Jewish Traces in Częstochowa

One day tour from Warsaw

Join us in exploring Jewish traces in Częstochowa

Taube Jewish Heritage Tours invites participants of the 38th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy for a day-long journey through Jewish traces in Częstochowa.

Częstochowa, a city of about 250,000 inhabitants is the largest and most important urban and economic center in between Łódź and Silesian conurbation in the south of Poland. Its history dates back to 11th century, and the city is first and foremost known for the Pauline monastery of Jasna Góra which is the home of the famous Black Madonna icon, the most revered relic among Polish Catholics. Every year, millions of pilgrims from all over the world come to Częstochowa to see it. The abbey is surrounded with 17th century fortifications, that withstood Swedish siege of 1655, an event that has become deeply rooted in Polish national memory.

The Jewish community in Częstochowa came into existence by about 1700 and the city became home to the Frankist movement in the late 18th century. The local Jewish community was established in 1798 and Jewish cemetery opened the next year. In the 1830s, the Chairman of the Jewish Community Board, Herc Kon, was a supporter of assimilation together with Jewish craftsmen. Many Jews gained higher education at western universities and wanted to bring about progressive reforms. In the second half of the 19th century, a relatively large group of Jews decided to convert to Catholicism. Częstochowa experienced rapid growth in the period before First World War due to development of metallurgy and textiles industries. This attracted many people to come to the city seeking new opportunities, among them also many Jews from nearby lands. The first industrial entrepreneur was Jewish too, a man named Berek Kohn who established first large industrial plant in Częstochowa. Up to the Second World War, Częstochowa had a significant Jewish population (ranging between 25-30%). The large and lavish New Synagogue built 1899-1909 became the symbolic emblem of this mostly progressive community and was considered one of the most precious architectural gems of the city.

During World War II approximately 45,000 of Częstochowa’s Jews, almost the entire Jewish community living here, perished in the Holocaust. Most of them were killed by the Germans in the gas chambers of Treblinka. The survivors were mostly young men and women turned into slave labors working for the German war industry, nominately the infamous Hasag factory complex. Some 5,200 Jewish prisoners were liberated by the Soviets in January 1945, among them was Sigmund Rolat, who later will become a famous philanthropist. Most of surviving Jews left the city in the early postwar years, after taking decisions to migrate to the West, the United States, Canada, or the newly created state of Israel. A tiny community is still present here, preserving the memory of Jewish Częstochowa.

Highlights include:

  • Introduction and visit to the Museum of the Częstochowa Jews
  • Visit to the Jewish Cemetery
  • Tour of Jewish Częstochowa:

The Old Market Square, around which from the very beginning, the Jewish community was centered and near which in 1765 the Old Synagogue was built; bunker on Mirowska street; Former ghetto grounds; Mikveh; Częstochowa Philharmonic build in the 1950s on the ruins of the New Synagogue.

  • Visit to the Memorial of the Holocaust victims of Częstochowa

Taube Jewish Heritage Tours is excited to take you on this special journey of discovery.

Date: Thursday, August 2 and Tuesday, August 7

Meeting point: lobby of the Hilton Warsaw Hotel and Convention Centre on Grzybowska 63 street

Transportation: Coach

Price: 700 PLN/person

Number of people: max 25 people, min 10

Led by a professional guide and accompanied by TJHT staff member throughout the tour

Lunch included (2-course meal and coffee)

REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS JULY 20, 2018. The tour will not take place if a minimum of 10 participants is not achieved by July 20, 2018 and the fees will be fully reimbursed.

*ITINERARY

*Subject to change

We offer a day trip to Częstochowa from Warsaw on Thursday, August 2, or August 7, 2018:

8:00 AM        Departure for Częstochowa via coach. Framing the day session on the bus

11:00 AM      Arrival in Częstochowa and meeting with the local guide

                          Visit to the Museum of Częstochowa Jews

Transfer to the Jewish Cemetery

1:00 PM         Guided tour of the Jewish Cemetery

Transfer to the city center with a short visit to Hasag factory site

2:00 PM         Lunch break

3:00 PM        Guided walking tour of Jewish sites in Częstochowa:

The Old Town Market Square with a visit to a hideout bunker on Mirowska Street; the site of the old Synagogue; the Mikveh; the Philharmonic/site of the reformed synagogue; Samuel Willenberg’s Memorial to the Jewish Czestochowians who lost their lives in the Holocaust.

5:00 PM         Departure for Warsaw

8:00 PM         Arrival in Warsaw

End of program