Re: Polish Translation Help Needed #galicia

Brian J. Lenius <brian@...>

The term "Zydowska Gmina Wyznaniowa" can be broken down into its three
component words by definition, but the meaning of the phrase as a whole or
jurisdiction is much more important than the definition of the words. First
I will discuss the dictionary definitions and then the jurisdiction in

The first word "Zydowska" is obviously translated as "Jewish". The second
word, "Gmina," is most often equated with the word "Hromada" in Ukrainian
and "Gemeinde" in German. By comparing various sources for the pre-WW1
period for these terms (while conducting research for my "Genealogical
Gazetteer of Galicia), it became obvious that "Gmina" is best interpreted in
English as "Community" and not "Parish" or "Municipality" as appears in some
translations. Finally, the third word, "Wyznaniowa," can mean
"Denomination" but the dictionary also shows the word "Confession". Neither
of these English words is appropriate in this case, so the best word to use
would be a form of the more generic word "religion" even though there is
another Polish word for "religion".

As a phrase, the term "Zydowska Gmina Wyznaniowa" is best translated as
"Jewish Religious Community". This was a specific entity or form of
political jurisdiction established under the Austrians by legislation on May
7, 1789 which divided Galician Jewry into 141 Community groups. Various
other legislations during the 1800's were also related to the rules and
structure of these communities. The whole subject of the "Jewish Religious
Communities" including its history, functions, duties, and relation to the
"kehillah" is written as a chapter by Anna Krochmal titled "Izraelickie
Gminy Wyznaniowe" in the book "Akta Wyznaniowe w Zasobie Archiwum
Panstwowego w Przemyslu" published by the Regional State Archive in
Przemysl, Poland in 1993. This chapter was translated into English by Jerzy
Gorzyca (courtesy of Gayle Riley) and published in whole as an article
titled "Jewish Religious Communities (Galicia)" by the East European
Genealogical Society (East European Genealogist, Fall 1996, Vol.5, No.1,
pp.17-19). This periodical is available in many genealogical libraries and
is also available as a back issue >from the society. For more information
contact me off the list.

Brian J. Lenius
Selkirk, Manitoba, Canada

Subject: Polish Translation Help Needed
From: "Alan Weiser" <>
Date: Thu, 1 Jul 2004 12:38:56 -0400
X-Message-Number: 5

I have come into some 1930's records >from Kolomyja. They are in
Polish. I have had a member of my Kolomea Research Group do some

There is a question on the translation of the following Zydowska Gmina
Wyznaniowa, which has literally been translated as Parish of Jewish
Denomination. This is a group reporting to the Provincial Office of
Work Fund, Stanislawow Branch, a list of wage earners and indicating
that the group is not responsible to insure employees of the
slaughter-house against unemployment.

I have never come across Parish of Jewish Denomination. Would there
be another translation of Zydowska Gmina Wyznaniowa that better
identifies the group?

Alan Weiser, Coordinator
Kolomea research Group & Web Site
Silver Spring

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