The Jews of Kraków and its Surrounding Towns

Early Books on Jewish Kraków

Numerous books have been written on the Jews of Kraków, but most of them were written subsequent to the Holocaust period. Despite being few in number, several early books do exist. The books listed below can be found in the Judaica Section of the Central Library of the University of Jerusalem (Givat Ram Campus). They are all old, fragile, and written in old 'Biblical' Hebrew.

Photocopies of these books can be obtained from the Library. The contents of these books are summarized below.

(Data provided by Jacob Laor)

1) L'Korot Ha'Yehudim B'Polin Uve'Yehud B'Krakow (The history of Jews in Poland and in particular in Krakow)

Contents: This is a summary of the history of the Jews in Krakow and Kazimierz. It is far smaller, but very similar to the book (in Polish) by Mayer Balaban.

2) L'Toldot Israel V'Hahamay B'Polin (The history of Israel and its leaders in Poland)

Contents: Essays about Rabbis from Krakow in the 16th century, including:

3) Divrei Hefetz - Mi Pinkasei Ha'Kahal B'Krakow. (Chapters from the Jewish community books of Krakow)

Contents: Chapters from the Jewish community books. Also includes information about Rabbis and community leaders.

4) Sefer Kilat Yoffi - Toldot Rabanim Ve'Geonim Metzuanim Me'Irei Hagola (History of Rabbis and religious leaders)

Contents: History of Rabbis from all Poland, including some from Krakow

5) L'Toldot Israel Ve'Hahamei B'Polin (History of Israel and its religious leaders in Poland)

Contents: Stories about the following Rabbis:

Also contains:

6) Le'Toldot Gedolei Israel (A history of great Jewish leaders)

Contents: - Stories about 30 Rabbis from Krakow and their families.

7) Mi'Pinkasei Ha'Kahal Be'Krakow - Le'Korot Israel Ve'Hahamei, Rabanei Ve'Manhigei Be'Polania Behlal U'veKrakow Be'Prat (From the Jewish community books in Krakow - The history of Jews and its leaders and Rabbis in Poland in general and in Krakow in particular)

Contents: Sixteen documents about Rabbis and community leaders, including the oldest one (as Wetstein writes) from 1485.

8) Devarim Atikim Mi'Pinkasei Ha'Kahal Be'Krakow Le'Korot Israel Ve'Hahamei, Rabanei Ve'Manhigei Be'Polania Behlal U'veKrakow Be'Prat (Old Writings - From the Jewish community books in Krakow concerning the history of Jewish leaders and Rabbis in Poland general and in Krakow in particular.

Contents: 38 documents from the books of the Jewish community concerning various events in the Jewish community of Krakow.

9) Ir Ha'Tzeddek (Town of Righteousness)

Contents: A history of Krakow, 26 Rabbis and Heads of Yeshivot, their books, and some stories about Jewish life in Krakow. In the list are Rabbis - Moshe Iserles, David Shapira, Mordehai Singer, Eliezer Aszkenazy, Moshe Mordechai Margoliot, Yom Tov Lipman Heller, Yitzhak Landau, and many others.

10) Mapelet Ir Ha'Tzeddek (The defeat of the Town of Righteousness)

Contents: A critical book concerning the book of Matitiahu Zunz (book mentioned above)

11) Sefer Luchot Zikaron - Ha'Ir Krakow Ve'Gedolei (Memorial Book - The town of Krakow and its leaders)

Contents: A history of Krakow Rabbis and leaders, including texts from their graves and remarks concerning Jewish life in Poland and Germany. The end of the book has a big index of names.

12) Anaf Eitz Avot (A branch of family tree)

Contents: History and family trees of some families in Krakow, including of families:


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Compiled by Eilat Gordin Levitan. Updated February 29, 2020 Copyright © 2007 Eilat Gordin Levitan (