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Coat of arms of Rawicz Alternate names: Rawicz [Pol], Ravich, Равич [Rus], Ravitch, רביטש [Yid], Rawitsch [Ger], Ravitsh. ראוויץ [Heb]. 51°37' N, 16°52' E, 55 miles S of Poznań (Posen), 20 miles of SE Leszno (Lissa). 1900 Jewish population: about 1,000. Yizkor: Le-korot kehilat Ravitsh, (Jerusalem, 1962). This town in central Poland with 21,398 inhabitants in 2004 in the Greater Poland Voivodeship (since 1999) and previously in Leszno Voivodeship (1975-1998) is the capital of Rawicz powiat. Normal 0 The principal industry was the manufacture of snuff and cigars. Trade involved grain, wool, cattle, hides, and timber. The first settlement of Jews in Rawicz dates from 1639. In 1648 complaints lodged against Jewish merchants resulted in their expulsion. They soon returned but were expelled again in 1674. By 1698, a kahal existed for the 12 families residing there that received a Freibrief (letter of privileges) in 1719. A chevra kaddisha was founded in 1728 and the first rabbi appointed in 1755. In 1774, a bet midrash was founded. A synagogue was built in 1783. 35 families lived there in 1739. After a fire in Leszno (1790) many refugees arrived including Rabbi Akiva Eger, who lived there for one year. The community had 198 families lived there in 1797. By 1835 401 families (1574 Jews) were about 50% of the total population. A new synagogue built in 1889 reflected the community at its economic zenith. The principal industries were snuff and cigar manufacture and grain, wool, cattle, hides, and timber trade. Jewish population declined to 363 in 1905 due to WWI and anti-Semitism that induced immigration. 15 remained in 1933. The Jewish cemetery and synagogue were destroyed by the Nazis during WWII. [June 2009]

CEMETERY: The original 16th century Jewish cemetery for Rawitsch in Sierakowo, a small village outside of the town, is located on ul. Podgorna on a hill. The wealthiest Jews were buried on the hill facing the town. Following WW II, only the gate remained with the words of Samuel 2.7 written in Hebrew and German. Sometime after 1960, the gate was destroyed. A small heap of stones from a few tombstones still remained in 1994. See Sierakowo. The new Jewish cemetery has no remains.  [June 2009]

US Commission No. POCE000315

Alternate German name: Rawitsch Podgorna. The town is located in Leszczynskie region at 51º37E 16º52N, 34 km. from Leszno, 64 km. from Wroclaw, and 100 km. from Poznan. Cemetery: Sierakowo ul. Present population is 5,000-25,000 with no Jews.

  • Local: Burmistrz: mgr. inz. B. Lachowicz, ul. Westerplatte 7/10, 63-900 Rawicz, tel. 52-78 and Teresa Seziak, Urzad Miasta i Gminy w Rawiczu, ul. J. Krasickiego 21, 63-900 Rawicz, tel. 21-014, tlx. 045253.
  • Regional: Ewa Piesiewicz, Panstowowy Urzad Ochrony Zabytkow, ul. Mickiewicz, tel. 20-63-83.

The earliest known Jewish community dates from the beginning of the 18th century. 1921 Jewish population was 139 (1.5%). R. Akiba Eiger, Gluckmann, and Idel Mayer lived here. The unlandmarked Conservative and Progressive/Reform cemetery was established 18th century with last Jewish burial date 1936. The isolated suburban flat land has no sign or marker. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all with no wall, fence, or gate. The pre-and post-WWII size is 1.5 ha. No gravestones are visible. The cemetery contains no known mass graves. The municipality owns property used only as a Jewish cemetery. Adjacent property is agricultural and recreational. Private visitors visit rarely. It was vandalized during World War II. No maintenance. There are a pre-burial house and a gravedigger's house. Security is a moderate threat. Vegetation and weather erosion are a slight threat.

Dariusz Czwojdrak, ul. Lipowa 22 a/4, 67-400 Wschowa completed survey on Nov. 9, 1992 after a visit in 1991 B. Lachowicz of Rawicz was interviewed 08.11.1991.

BOOK: Lewin, Isaac, collector. Title: Lewin collection, [ca. 1200]-1942, [ca. 1700]-1942 (bulk) Description: ca. 22.5 linear ft. Notes: Contains variety of records of Jewish communities in Central and Eastern Europe especially in Posen, Silesia and other German-speaking areas, including pinkasim (record books) of communities and societies, memorial books with lists of deaths, ..., cemetery registers, society statutes, synagogue seat records, and other documents of communities at ...Rawitsch (Rawicz, Poland), ca. 1838-ca. 1861; ... Location: Yeshiva University. Special Collections. Rare Books and Manuscripts, New York, NY. Control No.: NYYH88-A76 [December 2000]

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 June 2009 09:54
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