Jews began to settle in Janow as early as the 17th century. By 1719 the bishop of Vilno, Konstanty Brzostowski, had granted them permission to build a synagogue (which was constructed in 1740). The town's census in 1775 counted 214 Christian residents and 221 Jews. In 1897, 1797 (78 percent) of the town's 2,296 residents were Jewish.

The archival documents I have obtained indicate a continual presence of the Zachariah family in Janow since the 1700’s. This suggests that the family may have been among the founding Jewish members of Janow. Research on the early history of Janow, including documents about Bishop Brzostowski’s agreement to the construction of the synagogue, may lead to more information on the Jewish settlement in Janow.


Where Once We Walked, a book by Gary Mokotoff, documents that there were 1027 Jews living in Janow in 1921.

Just prior to World War II, nearly 1,100 Jews lived in this small, poor town known for its hotel, which was owned by the Jew Chmiel Rudawski.

Rabbis in Janow from 1880 until WWII included Nissin Perelsztejn,  Jehoszua Kralusz, and Zalman Kosowski.

The town's wooden synagogue, renovated and maintained by the State Office for Historical Buildings prior to World War II, was burned and destroyed by the Nazis.

A Jewish cemetery remains in the northern part of Janow (on the way to Kuplisk and Kamienica). Not fenced in any way, the cemetery contains about 200 mazevas as well as the remains of a brick gate.

Jewish families named in the 1929 guide: "Medicine doctors and pharmacy: Chassin Ruben, Shapiro Maria, Goldstein Gershon. Butchers: Bobrowicz Chaim, Nowokolski Mendel.” See second column- -“articles diverse Scharja,B”, my grandfather’s General Store--and imagine  my excitement when I located this document.





 
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