-- Tykocin --

The synagogue in Tykocin (Tiktin), a village in the province of Bialystok, is an early Baroque masonry synagogue which was built in 1642 and restored between 1974 and 1978. The synagogue is now used as a museum. According to the Encyclopaedia Judaica, the synagogue was not destroyed during World War II, although the Nazis did ruin the interior and the women's section (Encyclopaedia Judaica, No. 15 [Sm-Un], 1475)

Tykocin's prominent rabbis included authorities on Jewish law: Mordecai (1568); Menahem David Ben Isaac (student of Moses Ben Isserles); Samuel Eliezer Edels (1620s); Joshua Ben Joseph, who wrote Penei Yehoshua, a commentary on the Talmud, which became a standard text in Ashkenazi yeshivot (early 1630s); Isaac Aizik Ben Eliezer Lipman Heilperin (1667-81); Elijah Shapira (nonresident rabbi of Tykocin, starting in 1703); and, Shalom Ben Eliezer Rokeah (1756-66) [EJ 15, 1475-1476].

Tykocin During the Holocaust

From Encyclopaedia Judaica

During the first days of the [German] occupation, a pogrom was conducted by the Poles (with the encouragement of the Germans), and Jewish property was looted. The Jews were drafted for forced labor and freedom of movement was limited. On August 25, 1941, the Jews of the town were called to assemble in the market square. After a Selektion, about 1,400 people were transported to large pits that had been prepared near the city [in the Lupochowo forest] and were murdered. Some of the Jews succeeded in hiding, but the next day they were caught and executed by the Polish police. About 150 people found temporary shelter in the Bialystok ghetto and in the surrounding townlets, later perishing together with the members of those communities. After the war a few of the survivors returned to Tykocin, but they were subject to attacks by gangs of Polish nationalists that were active in the area; as a result, they left the city. A memorial book, Sefer Tykocin, was published in Tel Aviv in 1949 (EJ 15, 1476).

From a Testimony in Kiddush Hashem
by Rabbi Shimon Huberband

The Destruction of Communities in the Newly-Occupied Territories

It was not, regrettably, an empty dream,
nor a mad fantasy
or an evil tale, but
naked and bitter reality. (334)

. . . Two weeks prior to our departure from Bialystok, word spread that a horrifying pogrom had taken place in the neighboring town of Tykocin. A similar rumor concerned the Jews of the town of Goniadz. Having walked the road for more than twenty kilometers, we came across a group of Christians. They stopped us and told us that in Tykocin the SS has assembled all the local Jews, men, women, and children, and shot them all dead. They said the same concerning Goniadz. We thus learned that the rumors which we had heard in Bialystok were unfortunately true (Kiddush Hashem [New York, 1987], 379).

 [ Thumbnail ] Tykocin Synagogue: Front Exterior [ 34k ]

 [ Thumbnail ] Tykocin Synagogue: Tower [ 50k ]

 [ Thumbnail ] Tykocin Synagogue: Aron ha Kodesh (Ark) [ 46k ]

[ Thumbnail ] Tykocin Synagogue: Top of Bimah [ 77k ]

[ Thumbnail ] Tykocin Synagogue: Interior (Left of the Aron ha Kodesh) [ 97k ]

[ Thumbnail ] Tykocin Synagogue: Interior (Right of the Aron ha Kodesh) [ 79k ]

[ Thumbnail ] Tykocin Synagogue: Parokhet (Holy Ark Curtain) [ 74k ]

[ Thumbnail ] Tykocin Synagogue: Detail of the Parokhet [ 60k ]

[ Thumbnail ] Tykocin Synagogue: Menorah [ 68k ]

[ Thumbnail ] Tykocin Synagogue: Rabbi's Desk in the Tower [ 67k ]

[ Thumbnail ] Tykocin Synagogue: Detail of Rabbi's Desk [ 69k ]

[ Thumbnail ] Tykocin Synagogue: Rabbi's Table in the Tower [ 74k ]

[ Thumbnail ] Tykocin: Map of the Synagogue Area [ 6k ]

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Last Updated: 14 February 1996

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