by Victor Breitburg
Small town on the land of Polish Noblemen since 1374, lost
its status in 1870.
Jews arrived in Kamiensk, located on the Warsaw - Katowice - Vienna Highway, at
the beginning of the 18th century. Originally they belonged to the community of
Przedborz and later to the community of Rozprza. In the late 18th century, they
set up independent institutions. The first two wooden synagogues burned down.
The last was built in 1905, and beside it a Hekdesh Cemetery in 1830.
The Kamiensk rabbis represented the Chassidic sect. The first, Rabbi Stern, a
pupil of the “Chozeh of Lublin," was in contact with the Tzadik. He
was later removed from his post because of the opposition of the Kotsk
Chassidim. Rabbi Israel Stiglitz of the Radomsko dynasty was a “Possek
Halacha.” The last rabbi of Kamiensk was Rabbi Rubin Rabinowitz, a descendant
of the Yehudi of Pishkha (Przysucha), who stressed the importance of
studying the Torah.
The shtetl was ruled by three social structures headed by the rabbi, the
priest and the Polish police. The rabbi was the "Salomon of the
shtetl," the judge and the jury. Most Jews of Kamiensk earned their living
as small traders and innkeepers. A few worked in the textile business and the
vacation service. The political party Agudath Israel dominated the
Kamiensk community and established the Bnoth Agudath Israel organization
in 1930. Despite resistance from the Gur Chassidim, a youth group founded a Sholem Aleichem library in 1931.
Anti-Semitism and economic crisis led to riots in 1937. Scores of Jews left
In 1939 the Jewish community of Kamiensk numbered 834 persons, including
January 17, 2001
Levittown, New York
All information about Kamiensk was obtained from the
Museum of Jewish Diaspora in Tel-Aviv, Israel.