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C. 1520 COUNCIL OF THE (FOUR) LANDS (Vaad/ Kahal) (Poland)

Was set up in Poland, with a separate council established in Lithuania. Its official objective was to help collect Jewish taxes for the government. In reality it had the status of a court and oversaw much of Jewish life. It also tried to serve as the representative of the Jewish communities and ensure that all rights and "privileges" were kept. Very few Jews had any say as to who was elected to serve in the councils, a point which led to much friction. The "Council of the Four Lands" generally consisted of: the provinces of Great Poland (capital: Poznan) and Little (Lesser) Poland (capital: Cracow); "the Lvov Land"; and the province of Volhynia. At times the council may have only included 3 "lands", and at its zenith it included 18 units. The council was abolished by the Polish Sejm in 1764.




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