The Jewish Cemetery of Tomaszow Mazowiecki

The History of the Jews of Tomaszow, at the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Community, 1831 -1931

Count Tomas Ostrowski, willing to found the settlement of Tomaszow, built a weaving factory in the center of a forest. All the lands were in his possession. To the newly built settlement, he invited Germans who were specialists in textile weaving, and also Jews who were expert merchants. He gave all of them pieces of land and sold them wood to build houses, all on yearly credit.

The Jews bought from him all the weavings that were made in the weaving factory. They carried the merchandise on horse-drawn carriages for great distances and sold it in the markets.

After Count Tomas died (in 1817), his son, Count Antony Ostrowski, tried to gain recognition for Tomaszow as a city with the authorities in Warsaw, and also was active in granting the local Jewish people the status of independent community. Until then, the Jews of Tomaszow belonged to the Ujazd community, which was where they took their dead for burial. Ujazd was a very old community, and the cemetery was as well.

In the year 1830, when Tomaszow was declared a city, the Jews were granted permission to establish an independent community in Tomaszow. In the year 1831, the Jewish community of Tomaszow was established, and in the following year, the city administration approved the collection of taxes for the benefit of the Jewish Community, to be taken from the "Mikveh", "Aliyiah laTorah", kosher slaughtering, and memorial ceremonies.

Count Antony Ostrowksi made a gift to the Jewish community. like he gave to the Catholics and the Evangelists, pieces of land to build three cemeteries.

The first headstone was placed in the Jewish cemetery in the year 1831, belonging to a non-local Jew who was buried there. At the time of the building of the cemetery, a "Hevra Kadisha" was established in Tomaszow, and the establisher was Rebbe Lievke Zilber. His father was killed in a village called Cista, neat Praga, during the 1831 rebellion.

Moshe Feinkind


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