Szymon Dankowicz (1840-1910)

Born on 3rd November 1840 in Częstochowa, Szymon Dankowicz was a progressive rabbi connected with the Tempel Synagogue. A patriot and a great advocate of the agreement with Polish people.

A graduate of School of Rabbis in Warsaw, Jewish Theological College in Wrocław as well as the Philosophy and History Faculty at the Central School of Warsaw. He was issued a smicha which he received from Dow Ber Meisels. In 1862, Szymon Dankowicz published a Jewish coursebook through Orgelbranda, a publishing house from Warsaw. Between 1861-1862, he participated in patriotic demonstrations and as a consequence, was arrested by the Russian authorities and exiled. His patriotic career includes being a January Uprising participant (1863-1864), too. From the mid 60’s of the 19th century, he held the position of a preacher at the Tempel Synagogue. In 1868, he was appointed a rabbi of the Tempel Synagogue by the then mayor of Krakow, Józef Dietl. Dankowicz’s introduction ceremony took place on 18th January 1868 and was a significant event for the progressive Jewish community in Krakow. It is worth noting that since that moment Polish became the main language in the Tempel Synagogue, making its command a necessity when employing a rabbi. Szymon Dankowicz was teachining religion in a couple of secondary schools in Krakow and managed a Jewish school in Kazimierz. Due to financial issues he left Krakow in 1875 and took the position of the national rabbi of Sofia, followed by Starachowice, Moravia and Świecie.

He is thought to have died in 1910 in Vienna. 

Read more: Alicja Maślak-Maciejewska, Rabin Szymon Dankowicz 1834-1910 Życie i działalność, Krakow 2013