MIELEC, town in Rzeszow province, S.E. Poland. The Jewish community of Mielec was first organized in the middle of the 17th century. The *Council of Four Lands decided in 1757 that the Mielec community should pay an annual tax of 1,200 zlotys to the *Opatow kahal. In 1765 there were 585 Jewish poll tax payers in Mielec and 326 in the surrounding villages; among the former were 12 tailors, three hatters, three bakers, two goldsmiths, five butchers, three shoḥatim, four musicians (klezmer), and three jesters (badḥanim). In the 19th century Mielec came under the influence of the Ḥasidim of *Chortkov and *Ropczyce and descendents of the ẓaddik of Ropczyce were rabbis there. The few wealthy Jews exported timber, dealt in grain, livestock, feathers, and building materials, and ran sawmills, but the majority engaged in petty trade, tailoring, shoemaking, smithery, and building. There were also some Jewish farmers in the nearby villages. An elementary school was established by the *Baron de Hirsch fund in 1900, as well as a Beth Jacob school for girls. In 1907 the Zionist association, Benei Yehudah, was founded. During the elections of 1907 and 1913 there were anti-Jewish riots in the town. In 1917 a "Borochov circle" was organized, as well as a Jewish library and sports clubs. The Jewish population of the town remained relatively static, increasing from 2,766 (56% of the total population) in 1880 to 2,819 (57%) in 1900 and 3,280 (53%) in 1910, then falling to 2,807 (50%) in 1920. Zionist parties, *He-Ḥalutz and *Agudat Israel, were active in Mielec between the two world wars.
Halpern, Pinkas, index; R. Mahler, Yidnin Amolikn Poyln in Likht fun Tsifern (1958), index; B. Wasiutyński, Ludność żydowska w Polsce w wiekach xix i xx (1930), 111, 146, 150, 156; M. Balaban, Historja żydów Krakowie i na Kazimierzu, 1 (1931), 351, 540; Y. Keitelman, in: Fun Noentn Over (1955), 401–51.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.