[Yiddish, Tiktin] - A town in the Podlasie voivodship in the Bialystok powiat (district); it was granted its town charter in 1424-25.

The Jewish Community was founded in 1522, when ten families from Grodno were brought as settlers by the voivod of Wilno and Troki, Olbracht Gasztold. They were granted the right to found a cemetery and build a synagogue, as well as market stalls around the town hall. In 1536, they received a "court privilege", which meant they were released from municipal jurisdiction. In 1576, these rights were confirmed by Stefan Batory, allowing them to engage freely in trade within the town and in other locations. In 1633, these rights were guaranteed by Wladyslaw IV.

The Jewish Community in Tykocin grew quickly, and began playing a prominent role among the Jewish communities in Podlasie and northeastern Mazovia. In 1576, Tykocin's Jews owned 54 buildings. They were primarily engaged in trade, including the delivery of goods to Gdansk. In 1621, the Tykocin Community gained its independence from Grodno, under whose jurisdiction it had been. Tykocin began playing an important role in the Sejm of Lithuanian Jews, and also gained special authority over more than a dozen other Jewish communities, including Bialystok, Orla, Stawiska, Stuczyn, Grajewo, Rajgrod and Bocki. In time, the town became an important center of Jewish culture and Talmudic studies. In 1642, a Baroque synagogue was built.
The following Talmudists were active in Tykocin: Menachem David ben Itzhaak (a pupil of Moshe Isserles), Shmuel Eliezer ben Yehuda ha-Levi Edels, Joshua ben Yosef, Elijahu Shapira (beginning in 1702), and Shalom ben Eliezer Rokeach (who lived in Tykocin during the years 1756-66).
The town was seriously damaged during the Swedish invasions. In 1661, the town was awarded to Stefan Czarniecki for his service in battle; after his death, it became part of the Branicki family holdings.

The Tykocin Jewish Community continued to play an important economic role, and ran various trade and credit activities (Jewish debts). In 1775, approximately 1,500 Jews lived in Tykocin (57% of the total population). Towards the end of the eighteenth century, both the Community and the town itself began to be overshadowed by Bialystok, the Branicki family seat.

After the Congress of Vienna, Tykocin lay within the Kingdom of Poland, and its population continued to grow: in 1827, there were 2,700 Jews living in Tykocin (64% of the population); by 1857, this figure was 3,500 (59%). They were for the most part engaged in small-scale trade and crafts. Over the course of the nineteenth century, Tykocin became a small provincial town, partially due to its lack of a rail connection.
During the interwar period, approximately 1,500 Jews lived in Tykocin, (50% of the total population). There was a tallith factory in the town, as well as a Hebrew school, run by Tarbut, and a branch of the Zionist youth organization, He-khaluts.

When the Second World War broke out, Tykocin was under Soviet occupation. In August 1941, after the city was taken by the Germans, the Nazis executed 1,400 Jews; they also sent approximately 150 people to the ghetto in Bialystok.

Tykocin's seventeenth century synagogue is one of the most beautiful works of Jewish sacral architecture in Poland. A museum of Judaica is currently housed there. A regional museum is now located in the former beit midrash building.

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