Schneidemühl's rabbis in the 20th century
(Copyright material)


In 1903 Rabbi Dr. Siegfried Grzymisch became
 the kehillah's rabbi for the duration of one year.
 Born 4 August 1875 in Pleschen, he was
educated 1894-1902 at the Jüdisch Theologisches Seminar
in Breslau.

In 1940 Rabbi Grzymisch and his wife were deported
to the concentration camps Gurs and Drancy in France,
and finally
to Auschwitz on 7 March 1944.


From 1904 until 1913 Rabbi Dr. Julius Lewkowitz was the spiritual leader of the community of  Schneidemühl when the kehillah counted 800 members. Born 8 April 1876 in Georgenberg, Upper Silesia, he was a descendant of a religious family steeped in tradition. He attained a Ph.D at the university of Berlin while simultaneously studying at the rabbinical seminary. After completing his studies at the Jüdisch Theologisches Seminar in Breslau, he was ordained in 1903.

    On 8 March 1943 Rabbi Lewkowitz and his wife were dragged from their home and deported with the 36th transport of 12 March 1943 to Auschwitz.

 Rabbi Dr. Israel Nobel

Rabbi Dr. Israel Nobel was an ardent Zionist. He served as the rabbi of Schneidemühl from 1914 to 1924.

Born 9 July 1878 in Totis (Tata), Hungary, he was, like
so many of his predecessors, a man whose family
comprised of illustrious rabbis and scholars.

He received his early Talmudic education from his
father as well as from the local Rabbi Dr. Auerbach
and in Berlin where he received his rabbinic training
at the
Jüdisch Theologisches Seminar.

In 1939 Rabbi Israel Nobel and his wife made Aliyah.
He died in his 84th year and was buried in Jerusalem on
20 April 1962.


In 1926 the choice for a new spiritual leader in Schneidemühl fell upon the charismatic, liberal leaning Rabbi Dr. Arthur Rosenzweig.

Born 27 March 1883 in Teplitz, he was the son of the well respected Rabbi Dr. Adolf Rosenzweig. He studied in Berlin, received his Ph.D. from the University of Heidelberg, before studying at Breslau’s conservative Jüdisch Theologisches Seminar.
His tenure in Schneidemühl extended only until August 1934, whereafter he accepted a position in a congregation in Prague; t
here Rabbi Rosenzweig died suddenly in January 1936 at the relatively young age of fifty-two.


Rabbi Dr. Alfred Jospe was born 31 March 1909 in Berlin.

His lineage reveals an ancestry that had pursued chazzanut for generations; he was a committed Zionist.

From 1928–34 he had studied at the Jüdisch Theologisches Seminar in Breslau and was ordained in 1932; he received his Ph.D. from the University of Breslau.

On Sunday, 2 December 1934, the first day of Chanukah, Rabbi Jospe took over vacant the position of Bezirksrabbiner in Schneidemühl where he remaind until 1936 when he was called to Berlin to become Rabbiner and Prediger at the Tempel Neue Synagoge on Oranienburgerstrasse. 

In 1938 Rabbi Jospe obtained a one-year visa for Great Britain an the following year he was able to secure a non-quota visa to the United States.

There, after a 35-year career as director with the B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundation which had begun in 1940, Rabbi Alfred Jospe died on 19 November 1994 in Washington, DC.

  Rabbi Dr. Fritz Plotke

Following Rabbi Jospe’s call to Berlin, the position of Bezirksrabbiner fell to another brilliant scholar,
Rabbi Dr. Fritz David Plotke
, born 7 June 1906 in Berlin.

magna cum laude in Semitic languages, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Würzburg in 1928.  Following theological studies at the Jüdisch Theologisches Seminar in Breslau and at the liberal rabbinical seminary Lehranstalt für die Wissenschaft des Judentums in Berlin under Rabbi Leo Baeck, Fritz Plotke was ordained on 5 February 1936.

Rabbi Plotke arrived in Schneidemühl in September 1936, in time to lead the service for Rosh Hashanah on 17 September 1936. His final service was on Simchat Torah on 18 October 1938 and the following week the rabbi fled Schneidemühl. He later emigrated to the USA.
An accomplished artist, scholar, linguist, composer and musician, his final position was at Congregation Knesset Israel in Hammond, IN. Rabbi Plotke died in Florida on 28 November 1994 in his eighty-ninth year.

(The above is but a brief excerpt from the recently published book
 History of the Jewish Community of Schneidemühl: 1641 to the Holocaust)

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