The Jews of Krakow and its Surrounding Towns


Rabbi Simcha Alter Fraenkel-Teumim

Thanks to ongoing cooperation with the Krakow Archives we have been fortunate to obtain scanned material dealing with Rabbi Simcha Alter Fraenkel-Teumim - the Chief Rabbi of Krakow and Skawina during the early part of the 20th century. After lying for 60 years in the Krakow Archives, we are pleased to make some of this material available to the public. The documents all appear to be part of his personal file, and cover a wide range of subjects... from marriages and engagements, to the sale of chometz on Passover. Some of the documents still need to be identified and deciphered, and these will be made public in due course. In the meantime, the viewer is invited to go through these documents. Not only will you begin to understand the day-to-day life of Rabbi Fraenkel, but you may just discover a signature of one of your ancestors on these documents. (Click on any thumbnail to see a larger image view). All this material is copyright.

(This material has been made available largely due to the efforts of Robert Bogusz of the Krakow Archives and Miriam Romm)

This was probably Rabbi Fraenkel's most prized possession. It is the document of smicha (or rabbinic ordination) of Rabbi Fraenkel. Signed here by Rabbi Meier Arik (sometimes spelled 'Arak'), the Rabbi of Tarnow.

smicha.jpg (276419 bytes)

The 4 images at right are all part of one document known as a hechsher, which certifies a certain product(s) as being kosher. These hechsherim are signed by several luminaries of the Rabbinic world at that time. They include Rabbi Meier Alter Shapira, Rabbi Nachum Zalman Schneerson, Rabbi Shlomo Halberstam (the 'Bobover' Rebbe), Rabbi Yechezkiel Hakohen, and Rabbi Avraham Moshe Emanuel, Rabbi Elimelech Aaron Twersky, and Baruch David Twersky.

hechsher.jpg (665404 bytes) hechshr2.jpg (698593 bytes) hechshr3.jpg (693838 bytes) hechshr4.jpg (659397 bytes) 

accept1.jpg (648154 bytes)  accept3.jpg (594221 bytes)   accept5.jpg (99209 bytes)

The document at left is signed by numerous members of the Krakow community who had undertaken to accept Rabbi Fraenkel as their Rabbinic authority.

accept2.jpg (33139 bytes)  accept4.jpg (36649 bytes)

This printed document is for the sale of chometz (leavened produce) during Passover.

chometz.jpg (223762 bytes)

A hand-written marriage document (ketuba)....

ketuba1.jpg (665651 bytes) ketuba2.jpg (46947 bytes)

munkatch.jpg (100615 bytes)

The image at left is a hitherto unseen photo of the "Munkatcher Rebbe" also known as the 'Minchas Eleazar' (after the title of his book). The individual in the photo at right remains unidentified (can anyone help?). Please note: these photos are copyright.

photo.jpg (66711 bytes)

tanoim.jpg (586260 bytes)

    ... a hand written engagement certificate or 'tanoim'.

and a document dealing with the breaking off of an engagement...       

tanoimbr.jpg (288810 bytes)