Piotrkow Trybunalski Site

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:: Rabbis, Cantors and Kehila


Chief Rabbis and Spiritual Leaders 

The Piotrkow Chevra Kadisha (burial society) was founded in 1720.
    GETZ, Rabbi Meir ben Elyakum (1685-1732), first chief rabbi of Piotrkow in 1726; also simultaneously rabbi of Lask.

    GETZ, Rabbi R. Eliakim (1705-1738), dayan for seven years; replaced his father as chief rabbi in 1735.

    PIOTRKOWER, Rabbi Nathan Neta, chief rabbi 1763-1766; died at a young age; son of Rabbi Tzvi Hirsh.

    MEISELS, Rabbi Hanania Lipman (?-1811), chief rabbi and a great scholar; died without children.

    PACANOWSKI, Rabbi Abraham Tzvi (1777-1819), chief rabbi for seven years, author of Beit Abraham; son of well-known speaker, Rabbi Eliezer, from Pocarow; descendant of famous rabbis; great-grandson of Rabbi Tzvi Hersh PIOTRKOWER.

    BROMBERG, Rabbi David Isaac (?-1827), chief rabbi and well-known lamdan; called "The Sharp One"; author of Beth David and Chidushai HaRadak; son of Rabbi Reuven; later moved to Ujazd.

    PIOTRKOWSKI, Rabbi Moshe (?-1814), chief rabbi and well-known lamdan.

    PIOTRKOWSKI, Rabbi Aharon (?-1831), kabbalist, mathematician and known as very sharp; was a dayan in Lask; student of Rabbi Fishel of Strikov; son of Rabbi Moshe.

    PIOTRKOWSKI, Rabbi Itzak, followed his father, Rabbi Aharon, as rabbi.

    KARO, Rabbi Yakov (1771-?), served briefly as chief rabbi, then left for Silesia; son of Gaon Rabbi Arieh Leib of Krotechin.

    BUCHNER, Rabbi David Isaac (?-1827), famous rabbi; author of Beit David; later served as rabbi in Czestochowa.

    EDELSTEIN, Rabbi Dov Berish (?-1831), chief rabbi for two years; died in the cholera epidemic of 1831.

    MEISELS, Rabbi Aaron Yehuda Jacob (Leibush) (?-1848), chief rabbi for a short time, also was rabbi of Kilikov and Zamosc; removed as rabbi in 1846 because of a misunderstanding between the Chassidim and Mitnagdim; son of Naftali Hertz MEISELS, father of Gaon Rabbi David of Nashelsk (Nasielsk).

    MORGENSTERN, Rabbi Eleazar Shalom, chief rabbi (1858-1867), formerly the Rav of Cichow and Shedletz (which gave up their chief rabbi only with the intervention of the police); son of Simcha Zev MORGENSTERN.

    ROSENBLUM, Rabbi Baruch Tzvi Hirsh (?-1883), elected chief rabbi in 1868, following the death of Rabbi MORGENSTERN; formerly the Rav of Radzin (1863) and Wegrow.

    KACZKA, Rabbi Isaac, known as "Yitzhakel Charif"; famous rabbi and great lamdan; chairman of the Beth Din after Rabbi PACANOWSKI's death; grandfather of Rabbi Hanoch KACZKA, publisher of Rabbi Isaac's writings.

    WAKS, Rabbi Chayim Elozor (?-1889), elected chief rabbi in 1884, following the death of Rabbi ROSENBLUM; in 1886, he, his father-in-law Rabbi Yehoshua TRUNK of Kutno, the head of the Kehila, wealthy Pinchas HOROWITZ and Moshe WALD (sexton of the Bet Hadin) established a colony in Eretz Israel called Chitin, near Tiberias; published the first Hebrew seyfer in Piotrkow, Nefesh Chaya.; born in Tarnogrod near Lublin, died of a stroke in Kuzmitz, buried in Kalisz; one son, seven daughters, who married wealthy Chassidim; second wife died in Piotrkow in 1910; grandson Rabbi Isaac KALISH and a great-grandson Rabbi Menachem ZINGER survived the Shoah and lived in the U.S.; some descendants live in Israel as followers of Rabbi Chayim Elozor ALTER (grandson of Rabbi WAKS and nephew of the Gerrer Rebbe); grandson Rabbi Israel Yehoshua AIBESHITZ lived in Israel.

    ROSENFELD, Rabbi Simcha Yair (1831-1911), elected chief rabbi in 1890 and served until his death; a great and famous rabbi and excellent speaker.

    TEMKIN, Rabbi Menachem David (1861-?), elected chief rabbi in 1913, following the death of Rabbi ROSENFELD; led the Jewish community during WWI; son of Rabbi Michael TEMKIN, grandson of Rabbi David TEMKIN, a leading rabbi of Warsaw; married daughter of wealthy Moshe Natan HALBER of Warsaw; son-in-law was Avraham KOHN, brother of Lodz industrialist, Asher KOHN.

    SHAPIRA, Rabbi Yehuda Meir, chief rabbi from 1924-1931; a member of the Polish parliament (Agudas Israel Party); became rabbi of Lublin in 1931 and was founder and head of the Yeshivat Hakhemai Lublin (Yeshiva of the Sages of Lublin).

    LAU, Rabbi Moshe Chaim (1893-1942), the last chief rabbi of Piotrkow, 1935-1942; educator, established a yeshiva in Prishkov, Czechoslovakia; supporter of the Poalei Agudas Yisroel Party; member of the Piotrkow Judenrat for a time; father of Naftali LAU-LAVIE and Rabbi Yisrael Meir LAU; according to witnesses, prior to deportation to Treblinka in October 1942, Rabbi Lau delivered a sermon on Kiddush Ha-Shem, stating: "Better a living death, than a dead life. Everyone who is killed as a Jew is a saint. I call upon all of you to realize the will of God to die for him with dignity"; then he said his Vidoi --his affirmation of faith--and the crowd repeated after him crying out "Shema Israel".


    BELCHATOWSKI, Rabbi Tovye Fabl, helped to set up the first print shop in Piotrkow and became its owner in 1894; the shop became one of the largest print shops in Poland.

    DREZNER, Rabbi Raphael (1795-1859), Av Beit Din of Piotrkow; buried in old Lodz cemetery; son of Meir. Feiner, Rabbi Yosef (1866-1943), Aleksanderer rebbe; chief assistant to Eliasz Chaim Majzel, chief rabbi of Lodz, from 1901 and arbitrator in the Lodz rabbinic court; born in Piotrkow Trybunalski; killed in September 1943.

    FRENKEL, Rabbi Chaim, helped set up first print shop in Piotrkow.

    GLAZER, Rabbi Jakob (d. 1939), a leading rabbi of Piotrkow; killed with his family in Sulejow on September 4.

    HUBERBAND, Rabbi Shimon (1909-1942); born in Checiny, lived in Piotrkow Trybunalski; Holocaust diarist; wrote Kiddush Hashem; see also, "The Destruction of the Synagogues of Lodz"; joined the inner circle of the Oneg Shabbat Archive in Warsaw; his writings, apparently from 1941, were found in the hidden archive material discovered after the war in the area that had been the ghetto.

    LUBLINER, Rabbi Simcha Ozer, rabbi during the 1930s; father of Dr. Michael Lubliner.

    PIOTRKOWER, Rabbi Hirsh, wealthy founder of the Bet Hamidrash in 1765; great-grandfather of Rabbi Abraham Tzvi PACANOWSKI.

    ROTBAJN, Rabbi Icek (HG"R Yitskhak of Piotrykov) (1834- ca. 1920), born in Gora Kalwaria; owned an ironworks factory in the 19th century; The Rotbajn Family of Poland.


    HILLEL, Cantor Moshe, cantor in the Piotrkower Shul in 1804.

    MARCUS, Cantor Joseph, cantor in the Bet Midrash in 1804.

    PERLMUTTER, Cantor Lazar, cantor from 1836; from Stawski.

Kehila Structure 

    Kehila Structure in 1804

    1. Rabbi: Rabbi Lipman Meisels
    2. Intercessor and translator: Shmelke (Shlomo) Rappoport
    3. Two teachers
    4. Cantors: Moshe Hillel and Joseph Marcus; Jacob Isaac Flatow, first bass
    5. Sexton
    6. Helper of the shul
    7. Night watchmen: Shmuel Feivelovitch and Gershon Brandeis (and two Gentile watchmen)
    8. Sarah, the midwife

    Kehila Heads in 1808

    1. Chaim Segal
    2. Leyb Berliner
    3. Reb Josef, son of Jacob
    4. Reb Zachariah
    5. Reb Nakhum
    6. Reb Hirsh Piotrkower
    7. Avram, son of Mordechai