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Polish-language Zionist daily. Published in Lwów from January 1919 until September 1939, Chwila (Moment) was devoted to political, social, and cultural affairs. Initially edited by members of parliament Henryk Rosmarin and David Schreiber, the paper was later taken over by the Chwila Publishing Company. Its circulation reached 35,000 copies. An evening edition was launched in 1934, edited initially by Henryk Hescheles and later by Szymon Szpund.

The brainchild of a circle of Zionist activists, Chwila counted among its chief editors Gerszon Zipper, Rosmarin, Leon Weinstock, and Hescheles (from 1931). Its contributors included public figures from Galicia including Leon Reich, Emil Sommerstein, Ignacy Schwarzbart, Emil Schmorak, Fiszel Rotenstreich, Adolf Rothfeld, Abraham Korkis, and Abraham Insler; journalists Ezriel Carlebach, Emil Igel, Hescheles, Bernard Singer, Abraham Brat, Józef Mayen, and Juliusz Wurzel; and scholars Majer Bałaban, Ignacy Schiper, Ozjasz Tilleman, Giza Frankel, Jakub Schall, and Matthias Mieses. In the late 1920s, a Polish Jewish literary circle formed around Chwila, consisting of poets Maurycy Szymel, Stefan Pomer, Anda Eker, Karol Dresdner, Daniel Ihr, Juliusz Wit, and critic Izydor Berman. Chwila also organized literary events and competitions, among them the literary competition “Why Do I Love Palestine?” in 1927.

Chwila provided information on Jewish society in both Poland and Palestine, featuring Szymon Wolf’s Felietony palestynskie (Palestinian Feuilletons) and Bernard Zimmerman’s reports from Palestine. In 1935, the paper introduced a regular column on issues in Palestine, edited by Saul Langnas. The daily featured political, economic, social, and cultural sections. In the latter, Adolf Plohn wrote about music, Hescheles covered the theater, and Artur Lauterbach dealt with the fine arts. Special sections catered to university students (Chwila akademicka, later renamed Ruch młodzieży [Youth Movement]), and women (Głos kobiet [Women’s Voice]). Sections on sports, chess (edited by Julian Madfes), and satire (edited by Zygmunt Schorr) appeared along with reports on court proceedings. Among its supplements were Chwilka dzieci i młodzieży (Little Moment for Children and Youth), edited by Runa Reitmanowa; Dodatek Literacko-Naukowy (Literary and Scientific Supplement), edited by Hescheles; Przewodnik ekonomiczny (Economic Guide); and, from 1932, Dodatek ilustrowany (Illustrated Supplement).

Chwila also published translations of Jewish literature into Polish, including works by Y. L. Peretz, S. An-ski, Israel Joshua Singer, Uri Tsevi Grinberg, Ḥayim Naḥman Bialik, Shemu’el Yosef Agnon, Sha’ul Tchernichowsky, Itsik Manger, and Sholem Asch, as well as works of world literature (Joseph Roth was one of the authors included). Popular literature (e.g., popular novels published in installments) appeared with more elitist writings.

Like other Polish Jewish publications, Chwila criticized radical assimilation, supported Jewish national revival, and called for the building of a Jewish state in Palestine. At the same time, it stressed the value of contributions to Polish culture made by assimilated Jews. One of its recurring themes was the situation in higher education, reflecting the concerns of Jewish students at the University of Lwów, and the question of the numerus clausus (enrollment quotas).

The paper devoted more attention than other dailies to local and regional issues (e.g., it had a column titled “Z gminy żydowskiej” [From the Jewish Community]) and featured regular news about communities in the smaller southeastern towns (Chwila Drohobycka and Chwila Tarnopolska [Drohobycz and Tarnopol Chwila, respectively]). This local focus also reflected Chwila’s interest in Galician Jewish culture; it featured articles about the region’s towns, luminaries, and Jewish writers.

Suggested Reading

Barbara Łętocha, “Chwila: Gazeta Żydów lwowskich,” Rocznik Lwowski (1995–1996): 63–79; Eugenia Prokop-Janiec, Polish-Jewish Literature in the Interwar Years, trans. Abe Shenitzer (Syracuse, N.Y., 2003).

YIVO Archival Resources

RG 737, Jack Faust, Papers, 1927-1942.



Translated from Polish by Christina Manetti; revised by Magda Opalski