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OZORKOW, town in Lodz province, Poland. Founded in 1811, the settlement expanded rapidly and was granted urban status in 1816. Its Jewish population grew in size because it was dependent on the development of the textile industry in Lodz. In 1860 there were 1,978 Jews (38% of the total population) and on the eve of the Holocaust in 1939 they numbered about 5,000 (33% of the total population). During the 19th century Jews established workshops for weaving. Jewish tailors were also employed by industrial enterprises in Lodz on a contractual basis. The first democratic elections to the community council were held in 1922 when 12 members were elected representing the Zionist parties, *Mizrachi, *Agudat Israel, *Bund, and *Po'alei Zion-Left. On the eve of World War II Solomon Winter, the delegate of the Zionists, was president of the community. There was a ramified network of schools in Ozorkow established at the initiative of the Zionists (Yavneh) and Agudat Israel (Yesodei ha-Torah). The public libraries established by the Zionist Organization and Po'alei Zion stimulated cultural activities such as drama circles, evening schools, and the sports societies *Maccabi and Ha-Kokhav (Gwiazda). In addition to the two large synagogues, the Great Synagogue and the Bet ha-Midrash, there were shtieblach (ḥasidic houses of prayer). The last rabbi of the community was R. David Behr. The Jews were also represented on the municipal council and their delegates held the position of vice mayor.


Dabrowska, in: BŻIH, no. 13–14 (1955). ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: Ozorkov, 1967; S. Lipman, "In die Lagern arum Poisen," in: Bletter fun Payn un umkum" (1949), 86–87; Sefer Lentshits (1953), 178–92.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.