tailors declined, and slowly but surely, the tailoring profession lost its Jewish character. There were a recognizable number of Jewish bakers and butchers. However, in the rest of the trades, the role of the Jews was very weak. There were also Jewish porters and water carriers.

In 1859, the Jews were permitted to live in villages, and in 1860, they were permitted to purchase fields and estates. They indeed began to settle in villages and occupy themselves in agriculture. There were Jews who were involved in small-scale agriculture in the area of Stanislav, particularly in the village of Khomyakuv. The first to settle there was Yosef Stern-Shifer, who had previously been a tavern keeper. However slowly but surely, he began to purchase fields in the name of a Jew, Weingarten, for he himself was not permitted to acquire land. Prior to his death, Stern divided up his lands among his eleven children, and they established there a Jewish farm, which was called by the Christians “The Little Land of Israel”[74]. Wealthy Jews who wished to imitate the way of life of the noblemen invested large sums of money to purchase estates. These were managed by Jewish farm supervisors, and worked by Christian villagers. As time went on, a class of Jewish landowners was established in Stanislav, whose members played important roles in the development and improvement of agriculture in Galicia.

The community developed during this time period. The progressive Jewish intelligentsia succeeded in exerting its influence upon the running of the community. In 1856, Shlomo Frankel, who was considered the spokesman of the Maskilim, attempted to reestablish a Jewish school with the assistance of the authorities. The school was opened in 1860, but the maneuvering of the Orthodox and the Hassidim placed an obstacle to its continued existence[75]. On the other hand, various other institutions that were founded in that era developed well. The Jewish hospital, which was founded in the 1850s by Yoel Halpern, grew and broadened itself through the efforts of Yehoshua Landau, by means of donations that were collected in Stanislav itself. He also concerned himself with the foundation of the home for the handicapped[76].

Members of the Halpern and Horowitz families stood at the head of the community. Avraham Halpern served for many years as the president of the community, and he founded various charitable and educational institutions, such as the orphanage, the bathhouse, the soup kitchen, etc. In 1871, the charitable organization “Dorshei Tov” founded an orphanage, headed by Lipa Horowitz, whose role was “to educate poor orphans to become excellent citizens”.

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In 1873, this orphanage was named after the Austrian princess Gizela. Toward the end of the 1860s, the intelligentsia, which had been distant from communal leadership, began to express interest in that area. During that time, the intelligentsia tended to a direction of Polish assimilation. Groups arose that tended towards joint political activity with the Poles. Most of the Jewish youth who had already studied in public schools (among the first Jewish lawyers in Stanislav was Morycy Wurtzel, who received the degree of doctor of jurisprudence from the University of Krakow in 1864), was given over to the influence of Agaton Giller, one of the Polish revolutionary leaders during the time of the Polish revolt of 1863, and who lived at the time in Stanislav. They also founded the “Union of Progressives”, whose task was to establish a “synagogue for the progressive Jews”. They also began to struggle for the introduction of modern changes in the life of communal institutions, particularly in the Chevra Kaddisha (Burial Society). Sharp disputes broke out regarding the request to change the manner of funerals and burials, and the Maskilim were forced to give in[77].

At the end of the 1860s, the intelligentsia established a synagogue that worshiped according to the Reform rite. The Cantor of the Great Synagogue Avraham Feinzinger was accepted as the prayer leader. Rabbi Meshulam Horowitz excommunicated him for this. This synagogue remained in existence until 1887[78].

Starting from 1848, a number of Jews who had rights of citizenship took an active role in general political life. Their number reached 250. In 1886, the city council presented a new city charter, which limited the rights of Jews. 250 Jews who had rights of citizenship in the city lodged a complaint against the city council, since this charter contradicted the concept of equal rights. The situation changed only after the Galician Sejm was forced, due to Austrian legislation from the year 1867, to cancel all the restrictions relating to Jews. This took place in 1868 after many arguments.

In the elections of 1873, 17 Jews were elected among the 36 members of the city council. However, the Poles and Ruthenians, who together had 19 members, joined forces to ensure that the head of the city council would not be a Jew.


At the end of the 19th century, the Jewish population began to grow. In 1880, there were 18,626 residents of Stanislav, of which 10,028 were Jewish. In 1890, there were 12,149 Jews among a population of 22,391. In 1900, there were 14,106 Jews among a population of 30,410. In 1910, there were 15,253 Jews among a population of 33,328. During these years the economic power of the Jews of the city also increased. Wealthy people invested their disposable income in property and houses. In 1910, of the 2,210 houses, 1,303 were owned by Jews, 613 by Poles, 164 by Ukrainians, and 130 were communal buildings. The picture by quarter was as follows [79]:

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Quarter Houses Jewish Polish Ukrainian Communal buildings
Halicki 568 384 133 38 13
Liszicki 450 269 129 35 17
Tysmienicki 643 382 157 67 37
Zablutocki 363 128 190 24 21
Town center 186 140 4 42
Total 2,210 1,303 613 164 130
Percent 100% 58.9% 27.8% 7.4% 5.9%

Most of the Jews were employed in business. Prior to 1914, there were 908 commercial enterprises in Stanislav, of which 843 (92.8%) were in the hands of Jews, 49 (5.4%) in the hands of Poles, and 16 (1.8%) in the hands of Ukrainians. The breakdown by field of business was as follows:

  Jews Poles Ukrainians
Food enterprises 228 10 2
Dairies 6 1 1
Soap, candle, paint, rubber stores 16 2
Bakeries 14 5
Horse traders 3
Pig traders 9 3
Plaster, pitch 4
Wood and coal 28
Grain 7 1
Glass products 21
Opticians 3
Iron, weapons 25 1
Fruit, poultry 29 1 4
Gardeners, flowers 2 2 1
Engravers 3 2
Brick kilns 5
Hides, shoe products 42
Furniture 10 1
Paper, writing utensils 13 4
Book producers 4 1 1
Confectionery 19
Shoes 9
Wagon drivers 85 3

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Furs 144 4 1
Brokers, agents 79 5
Launderers 17
Watch merchants, etc. 27
Totals 843 49 16

In the crafts as well, the role of the Jews was significant, reaching 70.4%. Of 1,109 craftsmen, there were 781 Jews, 230 Poles, 96 Ukrainians, and 2 Germans.

By area Jews Poles Ukrainians Germans
Builders 19 22 30  
Carpenters, bookbinders 78 35 10 2
Tailors 225 33 2  
Painters, plasterers 48 7 2  
Shoemakers 84 26 3  
Locksmiths, glassblowers, machinists 115 38 14  
Barbers 76 2    
Masseurs   64 20  
Restaurant owners and innkeepers 136 3 15  
Totals 781 230 96 2
Percentages 70.4% 20.7% 8.7% 0.2%

Jews also engaged in manufacturing there in a pioneering fashion, as they did in the rest of the cities of Galicia and Poland. They founded factories for vital goods, such as sawmills, kerosene refineries, brick kilns, and the manufacture of oil, hides, malt, whiskeys and liquors, vinegar, yeast, soap, candles, modern mills, and lumber workshops. Among the 50 large scale manufacturing enterprises that were founded before the First World War, 34 (68%) were in Jewish hands. The Jewish owners invested not only large sums of money, but also a great deal of diligence and expertise.

From the census that was conducted by the Joint[80] in 1921, we can determine in a retrospective fashion the picture of the development of Jewish industry in Stanislav. The numbers in 1921 are not much different than the numbers from before the war. In the 730 Jewish enterprises, 490 employed hired staff, and 240 did not employ hired staff. The workers included 2,119 people: 705 people (33.3%) who owned the enterprises; 124 (5.8%) who were family members who helped out; 1,290 (60.9%) were hired workers, consisting of 1,083 (84%) Jews and 207 (16%) Christians.

The breakdown by field of manufacturing was as follows:

  Enterprises Number of employees Number of hired staff
Stone, glass and tin enterprises 1.0% 4.0% 6.3%

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Metal 3 3.3 2.9
Machines 4.2 3.3 2.6
Wood 3.4 4.3 5.4
Hides 4 6.7 7.9
Textiles 1.1 1.5 1.9
Clothing 57 42.9 33.8
Paper 0.5 0.3 0.2
Food 5.6 10.5 14.0
Chemists 0.8 6.0 9.5
Building 12.4 11.0 10.3
Graphics 0.7 0.6 0.3
Cleaning 6.3 5.6 4.9
Totals 100% 100% 100%

Jews also established Chemical and polygraphic manufacturing, and played an important role in its development. It can be stated in general that from the end of the 19th century, the Jews of Stanislav were firmly rooted. We cannot deny that there was a lack of livelihood among certain segments of the population; however, the situation of the poorest of the people in general was better than in the rest of the cities of Galicia.

The communal situation, whose leadership was in the hands of individuals from two families, was so despised by the Haskalah circles that it came to disputes. In 1883, Yitzchak (Izador) Minc published a pamphlet entitled “Zustande der Cultusgemeinde Stanislau, kurze Betrachtungen” (Relationships in the community of Stanislav, brief thoughts), in which he surveyed the matters of the high handedness of the communal leaders. He came down particularly strongly against the Orthodox, who do not pay heed to the requests of the general population and the demands of the times, and who mock every advance, and thereby distance large segments from participating in communal activity[81]. He called for war against the orientation of the Orthodox, who oppose the spirit of the times. The author of this pamphlet was one of the veteran Maskilim, expert in Hebrew and general culture, and a fine orator. Unlike other Maskilim, he was one of the supporters of Jewish nationalism. He attempted to spread the Jewish nationalist idea, that began to beat in the hearts of many Maskilim during the 1880s as well as in the midst of the Jewish academic youth, who for the most part studies in university in Vienna. When they would come to Stanislav during their vacations, they would speak about Jewish nationalism and love of Zion.

For the purpose of the battle against the Orthodox, the Hebrew bi-weekly “Hashemesh” was founded in 1887 by the well-known humorist Reb Hirsch Leib Gotlieb of Maramaros-Sziget, who was also known by his pen name Hirsch Leib Szigeter (1844-1931). Gotlieb had the personality of a battling Maskil. He translated some of the poetry of Schiller and Goethe, as well as the plays of Cozeboe into Hebrew (“Hapaamon”). He began to publish his bi-weekly “Hashemesh” in Sziget, however he was forced to move his newspaper to Stanislav due to a ban by the rabbi of the city, Rabbi Chanina Yom Tov Lipa.

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The newspaper itself was published in the publishing house of Biluaus in Kolomyya. As was the custom of newspapers in those times, which sough to avoid payment of the tax due on weekly newspapers, Gottlieb published his newspaper one week under the name of “Hashemesh”, and on alternating weeks under the name of “HaCharsah”. The best of the Hebrew writers who lived in Galicia in those days contributed to his newspaper. These included Reuven Asher Braudis, Y. D. Zylberbusz, Gershom Bader, Shimon Menachem Lazar, Feibish Meltzer, etc. The editor also dedicated a great deal of space to matters of literature and science. The newspaper was published until 1889.

Once the doctors, lawyers and merchants who possessed general education took important places in economic and social life, they also began to conduct a battle during those days against the communal leadership. These circles were for the most part members of the organization that began in those days to establish the synagogue for the enlightened people. Dr. Eliahu Fishler (1851-1927), and one of the veteran Maskilim and writers Alexander Vitals (1851-1918) headed this group. On September 22, 1887 a committee was established – consisting of Dr. Fishler, Alexander Vitals, and the wealthy merchant Moshe Seinfeld (1833-1890) who was very active in communal affairs – for the task of building the synagogue for the enlightened people. In 1888, the organization Towarzystwo swiatyni izraelickiej w Stanislavie was founded. Hirsch Halpern, who was the head of the community at the time, also helped the organization. The committee started its practical work in 1893. The required money was collected in Stanislav, but the committee also turned to Vienna, and sent out its canvassers to Chernovitz and to other cities in Galicia such as Kolomyya, Przemysl and Jaroslaw. The building of the synagogue of the enlightened people began in 1894, according to the plans of the well-known Viennese architect Wilhelm Stiasni. On May 20, 1895, the cornerstone was laid in the presence of government officials, and Rabbi Yitzchak Horowitz read in Hebrew the certificate of foundation. The building was completed in the year 1899.

The members of the organization also decided to renovate the face of the community. The communal leaders were interested in seeing that not all Jews would pay the communal taxes, so that the right of voting would be in the hands only of those who are acceptable to these leaders. Of the 2,000 Jews who paid the government taxes, only 700 paid the communal tax. The tax was deliberately not collected from the doctors, lawyers, engineers, officials, and people with academic education, so that these people would not be on the voters list and would not be able to participate in elections and influence the direction of communal leadership. It is obvious that under such conditions, the intelligentsia had no influence in the community. In 1895, the communal leadership consisted entirely of people who did not complete the course of studies in public schools, with the exception of Yekutiel Kizler, one of the important activists of those days.

On June 6, 1895, the government invited the representatives of the Jewish intelligentsia: Dr. Eliahu Fishler, Dr. Artur Neimhein – one of the spokesmen for the Polish assimilationists the student of Agaton Geller – and Zygmunt Regenstreif[82] to enact, in a joint effort with the communal leadership and the rabbi, new protocols for the community.

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However, at the meeting, the representatives of the Orthodox opposed the recommendations presented by the representatives of the intelligentsia and pushed aside all protocols that aimed to change the face of the community. Therefore, the representatives of the intelligentsia saw that their only means was to immediately present a memorandum regarding the recommendations to the commission in Lvov. The memorandum outlined the situation in which the community found itself, led by 18 members, mainly Orthodox, who, in the opinion of the authors of the memorandum, do not represent the will of the Jewish population. Therefore, they advise a change in the protocols in a progressive spirit. To enact change, they recommend setting up a separate electoral body for the intelligentsia and large-scale taxpayers, and to forbid close family members from being elected to the communal council simultaneously. The head of the community Hirsch Halpern opposed this recommendation with a strong statement[83]. He claimed that, since one of the tasks of the communal leadership is to provide for all religions needs, such as the maintenance of synagogues, kashruth supervision, and the rabbinate – matters which must be conducted on a traditional basis – this must not be given over to the progressives. He complained in particular that the progressives presented their memorandum in the form of a pamphlet that was sent to the electors of the community. The high commission in Lvov authorized the new charter in 1898, after many amendments. This charter included in paragraph 9 the request of the intelligentsia that forbade a family to have more than one member elected to the communal leadership.

This struggle between the progressives and the Orthodox lasted for several years. In opposition to the synagogue of the enlightened ones, in 1891 the traditional circles founded the “Agudat Achim” organization whose purpose was “to care for the worship of G-d in a traditional religious fashion”, and also to conduct charitable activity. All political activity was forbidden in its framework[84]. In the meantime, another movement arose that included both foundations. This was the Jewish nationalist movement, which attracted those circles of intelligentsia that did not tend toward assimilation, as well as those circles of traditional Judaism who made accommodations to the progressive path.


The Jewish nationalist movement, that had already started to make recognizable inroads among the Jewish intelligentsia in Lvov and other large cities in the 1870s, also had its echo in the midst of the Jews of Stanislav. Starting in 1885, the nationalist tendency in the “union of bookkeepers and business officials” began to strengthen under the influence of Yitzchak Minc, who maintained connections with the spokesmen of the nationalist movement in Lvov and Vienna. On December 9, 1885, through his efforts, the first Maccabee[19*] celebration took place in the theater hall, with the participation of masses of the Jewish population[85].

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The chairman Georg Schluss stressed in his opening remarks that in reality, people must use the Hebrew language, but to his sorrow, there is no possibility of such. The main speech was delivered by Yitzchak Minc, who surveyed the historical background of the Maccabee movement and discussed the nationalistic character of Chanukah. He spoke about the need for the study of Jewish history in depth, and for the nurture of the nationalist spirit. Alexander Vitals also spoke during the evening and stressed the worth of Judaism in developing the idea of humanistic monotheism. The final speaker was the engineer Mendel Maximilian Schloss, who spoke on the importance of the Hebrew language as a factor in the maintenance of Jewish nationalism. Telegrams of greetings were sent to this celebration by the premier Zionist organizations in Austria, such as “Kadima” of Vienna, and from the Zionist leaders Rabbi Dr. Yitzchak Rilf of Memel, the author of “Aruchat Bat Ami”, Dr. Yosef Yitzchak Kobak (the Author of Yeshurun) of Lvov, and Dr. Reuven Birer of Sofia. During the first years, there were many who supported the nationalist idea among the Jewish intelligentsia of Stanislav. Aside from those we have mentioned, we know of Avraham Reisher, a watchmaker by profession who was the first force in Stanislav behind the first nationalist weekly in Austria “Selbstemanzipation” (“Auto-emancipation”). He also published nationalist articles in “Selbstemanzipation”[86]; the member of the Vienna “Kadima” and native of Stanislav, Dr. Efraim Philip Fishler, who established the “Society for the Settlement of the Land of Israel” already in 1897. However this society disappeared after a brief period, since its founder took ill and died in Vienna at the age of 26.

On May 27, 1892, Dr. Nathan Birenbaum spoke in the city. He toured Galicia and Bukovina during that time for the purpose of the “Admat Yeshurun” society of Vienna, whose aim was the settlement of the Land of Israel. There were already a group of strong hearted people in the city who took upon themselves to establish[87] a committee to found a branch of “Zion”, however they did not succeed. Dr. Yaakov Cohen, one of the activists of “Kadima” of Vienna, came to Stanislav in November 1893 on behalf of the nationalist party of Lvov in order to found a Jewish nationalist society. He invited several people who were known as supporters of the nationalist movement to a meeting that took place under the direction of Yosef Landau on November 18 in the hall of “The Union of Bookkeepers and Business Officials”. In a survey speech, Dr. Cohen outlined the status of the Jews and the need to commence nationalist activities. After he presented details of the program of the nationalist movement, Yosef Landau, Alexander Vitals, the students Reuven Jonas, Menashe Herscher and Apencler participated in a debate. This meeting decided to establish a society by the name of “Yisrael”, whose purpose was to support and nurture the understanding of religious nationalism among the Jews. A committee was chosen to establish protocols, consisting of Reb Yosef Weishaus, Avraham Reisher, and the students Reuven Jonas, Isadore Mandelbaum, and Isadore Landau[88]. That year, the Society for the Settlement of the Land of Israel was also reconstituted as a branch of “Zion” of Vienna.

Through the efforts of Julius Kornovlia and the students Isadore Goldfeld and Menashe Herscher, a meeting of the masses took place on May 27, where Dr. Gershon Ziffer and Rabbi Leibish Mendel Landau of Przemysl (later a rabbi in Botosani) spoke[89] about the nationalist movement.

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Text Footnotes:
  1. Centralblatt 1848 Nr. 17. Return
  2. The government archives in Vienna: Kabinetsarchiv 1848 No 202. Return
  3. The letter of A. Y. Bibering to Zelig Tzvi Mondshein on Tishrei 4, 5718 (1858[18*), published in “Agudat Shoshanim” by Avraham Yaakov Birenberg, Vienna 5636, page 56. Return
  4. His letter to Zelig Tzvi Mondshein dates March 16, 1847 in “Kochvei Yitzchak”, volume 10, pages 39-42. Return
  5. He also published articles in “Hanesher” of Cohen Tzedek and in Jewish newspapers in the German language. Return
  6. His article: “An Investigation into the Value of Words” in “Kochvei Yitzchak,” volume XIV, pages 15-24, XX pages 21-35, XXI pages 34-50, XXII pages 27-32, XXIII pages 25-43. Return
  7. His brother Reb Shimon was a rabbi in Podhajci, and subsequently a member of the court of Stanislav. Return
  8. In “Kochvei Yitzchak” volume 7, pages 40-45, volume 8 pages 50-55, volume 9 pages 24-32; printed also in his book “Neta Nemanim” volume I, Lvov 5643 (1883). Return
  9. Aside from his letter to Stern in “Kochvei Yitzchak” 8, pages 64-67, and the satire of “Goral Tzadikim” (Kochvei Yitzchak 29 pages 34-90) which made in its time a great impact upon the Maskilim of Galicia, his dialogue between a Hassid and a Maskil in volume 12 pages 74-78 and his survey Shlomo in Imkei Shaul (manuscripts 15, 17) are known. Return
  10. His letter “To my Native City Stanislav” in “Kochvei Yitzchak” volume XIII pages 34-37, and his letter to his friend in Kolomyya dates June 8, 1845, in “Kochvei Yitzchak” pages 85-88. Return
  11. “Leil Shimurim”, “Chazon Shav”, “Mesirat Habrit”. Return
  12. He also wrote an autobiography: The history of the rabbi and wise Rabbi Hillel Kahana in “Otzar Hasafrut” of Shealtiel Izak Gerber, Volume II, 5648 (1888), pages 235-273, regarding Stanislav and the circle of Maskilim, especially about Shlomo Frankel, Yechiel Meller, told on pages 236-252. Return
  13. He was born in Sukla, and settled in Stanislav in 1855. He was a merchant and well-known communal activist. He wrote in “Kochvei Yitzchak” and other periodicals. Return
  14. Dr. Shimon Bernfeld: memories in “Reshimot” volume 4, page 162. Return
  15. The government archives in Vienna: Ministerratsprotokolle 1850 Nr. 484. Return
  16. The archives of the Interior Ministry in Vienna: IV T2 Besitz. Return
  17. Archives of the Interior Ministry in Vienna. IV T11 Besitz, Dealing with Stanislav. Return
  18. Ben chananja 1862, page 165. That year (1860), the governor of Galicia Baron Agenor Golechowski attempted to establish a modern seminary for rabbis and teachers of religion in Galicia. This recommendation had been presented to the governor, Prince Lowkowicz already in 1828 by 1828 by Mordechai Bernshtein, a Jew from Brody who lived that time in Odessa. However, this attempt did not materialize on account of the opposition of the communities and the population. Agenor Golechowski obtained in 1860 an official permit from Kaiser Franz Josef to establish a teacher's seminary. This plan did not materialize as well, but this time it was due to difficulties caused by the central government in Vienna. It is interesting to note here that the regional council in Stanislav presented a special memorandum to the Galician Sejm containing the request to establish a teacher's seminary in Galicia. This memorandum also did not have actual results. Return
  19. Allgemeine Zeitung des Judentums 1856, page 32. Return
  20. Interior Ministry of Vienna, report IV T11. Return
  21. Leon Streit: Dzieje Synagogi postepowej w Stanislavie, Stanislav 1939, page 3. Return
  22. Ksiega pamiatkowa mieszczanstwa polskiego w Stanislavie 1868-1934, pp. 32-33. Return
  23. Jewish Industrial Enterprises in Poland in the work of Engineer Eliezer Heller, volumes IV-V, Galicia, Warsaw, 1923. Return
  24. Brought down in the book of Leon Szteit: Dzieje Synagogi postepowej w Stanislavie. Stanislav, 1939, page 27. Return
  25. Zygmunt Regenstreif (1841-1916), one of the well-known land lessees in Tysmienica, was one of the founders of yeast production in Galicia. He purchased the village of Staropkow in 1897 and founded a factory for liquor and yeast. He lived in Stanislav and played an active role in the activities of the organization. In 1888, he was elected as its head. Return
  26. Leon Streit: Dzieje Synagogi postepowej w Stanislavie. Stanislav 1939, p. 36. Return
  27. Statuten des israel. “Bruderbund” (Agudat Achim) Vereines zur Förderung sittlich religiöser und humanitärer Interessen, Stanislau 1891. Return
  28. Bericht über die am 9 Dezember 1885 im hiesigen Theatersaale vom Comis- und Buchhalter Verein zu Stanislau veranstaltete Makkabäer Feier. In this report, the speech of Yitzchak Minc is included in Hebrew translation. Return
  29. His articles were published in the 1891 yearbook, edition 16 page 531; edition 7 page 531. Return
  30. Selbstemanzipation 1892, number 11, page 104. Return
  31. Przyszluc 1893, number 6, page 70, from December 20. Return
  32. Przyszluc 1894, number 17, page 202 from June 5, and Dr. Birenbaum's Jewish Volkszeitung, Berlin 1894, number 23, page 7, from June 5. Return

Translator's Footnotes:
[18*]   There is a discrepancy between the Jewish year and the secular year here. Tishrei 4 5618 would be 1857, and Tishrei 4 in the year 1858 would be 5619. A common mnemonic is that the Jewish year and the secular year always end in the same number, but this is only true until Rosh Hashanah (Tishrei 1) (September or October), which is when the Jewish year changes. Return
[19*]   Here, Maccabee refers to the heroes of the Chanukah story, as opposed to the sports movement by the same name. A few paragraphs later, the term Hasmonaean is used. Hasmonai is the official family name of the family of the heroes of Chanukah (Mattityahu – Mattathias the Hasmonaean high priest and his five sons), whereas Maccabee is a colloquial nickname. Return

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