NACHMANOVICH

NACHMANOVICH
NACHMANOVICH (Pol. Nachmanowicz), wealthy family in lvov , Poland; its members were among the leaders of the community within the walled city of Lvov during the late 16th and early 17th centuries. The first-known member of the family, ISAAC BEN NAḤMAN (d. 1595), is mentioned in 1565 as dayyan of the community, and for many years was among its leaders. As chief of the representatives of the communities of the "Land of Russia" (Senior generalis ziem ruskich) he participated in meetings of the Council of the Four Lands. In 1589 he was parnas of the Council and in 1590 he and his son Mordecai paid the first installment of a tax in its behalf. Isaac attained his high position in the community through his diversified activities as a spice merchant and tax farmer. Among other undertakings he leased an important customs station in Sniatyń, in the Lvov region, and held the rights to the lease of the state revenues in the city of Lvov and the sub-district (starostwo). He was also engaged in large-scale moneylending against pledges of real estate and valuables. Through his wealth and prestige he was able to appear in the Polish law courts without having to take the Jewish oath (more judaico). Isaac also had access to the Polish kings Sigismund II Augustus and Stephen Báthory. In 1581, he was authorized to acquire a plot of municipal land where he built a magnificent synagogue in Gothic style at his own expense after the plans of an Italian architect. It became known as the "Turei Zahav" synagogue. Isaac's elder son, NAḤMAN ISAAKOVICH (Naḥman ben Isaac; d. 1616), took over his father's affairs, including his tax farming and moneylending undertakings, and acquired the lease of the market imposts and other revenues of Lvov. He served as head of the community a number of times, and was admitted to the citizenship of Lvov, being known among Christians by the honorific "Generosus." He was also a scholar. Naḥman, who was stringent in collecting the taxes, had frequent conflicts with the local inhabitants who accused him of overcharging the customs dues, but the city council, which was dependent on his loans, rejected their complaints. From 1603 Naḥman headed a struggle to preserve the synagogue erected by his father which the Jesuits in Lvov wished to convert into a church and seminary. In 1609 a compromise was reached which left the synagogue in the ownership of the Nachmanovich family, while the Jewish community undertook to procure a suitable site for the needs of the Jesuits in the suburbs of Lvov for a sum of 20,600 zlotys. Immediately afterward, Naḥman and his brother Mordecai completed the construction of the synagogue, adding a women's gallery and magnificent religious requisites. In honor of its opening R. Isaac ha-Levi composed a "Song of Redemption" which was sung by the Jews of Lvov for many generations. The deliverance of the synagogue was preserved in the memory of the local community and gave rise to a number of legends. It was connected in folklore with Naḥman's wife Rojse ("Di gildene Rojse," as she was called by the Jews) who was renowned for her beauty and wisdom. After the death of her husband, Rojse took charge of his business affairs until her death in 1637. Her tombstone, which was preserved until the Nazi occupation, was inscribed with a Renaissance-style epitaph extolling her deeds. The younger son of Isaac, MORDECAI (MARCUS) BEN ISAAC (d. 1635?), ranked among the elders (seniores) of the Lvov community, and also engaged in tax farming. In 1627 the merchants of Lvov accused him of overcharging the customs duties. He became court purveyor in 1634 to King Ladislaus IV, furnishing supplies to the Polish army in the war with Russia.   The son of Naḥman Isaakovich and Rojse, ISAAC NACHMANOVICH (Junior; b. 1595), after years of apprenticeship under the tutelage of his mother and uncle, resumed the business in his own right and on occasion acted as court banker. In 1626 he lent considerable sums of money to the royal treasury during the war with Sweden. In 1634 Isaac was given the status servus camerae by King Ladislaus IV, and exempted from paying all customs duties and imposts, whether levied by the crown or privately. He also expanded his commercial activities, especially the trade in textiles and supply of oxen to the army, and in partnership with others, leased the state revenues in the districts of Lvov and drogobych . However, by 1637 he was on the verge of bankruptcy, and in 1646 was arrested for debt. He succeeded in escaping from prison and disappeared. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Halpern, Pinkas, index; M. Balaban, Żydzi lwowscy na przelomie 16 i 17 wieku (1906), 41–88; W. Lozinski, Patrycjat i mieszczanstwo lwowskie w 16 i 17 wieku (1892); J. Caro, Geschichte der Juden in Lemberg (1894), 34–43. (Arthur Cygielman)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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