The Chevra Lomdei Mishnayot (in Hebrew, the Association for the Study of Mishnah) was established in 1893 for religious and educational purposes. Until 1939, its presidents included Natan Silbiger, Abraham Kaufmann, Salomon Joachim Barber and Jakób Singer. During the interwar period, the association’s rabbi was Yekele Yankiel Zukerberg from Komarno, the son-in-law of the Sassover admor, who was later replaced by Hayim Yehuda Yudel Halberstam. During its operation the number of members ranged between 90 and 120.
Initially, the Association did not have any premises of its own, and prayers took place in the prayer house belonging to the Chrzanover Hasidim (the Chrzanover shtibl) on Hospital Square (today Priest Jan Skarbek Square) In 1912 the Lomdei Mishnayot Association acquired a site from Józef and Gizela Glass. In 1913, construction works began there to build the synagogue. The Association’s synagogue was in operation by September 1918, and remained in operation until 1939. During the Second World War, its interior was completely destroyed and the synagogue was turned into a German munitions depot.
After the war it was opened again for services (1945-1955) and the few survivors from Oświęcim prayed there. In 1977, the Chevra Lomdei Mishnayot Synagogue was nationalized by the Communist government, and later used as a carpet warehouse between the years 1992-1997. In 1998 it was returned to the Jewish Community of Bielsko-Biała which, in the same year, donated the synagogue to the Auschwitz Jewish Center.
The synagogue is an example of a typical bet midrash (in Hebrew, a house of study) from the beginning of the 20th century, which was a building for both prayer and religious education. In the men’s section of the synagogue there are two historic plaques. The first one from 1928 is located on the mehitza, the wall dividing the men and women’s sections, and bears names of three gabbaim (administrators of the synagogue), Yakir Singer, Hayim Goldstein and Alter Neuberg. It is the only original element from the prewar Chevra Lomdei Mishnayot synagogue. The second plaque, the shiviti, is located on the eastern wall of the synagogue, to the right of the aron ha-kodesh. It was founded by Hinda Tzveth to honor her late husband Shlomo Zalman Pelzman from Kęty, a rabbi and a teacher (1907). The plaque was most likely mounted on the wall by local survivors soon after WWII.