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Periodical issued in Warsaw from July 1861 to October 1863 under the editorial direction of Daniel Neufeld. Its full title was Jutrzenka: Tygodnik dla Izraelitów polskich (The Dawn: A Weekly for Polish Israelites). Like its short-lived predecessors Dostrzegacz Nadwiślański (1823–1824) and Izraelita Polski (1830–1831), Jutrzenka envisioned a new “dawn” for Polish Jewry by promoting modernization in the spirit of the Enlightenment. It used the concept of “Poles of Mosaic persuasion” as a model for Polish Jews to follow, and encouraged integration into the larger society based on equal rights.

Devoted to the discussion of Jewish religious, social, and historical issues, Jutrzenka also published official announcements and regulations in an attempt to encourage greater civic participation by Jews. For example, the paper campaigned to have Jews actively exercise their (limited) voting rights on a municipal level. The editors also sought to attract Polish readers wishing to learn more about Jewish culture and society.

Jutrzenka printed academic articles, theological and legal essays, life stories of famous Jews, excerpts from the scriptures, and original literary works. Extensive coverage of Jewish institutions (especially in Warsaw) makes the paper an important source of information on the life of Polish Jews prior to the January uprising of 1863. Among its contributors were Hilary Nussbaum, Aleksander Kraushar, Henryk Merzbach, Ludwik Gumplowicz, Jakub Adolf Cohn, Szmul Hirsz Peltyn, and Hilary Gladsztern, who, with others, formed the first Polish Jewish literary and artistic milieu. Jutrzenka was also the first Jewish journal in Poland to encourage public discussion of contentious issues such as religious reform.

In October 1863, after having published 121 issues, the paper was closed down without warning by tsarist censors. The closure, following Neufeld’s arrest and subsequent exile to Siberia, reflected the authorities’ concern over the pro-Polish sympathies of the paper’s editor in chief and editorial board in the Polish uprising of that year. In the official justification of Neufeld’s exile, Jutrzenka. Tygodnik dla Izraelitów polskich was labeled a “Jewish revolutionary journal.”

Suggested Reading

Artur Eisenbach, The Emancipation of the Jews in Poland, 1780–1870, trans. Janina Dorosz (Oxford, 1991), pp. 443, 450, 470; Marian Fuks, Prasa żydowska w Warszawie, 1823–1939 (Warsaw, 1979), pp. 41–60, summaries in English, Russian and Yiddish; Marian Fuks, Żydzi w Warszawie: Życie codzienne, wydarzenia, ludzie (Poznań, Pol., 1992), pp. 157–162.