BIALA, town in W. Galicia, S. Poland, on the river Biala opposite the Silesian town *Bielsko with which it was amalgamated in 1950 to form Biala-Bielsko. The two were closely connected through their joint textile industry. In 1765 the Jews were expelled from Biala. Many of them subsequently returned and formed a community in conjunction with the Jews in the suburbs which until the middle of the 19th century remained under the jurisdiction of the Oswiécim community. A cemetery was established in 1849 and an independent congregation constituted in 1872. The Jews in Biala numbered about 2,600 in 1929. With the exception of the ḥevra kaddisha the charitable and cultural institutions were maintained jointly with those of the Bielsko (Bielitz) community. For Holocaust period see *Bielsko.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.