The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People

Contents

See also: The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People web site


Records of the Jewish Community of Lodz held in the CAHJP

(per 1988 CAHJP catalog)

Key:
1. = original manuscript
2. = microfilm, followed by location where microfilmed, in parentheses
[R] = in Russian
[P] = in Polish
[H] = in Hebrew

  • 1836-1935

1. The account books of two Jewish merchants [G.P], 1905, 1933; account books and minutes of the Hebrew Language Society [H.R], 1911-12

2. Community minutes and reports; records of community elections; community correspondence; files on personal matters and on civil records; population records; community budgets and financial reports; records of income and expenditure; records of communal taxes; requests for financial aid during World War One; records of transactions concerning real estate in the town; records of the rabbinate; files on rabbis, synagogues and prayer-houses; records concerning the mikveh; ritual slaughter, documents and correspondence concerning the supply of money and food for the poor at Passover time; files of the Commission for Ritual Matters; records concerning Jewish schools and cheders; files on the Talmud Torah; on the community delegates to the School Council; files on the establishment and activities of various Jewish charitable and medical institutions (the poor shelter, orphanages, home for the mentally disturbed etc.); records of the Jewish cemetery; files on the staff of the cemetery and their wages; records of burial costs; files on the desecration of graves by soldiers; records concerning theft in the community; civil records and statistics concerning the Jewish population; help granted to the victims of pogroms in the Ukraine; files on anti-Jewish outbursts; records of those wishing to leave the community; bulletins of the Jewish Press agency; files concerning the election of Jews to the Town Council; files on community participation in various non- Jewish celebrations; records of Jews conscripted into the army; files of the Commission for the Registration of War Casualties; records of Jewish solders returning from the war; support for solders' families; records of the Committee for the Support of Wounded Soldiers, 1885-1935. [P.R].
(AP Lodz, L.Zyd.Gm.Wyzn).

Files on the community; records of the purchase of property and land by Jews, 1836-66
(AP Lodz, A.P.Rz.G.)

Records concerning the community and its officials; correspondence dealing with the community's finances; files of the Jewish cemetery, cheders and Jewish schools; records of synagogues; contributions to the Jewish hospital in Piotrkow; files on the construction of the Jewish hospital in L.; the establishment of a Jewish maternity home; various societies and charitable institutions; records concerning the rabbi and the supply of kosher food; licenses for Jews to settle in the town; licenses for Jews to buy land for building purposes; files on the size of the Jewish population and its participation in local life; files on the legislation concerning Jewish dress (incl. fines for breaking the law and taxes paid for permission to dress traditionally); medical certificates for burial purposes; verdicts in criminal cases, 1864-1915, [P,R].
(AP Lodz, Akta Magistratu w Lodzi).

Documents, reports and correspondence on Jewish schools and cheders; inventories and descriptions of various schools; class registers. 1864-1915, [R].
(AP Lodz, L.D.Sz.).

Files on illegal trading activities carried out by Jews; various official requests (incl. For opening businesses); files on synagogues, prayer houses, schools and cheders; fines for evading conscription; records of Jews under police observation; files on medical services; records concerning the infringement of the law on Jewish dress; a file on the "HaZamir" society; records concerning various educational and professional societies; the appointment of a new rabbi; files concerning the registration of merchants, 1869-1913, [R].
(AP Lodz, Policmajster m. Lodzi).

Ratification of community elections and accounts; records concerning the arenda of synagogue income; files on arrears in taxes paid by Jews; financial aid for the Jewish poor; donations and contributions to charitable institutions, schools and synagogues; the appointment of new rabbis; files on the construction and renovation of the synagogue and the Jewish hospital; records concerning the establishment of new synagogues and cheders; licenses for the establishment of various cultural and charitable societies; files on Jewish guilds; various complaints concerning the community; requests for licenses to build houses, warehouses and factories; a request to permit a conversion to Christianity. 1871- 1914, [R].
(AP Lodz, P.Rz.G.R.O.)

Files on synagogues and cemeteries; a request to establish society of merchants; various financial requests; complaints against Jews; proceedings against Jews who built in unauthorized area; fines for evading conscription; files on poverty suffered by the families of Jews conscripted into the army. 1890-1903, [R].
(AP Lodz, P.Rz.G.W.P.).

Accusations against Jews of membership in illegal organisations and political parties (incl. Bund, S.D.K.P.P.iL.P.P.S. etc.); files on those accused of the possession and distribution of illegal, anti-government literature; documents concerning the organization of demonstrations and meetings on 1st May, 1905 and on other occasions; files on those arrested for organising strikes in 1905; records of investigations of the political orientation of certain Jews; documents concerning the collection of funds for the "Bund" and other parties; a file on a meeting of the "Poalei Zion" in 1910. 1903-1912, [R].
(AP Lodz. P.G.Z.Z.)

Requests to register various cultural, charitable, religious and professional societies; confirmation of the establishment of a Jewish orphanage. 1906-14, [R]
(AP Lodz, P.Rz.G.K.P.).

Correspondence on the causes of pogroms in L.; a statement concerning acts of sabotage committed by Jews; various petitions and complaints made by jews; correspondence concerning a Jew under arrest; a case of a Jew using false medical certificates to evade conscription; licenses to publish various Jewish journals. 1906-14, [R].
(AP Lodz, K.G.P.).

Files on various Jews sent into exile [R], 1907-08.
(AP Lodz, K.G.K.).

 


  • 1883-1914

2. Files on various educational matters concerning Jews in the district [R], 1883-85.
(AP Lodz, Urz.Gm. Chojny).

 Records concerning various Jewish communities in the district; files on Jews evading conscription. 1889-1914, [R].

 Correspondence concerning cheders, 1889-99.
(AP Lodz, L.D.Sz.)

 Fines for evading conscription; the complaint of a Jew against the village militia. 1895-1902, [R].
(AP Lodz, P.Rz.G.W.A.).

 A file on the request of the Jews of a local village to join the L. community, 1908.
(AP Lodz, P.Rz.G.W.A.).

 Files on Jews under police observation [R]. 1908.
(AP Lodz, P.G.Z.Z.).


Reports of Onsite Visits to the CAHJP

There are a few civil records located at the CAHJP, but nothing from Lodz or the area.
The CAHJP is working on publishing a revised version of the 1988 index of their Polish holdings (they have no equivalent for other countries). The CAHJP has acquired a lot of new material since 1989, and the catalog should be twice or thrice thicker. Unfortunately, a single archivist works on updating the catalog, and only one day a week, so no publication date is planned. The focus of the CAHJP is not genealogy but history, so, when they go to Poland to microfilm material, they usually do not film civil records with individual name lists. The major difficulty with accessing the data in the CAHJP is language. As one can see from the old catalog, most of the material is written in Russian or Polish (R, P). As these are not lists of names, mastering these languages is necessary. Even the (non computerized) catalog of the CAHJP is difficult to use, as every catalog entry is written in the language used in the document that the entry describes. The archives will pursue this policy in the future. The CAHJP is also working on a computerized catalog, but here, too, no dates are given.

I have worked at these archives during several of my trips to Israel.  They have some extensive holdings on several Polish towns in which I was interested.  When I was there last, about five years ago, they were not computerized and their holdings were largely catalogued on cards (not always complete). Visitors were not permitted to search the stacks directly and the number of requests for items at a time was limited by time available. People wishing to use the archives should first realize that they were not designed for public use. The staff is highly skilled, but they have their own work to do (either for the Archives or the University) and neither have time nor the assignment to assist the public.  Hence, I believe this not a place for an amateur, unless accompanied by an experienced professional. Some of their archivists, however, are very competent and well informed.

The holdings of the CAHJP on Lodz are summarized in the old 1988 catalog, however an updated version may be available. The archives has a list of more than 200 microfilms of documents that still exist in Poland. Most are in Polish, some are in Russian and others are in Hebrew and Yiddish. These documents are not genealogy records, per se, but there is much indirect information including many name lists of all kinds and other documents. I arbitrarily chose three films to peruse, but could only read the Hebrew or Yiddish files, which were scarce. I found, for example, a birth registration and a charitable donors' list. In conclusion, I believe the microfilms contain information of value to genealogists. However, to extract the information from these microfilms, one is required to view them, one by one, and prepare lists in English. It will be a huge undertaking.


Contact Information

Postal Address:
Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People
P.O.B. 1149
Jerusalem 91010
Israel

Telephone/Fax: (972)-2-5635716
Email: archives@vms.huji.ac.il

Location:
The Hebrew University Campus
Sprinzak Building
Givat Ram
Israel

See also: The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People


Sources

For more information on Jewish community and vital records held in various branches of the Polish State Archives, see:

  • Teller, H., Volovici, H. Assouline, H. Guide to the Sources for the History of the Jews in Poland in the Central Archives. Jerusalem: CAHJP, 1988. (out of print)
  • Volovici, Hanna. "Polish Sources at the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People," Avotaynu, Vol. X, No. 2 (Summer 1994), pp. 21-22.
  • Weiner, Miriam. Jewish Roots in Poland: Pages from the Past and Archival Inventories. New York: YIVO Institute for Jewish Research and The Miriam Weiner Routes to Roots Foundation, Inc., 1997.
  • The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People web site

The assistance of Warren Blatt, Stanley Diamond, Jan M. Engel, Shmuel Kehati and Jean-Pierre Stroweis is gratefully acknowledged.

Shirley Rotbein Flaum
 
 

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