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Virtual Jewish World: Yavorov, Poland

YAVOROV (Pol. Jaworów), city in Lvov oblast, Ukraine, within Poland until World War II. The first information about Jewish settlement in Yavorov dates from 1538. The community increased during the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1627, 56 Jewish families are recorded, 23 of them houseowners; besides merchants and artisans the community included viticulturists. An agreement concluded in 1641 between the Jews and burghers of Yavorov regulated the social and economic status of the Jews of the city. Many Jews in Yavorov perished during the *Chmielnicki massacres in 1648. The community was later reconstituted; in 1658 it received assistance from King John Sobieski, the owner of the city, in building a magnificent wooden synagogue. Within the communal framework, the Yavorov congregation formed part of the borough of *Lvov , and played an important role in community affairs. The Jewish population in Yavorov numbered about 700 in 1765; 1,837 (about 21% of the total population) in 1857; 2,405 in 1921; and 2,950 (about 27.5%) in 1931. Among scholars of Yavorov, the best known are Ḥayyim b. Leib, parnas and leader of the Councils of the *Lands from 1673 to 1690; the preacher Berechiah *Berakh the younger, who lived in Yavorov between 1725 and 1730; and Jehiel *Altschuler (about 1753).

[Aryeh-Lieb Kalish]

Holocaust Period

Before the German invasion (June 1941), the Jewish population of Yavorov numbered more than 3,000. Early in July 1941 the Germans ordered the Jews to remove all ritual articles and prayer books from their homes, throw them into the flames of the burning synagogue, and stand by and chant religious melodies. That month 15 persons were shot. In April 1942, 1,000 young Jews and in July, 100 girls were deported to the Janow camp. On Nov. 7–8, 1942, an Aktion took place: 1,300 persons were deported to the *Belzec death camp and about 200 were shot on the spot. Some 200 persons found refuge in hideouts but were discovered and shot a few days later. The remaining Jews were concentrated into the ghetto, where Jews from Mosciska, Krakowiec, Sadowa Wisznia, Wielkie Oczy, Szklo, Ozomle, and other nearby towns were also brought. In the spring of 1943 an organized group of youths fled to the forest. They obtained arms and conducted partisan activities in the Lubaczewski area. Artur Henner headed one group and Henry Gleich another. Most of the youths fell in battle. On April 18, 1943 the ghetto was liquidated. Some Jews hid in bunkers in the Janow forest, but most of them were exterminated.

[Aharon Weiss]


E. Webersfeld, Jaworów, Monografia Historyczna, Etnograficzna i Statistyczna (1909).

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.