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ZAMOSC (Pol. Zamość), city in Lublin province, E. Poland. The first Jews to settle in Zamosc were Sephardim who had been encouraged by the founder of the city, Jan Zamojski, to make it their home in 1588. The synagogue they built was notable for its richly ornamented interior. However, after a single generation the community ceased to exist. Ashkenazi Jews began to settle in Zamosc at the beginning of the 17th century, and during the *Chmielnicki massacres of 1648–49, Zamosc became a refuge for thousands of Jews in the vicinity; many died of hunger and disease while the city was under siege. In 1765, 1,905 Jews were recorded in Zamosc and in the communities within its jurisdiction. During the period that the city was under Austrian rule (1794–1809), the Enlightenment movement (see *Haskalah) found adherents in Zamosc. At the beginning of the 19th century, Joseph Zederbaum (father of Alexander *Zederbaum, editor of the Hebrew newspaper Ha-Meliẓ), and the scholar and educator Jacob *Eichenbaum were leaders in the city's Haskalah circles. The poet and physician Solomon *Ettinger lived in Zamosc, and the author I.L. *Peretz was born and raised there. A center of rabbinical learning as well as of Haskalah, Zamosc was noted for its many public and private libraries. *Ḥasidism spread to the city during a later period.

Under Russian rule the number of Jewish inhabitants in Zamosc grew from 2,490 in 1856 to 7,034 in 1897 (50% of total), and to 9,000 in 1909 (about 63% of the total population). At the beginning of World War I many inhabitants left the city, since it was located on the Austro-Russian front line. After the war the community was reorganized. It numbered 9,383 in 1921, 10,265 in 1931, and 12,000 in 1939. Between the two world wars a Hebrew school existed in Zamosc as well as a Jewish-Polish secondary school. A local Jewish newspaper Zamoscer Shtime was published in the city.


Zamosc bi-Ge'onah u-ve-Shivrah (1953), memorial book; M.W. Bernstein (ed.), Pinkes Zamosc, Yisker-Bukh… (Yid. 1957); Klausner, in: He-Avar, 13 (1966), 98–117; BŻIH, 21 (1957), 21–92.

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