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Jewish Political Leadership

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Chapter Summary

In the Jewish political leadership, 23 constituencies were represented in the Council of Four Lands, and the number of councilors was therefore also 23. Theoretically, every constituency could be represented in the council, but in practice large exterritorial urban communities and regional councils usually sent several representatives, while smaller constituencies were represented in the council in rotation. The 1717-1764 Jewish poll tax assessment lists add much new information on Jewish leadership in Crown Poland during the eighteenth century. According to the Pinkas Vaʿad ʿArba Aratsot(PVAA), out of the seven marshals of the council who served between 1717 and 1764, only two are also mentioned in the poll tax lists: Abraham son of Joseph of Leszno, and Abraham son of Haim of Lublin. The geographical distribution of major Jewish communities could sometimes have significant practical repercussions. Some major Jewish communities paid their poll tax very rarely or not at all.

Keywords: Council of Four Lands; Jewish leadership; Jewish poll tax; Pinkas Vaʿad ʿArba Aratsot(PVAA)



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