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Radomsko

RADOMSKO (Radomsk), town in Lodz province, S. central Poland. In 1643 King Ladislaus IV granted the city the privilege de non tolerandis Judaeis excluding Jews from its bounds, which remained in force until 1862. Although the city council complained about the presence of Jews on the nobles' estates and in neighboring villages during the 17th and 18th centuries Jewish settlement there continued. The establishment of a Jewish cemetery in the city was permitted in 1816, and by 1822 a synagogue committee existed which levied taxes for the engagement of religious functionaries. The census of 1827 recorded 369 Jews of the total 1,792 inhabitants. In 1834 the community engaged Solomon ha-Kohen Rabinowich of Włoszczowa as rabbi and av bet din, who in 1843 established a ḥasidic court and founded the *Radomsko ḥasidic dynasty.

After the opening of the Vienna-Warsaw railroad in 1846, the community developed rapidly. By 1857 there were 1,162 Jews living in Radomsko (about 39% of the total population). The 1897 census showed 5,054 Jews (43%). They were mainly occupied in carpentry, weaving, and dealing in timber and grain. Well-to-do Jews established factories, hotels, and restaurants which employed some 500 Jews. In this period the community expanded its activities in all spheres. Ḥovevei Zion (see *Ḥibbat Zion) groups formed Zionist parties. In 1899 the Great Synagogue was completed. Jewish workers organized in the *Po'alei Zion, *Bund, etc., from 1905 to 1907. In 1906 the Jews in Radomsko organized *self-defense against pogroms.

During World War I he Jews in Radomsko suffered from the depredations of Russian soldiers and economic depression. The historian M. *Balaban visited the city in 1916 and established a Jewish youth group, Kultura.

In 1919, after Poland became independent, there were attempts at pogroms, but they were prevented by the Jewish self-defense organization. The Jewish population rose from 7,774 in 1921 (41.5%) to 12,371 in 1935 (55%). During this period the number of Jewish workers doubled in the large industrial plants for furniture, metal goods, and printing. Of the 24 members of the city council elected in 1926, eight were Jews. Jewish educational institutions included a high school (from 1916), two talmud torah schools, the Keter Torah yeshivah, a bet midrash, and two government elementary schools. There were also guilds of craftsmen and small businessmen, and a cooperative commercial bank. In 1926 a library named for *Shalom Aleichem was opened, and there were Ha-Po'el and Ha-Ko'aḥ sports clubs. In 1930 a commune preparing for immigration to Ereẓ Israel was established named Vitkinyah.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

B. Wasiutyński, Ludność żydowska w Polsce w wiekach XIX i XX (1930), 29, 51, 52, 71, 75, 78; Almanach gmin żydowskich w Polsce (1939), 209–11; Novoradomsker Almanakh (1939); Gelber, in: Beit Yisrael be-Polin, 1 (1948), 110–27.