TOMASZOW LUBELSKI, town in Lublin province, E. Poland; from 1772 to 1809 under Austria, and from 1815 within Congress Poland. An organized Jewish community existed in Tomaszow Lubelski from the 1630s, but it was almost entirely annihilated in the *Chmielnicki massacres of 1648. The community was reorganized in the late 1650s. Its members earned their livelihood from trade in agricultural produce, the fur trade, tailoring, and inn keeping. The parnas of the community, Jacob Levi Safra, was its delegate at the Council of Four Lands (see *Councils of Lands) in 1667. In the 1670s the rabbi of the town was Isaac Shapira; he was succeeded by Judah b. Nisan. R. Phinehas bar Meir of Tomaszow was martyred in Lublin in 1677. There were 806 Jews in the town and its surroundings who paid the poll-tax in 1765. From the beginning of the 19th century the community was increasingly influenced by Ḥasidism. The Jewish population numbered 1,156 (43% of the total) in 1827; 2,090 (57%) in 1857; and 3,646 (59%) in 1897. At the close of the 19th century the Jews of Tomaszow Lubelski, among whom were many laborers, engaged in the operation of flour-mills, processing wood, weaving, tailoring, baking, and tanning. Between the two world wars, the Jewish population increased from 4,643 (65%) in 1921 to 5,669 in 1931. A library and Jewish sports club were established; branches of all the Jewish parties were active.
Halpern, Pinkas, index; B. Wasiutyński, Ludność żydowska w Polsce w wiekach XIX i XX (1930), 11, 16, 33, 60, 71; S. Bronsztejn, Ludność żydowska w Polsce w okresie miedzywojennym (1963), 278; M. Weinreich, Shturmvint (1927), 176–80: Tomashover Yisker Bukh (1965).
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.