Jews were lived on the territory of Moldova since XIV-XV centuries when was made first mention in the chronicles. First Jewish communities were founded in the Southern Moldova in XVI. By the census of 1897, on the territory of our country was lived about 228 000 Jews.
In 1987 in the period of USSR development processes, Jewish cultural life began to improve its activities in Moldova. In Moldova were founded societies of Yiddish and Hebrew learning, and some of them had been registered in local authorities. In the end of 1980’s was founded the nationwide organization 'Moldavian Society of Jewish Culture' that included Societies of Jewish Culture in Beltsy, Bendery, Grigoriopol, Dubossary, Kagul, Orgeev, Rybnitsa, Soroca and Tiraspol. All these communities are carrying out their activity in nowadays.
Beltsy was founded in 1580. Town are situated in the northern part of Moldova. Population is about 160 000 people.
According some historical sources, first Jews had settled in this region of Moldova in the beginning of Xth century.
During the second half of XIXth century, population of Jews increased to 50 percents in Beltsy. Jewish Community of Beltsy is consisted of Beltsy and neighborhood towns, and since 1989 is ranked 2nd place by the Jewish population of Moldova.
Jewish population is about 2 500 people.
In 2000 Jewish Community of Beltsy and Jewish Federation of Greensboro signed twinning arrangement.
Association of Jewish organizations of mun. Bălti
Association was founded in 1989 as Beltsy Society of Jewish Culture.
In 1998 was reorganized to Association of Jewish organizations of mun. Beltsy.
Main objectives of Association are:
- to promote the development of all aspects of life of the Beltsy Jewish organizations.
- to improve mutual understanding between citizens of different nationalities.
To achieve this goals Association realize some projects and programs, including education and protection of historical and cultural heritage.
Since foundation the Association realize commemoration events every year: meetings and marches in the memory of Holocaust victims in Reutsel, Pepeny, Beltsy, editing books and brochures about Holocaust.
In Beltsy is carried out their activities Charity organization 'Hesed Yakov', branch of Sohnut and branch of Israeli Cultural Center.
Chairman - Mr. Golberg Igor
Address: 6 Musik Pinkerzon str., Beltsy
Phone (+373 231) 28299
Director – Mrs. Polina Raspitina
Phone (+373 231) 26394
Bendery was founded in 1408 as Tighina fortress of Ottoman empire.
Since 1990 Bendery is one of the biggest cities of Transnistria region of Moldova. Population is about 130 000 people.
First mention of Jews in Bendery was made in the early XVI century when on the territory of fortress was built a synagogue.
In 1930's there was 8 000 Jews in Bendery. But in the end of 1980's there lived only 6 000 Jews.
Jewish Community 'Akhdud' of Bendery
Jewish Community of Bendery was founded in 2001. In nowadays there lives 1 000 Jews.
In Bendery is carried out their activity branch of Jewish Agency for Israel 'Sohnut' and synagogue.
Chairman - Mr. Vladimir Ighelnik
Address: 17 Moscow str., Bendery
Phone (+373 552) 24070; (+373 777) 73039
Grigoriopol was founded on July 25th, 1792.
Grigoriopol district is located in the central part of Transnistria, on the left bank of the Dniester River. The territory of the city is 1,667 hectares.
The city's population is 10,753 people, the area’s population is 44756 people. Jews constitute 0.3% of the population.
Famous writer Marietta Shahinian called Grigoriopol a Moldovan-Armenian-Jewish town.
Jews live in Grigoriopol district for almost 200 years.
In 1850 there were 150 people; in 1863 - 327 people; 1897 - 832 people; 1910 already 1109 (12.3% of total population). Further, the number of Jews declined: 1920 - 849 people; 1923-817; 1926 -796 people; 1939-562; 1991 - about 50 people.
In 1856 there was a SYNAGOGUE in Grigoriopol. Since 1900 the rabbi Moshka Taxir became the rabbi of the synagogue.
In 1910 there was registered a currently opened Jewish cemetery, in 1912 there was registered a lend-savings association (Jewish bank).
In October 1941, about 500 Jews were deported from Grigoriopol district to Dubossary and shot then were exterminated in Dubossary.
Jewish community of Grigoriopol 'V. A. Itskovich'
Grigoriopol Jewish community was founded on November 11th, 1995.
Since May 2009, the community was named after its first chairman Vsevolod Abramovich Itskovich.
The community was established I order to:
1. Create and maintain close cooperation with all Jewish organizations and communities on the territory of Transnistria, Moldova and other CIS countries.
2. Create coherent and effective system of conservation, development and protection of Jewish culture, spiritual traditions and Jewish historical memory.
Grigoriopol community is part of the Jewish community of Moldova.
The community participates in events held by regional organizations, it was twice awarded with the diploma for active participation and promotion of Jewish culture and traditions.
In s.Kolosovo, Grigoriopol district, there is placed a monument to "victims of fascism" where there are buried ethnic Jews exterminated during the Holocaust. Community has committed itself to monitor this monument.
Local Jewish cemetery also is under the protection of the community.
There are may events. Cotests ad educational programs provided for the younger generation of the community members.
Chairman of the Grigoriopol Community – Mrs. Natalia Britova
Address: city of Grigoriopol str. Levanevski 1, of. 50
Tel.: (+373 778) 39779
Dubăsari city began its development in 1792, as the Russian military settlement. This city is located 42 km from Chisinau. Today there are living around 19,000 people.
By 1847 in Dubossary (the surroundings) there were living 2506 Jews, in 1897 (only in Dubossari) there were already 5220 Jews (43% of the population).
In 1908 the city had a Talmud Torah, one male (Saturday school) and three women's colleges. In 1920- 1922 thousands of Jewish refugees from Ukraine passed through Dubossari to reach Romania. A lot of local Jews joined them, nevertheless, by 1926 in Dubossari there were 3630 Jews (more than 80% of the population), and by 1941 the number had risen to 8000 people.
During World War II there were committed mass murder ad extermination of Jews from Dubosari and neighboring villages. In 1960 in Dubossari there were living about 150 Jews. Thanks to their efforts in 1956 on the site of the execution of Jews in Dubossari, there was raised a memorial "In Memory of 18500 Soviet citizens of Dubossari"
Dubăsari Jewish community
On February 5th was registered 1995 as an NGO "Dubossarskaya Jewish community."
Community consists of 95 members.
Basic principles of the Jewish community are - Responsibility, Discipline, Honesty, Reliability, Compassion and Kindness.
The highest priorities of the Community are provision of social and material assistance to the disabled, sick and elderly, veterans and prisoners of ghettos; preservation and revival of a distinctive Jewish culture; maintenance of the Jewish cemetery and memorial dedicated to "Victims of fascism."
Community is also providing a lot of cultural activities, which include regular celebrations of traditional Jewish holidays.
Dubossari Jewish community collaborates and maintains friendly relationship with other natioal communities as Russian, Ukrainian, Moldovan.
Chairman – Mr. Ozias Ukshteyn
Address: Dubossari str. Lomonosov, 30
Phone: +373 (215) 32989
Mob. +373 777 40042
+373 69 264906
Cahul - is a city located in the south of the Republic of Moldova on the Prut River near the border with Romania. It is located 168 km south of Chisinau.
Cahul name derives from the name of the river, where in 1770 Russian troops defeated the Turkish army.
The city was founded in 1835. At the end of XIX century its population was 6115 people.
In 1970 its population was 26,000 inhabitants. In 1991 there were 44 300 people living I the city. In 1985, Cahul as the multinational capital of the southern Moldova was awarded with the Medal - Friendship of Peoples.
Jewish Culture Society of Cahul
The Jewish community of Cahul was created on March 25th, 1990 and has 127 members.
The main purpose of the community is revival and development of the Jewish traditions and culture, learning the history of relations between Moldova and the State of Israel, education of youth in the spirit of internationalism.
Members of the community celebrate Jewish holidays together as well as actively participate in the urban folk festival of ethnic minorities, Holocaust remembrance day in Dubossari.
Communities maintains order on the local Jewish cemetery.
Chairman of the community is Mr. Semyon Bronstein
Tel./Fax +373 (299) 20747
Address: Cahul, str. Eminescu, 43A
The existence of the XVIII century Jewish community in Chisinau evidences from the extant charter of funeral brotherhood, dated 1774 and signed by 144 members. Then Chisinau was a home for 540 Jews (7% of the city population). The first community Rabbi was Zalman, son of Mordechai Shargorodsky.
Big Synagogue of Chisinau was founded in 1812. Some time later a Jewish hospital, then the first Jewish school with a broad general education program were opened in the city.
In 1867 in Chisinau there were living over eighteen thousands of Jews, there 28 praying houses beside the Big synagogue. In 1897, Jewish population of Chisinau exceeded fifty thousand people (46.3% of the total population). By the beginning of XX century in Chisiau there were already functioning 77 synagogues and praying houses.
Pogrom of 1903 led to the big emigration of Jews from Chisinau and thus reduce the Jewish population of the city growth rate.
During World War II, in the Jewish quarters of the city there was created a ghetto. Now on a place of the former area gates (on the Jerusalem street), in in 1993 there was build a monument to the "Victims of the Chisinau ghetto"
After the World War II, Jewish cultural life in Moldova was not renewed.
Only during the late 1980s. Chisinau witnessed the revival of social, religious and cultural organizations.
An organization called «The Jewish community of mun. Chisinau" as such does not exist. Community in the capital of the country- city of Chisinau is represented by the administration of the Jewish Community of the Republic of Moldova and numerous Jewish organizations, details can be found in 'Organizations'.
Orhei is a city situated on the river Raut in 46 km from Chisinau. Russian name for it is - Orgeev, Moldovan - Orhei, Yiddish - Uriv. According to the latest census, Orhei population is 29,100 people.
Time of its foundation is unknown. It is built on the site of a former Dacian fortress Petrodava, also known under the name of Old Orhei. Until our days, we can see the remains of the fortress with underground passages.
In 1835 the town of Old Orhei was renamed to the county city of Orhei.
Before the World War II, Jewish population in Orhei constituted 49% of the total population of the city. During the Iasi-Chisinau operation, the city was almost completely destroyed by artillery fire and bombing. Still it was rebuilt after the war.
Orhei is famous for its outstanding citizens such as
1. Meir Dizengoff - the first mayor of Tel Aviv, public figure.
2. Zislis WOLF - Bessarabian partisan fighter.
3. Shneer Kogan - Bessarabian artist, founder and professor of the Chisinau School of painting.
4. PHILIP LEVENZON - Soviet military commander, brigade commander.
5. Avigdor Lieberman - Israeli politician.
6. SHABSA (SHOPSE) MASHKAUTSAN - the Great World War II warrior, hero of the Soviet Union (1945) and many others.
Founded in 1989 as the Society for Jewish Culture of the city of Orhei.
In February 2007 during the reporting & election meeting it was renamed into the "Jewish community of Orhei district." Moses Gruber was elected as a Chairman of the community.
The main purpose of the Community is providing cultural events and educational programs aimed on promoting Jewish spiritual and cultural heritage (history, traditions, festivals, concerts, rallies), protection of the Jewish people historical and cultural monuments, provision of the material assistance.
Contact person: Mr. Izyaslav Mudrean – (+373) 78948978
First mentions of Rybnita as a location refers to 1628, when it was marked on the map of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Kingdom of Poland as a settlement.
In 1924 Rybnitsa became a small town and a district center of the Moldavian ASSR.
In 1938 Rybnitsa acquires the status of a city.
Since 1990 Rybnitsa is a part of Tras Dniester Moldavian Republic (Transnistria) (unrecognized state on the left bank of Dniestr river).
Rybnitsa is the largest industrial center of Transnistria.
Rybnitsa has population of 50.1 thousand people (2010) is located 110 km from Chisinau. In 1800 there were living only few dozen Jewish families, although neighboring villages have a long Jewish history. Before the Great World War II, the proportion of the Jewish population of Ribnitsa reached 30%. During the Holocaust in the city and surrounding region, German-Romanian Nazis have killed more than six thousand Jews, both local people and immigrants from Bessarabia & Bukovina. During the war in Rybnitsa there was organized a transit camp and ghetto. As of January 1942 about 25 thousand Jews went through the town on their way to the camps in Transnistria.
Famous Jews originating from Ribnitsa:
- Rybnitser Rabbi Chaim Zanvl (Abramovich), a Hasidic tzaddik Rabbi of Ribnitsa
- Meir Argov (Grabowski), Israeli politician, one of the 37 people who signed the Declaration of Independence
- Paul Saltzman, a cinema artist, painter, writer; between 1917 and 1925 was intermittently living in Rybnitsa
- David Zel'vensky, military historian
- Yitzhak Yitzhaki (Lishovsky) socialist wing Israeli politician, Knesset member
- Alexander Marcus - Moldavian mathematician
- Israel Feldman - Moldavian mathematician
- Semen Shvartsburd - Soviet mathematician and educator, founder and ideologist of specialized physical and mathematical schools creation
Rybnitsa Jewish community
Public organization called "Rybnitskaya Jewish community" was founded in 2001 as a successor Rybnitsa Society of Jewish Culture, that was active since 1989.
The Jewish community of Rybnitsa has about 400 members.
Community currently develops two main programs:
- the maintenance of Jewish cemeteries and perpetuating the memory of the Holocaust victims;
- study of Rybnitsa Jewish history.
Chairman – Mr. Ilya Freidkin
Phone: +373 77718673
Address: Rybnitsa str. Gvardeyskaya, 43
City of Soroca with a population of 45,000 people is located 174 km from Chisinau.
Soroca as well as Balti and other northern towns and cities in Moldova - in XVII-XIX was mostly inhabited by the Jews constituting the majority of its population.
Currently Soroca Jewish community constitutes of 120 people, the number has made a 90% decrease during the last 10 years.
More information about the history of Soroca Jews you can find on a website http://www.soroki.com/.
Soroca Society of Jewish Culture
Soroca Society of Jewish Culture was established in 1990.
Society organizes “Warm Houses" & meetings with the city guests (former residents of Soroca).
Objectives of the community:
- restoration and development of the Jewish national culture & education;
- improving mutual understanding between citizens of different nationalities;
- strengthening cultural ties and enhancing cooperation with other cities of the Republic of Moldova and other countries.
Significant events for the community life in Soroca are:
- Creating and installing of a memorial monument in Malachunsky forest, in 1993.
- Celebrating 20th anniversary of the community creation
- Carrying out all the Jewish holidays.
Chairman of the community is Mr. Semen Vexler
Phone: +373 (230) 26078
Address Soroca str. Banulescu –Bodoni, 14
Tiraspol was founded in 1795. After the collapse of Russian Empire, it became a part of the Soviet Union. Since 1990, Tiraspol is the capital of the unrecognized Republic of Transnistria.
Tiraspol is located 77 km. south from Chisinau. Its population is 180,000 people.
Jews settled in Tiraspol in the middle of the XIX century, having moved here from other parts of Russia and Bessarabia (Dubossari and Grigoriopol). Today, Jewish population of Tiraspol constitutes 1,750 people and 130 people are living in its nine suburbs.
The Jewish community "Mishpaha" of Tiraspol
The Jewish community in Tiraspol was formed long before the beginning of WWII.
During WWII community ceased to exist and resumed its activities only in the period of perestroyka.
The Jewish community "Mishpaha" has around ≈ 1,700 members.
Since 2001, in there city of Tiraspol there is successfully operating a "Charitable Cultural Center," which combines charitable & cultural activities as well as provides work related to community service.
Objectives of the community:
- Spiritual rehabilitation, revival of cultural and religious traditions of the Jewish people; promoting Jewish culture and its popularization.
- Development of inter-ethnic relations in the spirit of friendship and mutual understanding between people of all nationalities, strengthening cultural ties and cooperation with other countries and nationalities;
- Providing material charitable assistance and free services to disabled, sick, lonely, orphans and children without parental care, large families, unemployed and other needy categories of citizens.
Significant events in the community are:
- Construction and giving to official exploitation of the Synagogue, build in 1997 only thanks to the doors support;
- Organization and supporting from internal funds of a Children's Day Center;
- Carrying out all the Jewish holidays.
After 2013 death of Mr. Teitel Efim Aronovich, chairman of Tiraspol community since its creation, the community "Mishpaha" remains without an official leader. Main communal life goes in a premise of the Charity Center "Hesed" Tiraspol.
Leader – Mrs. Anna Kondraschenko
Phone: +373 (533) 74155
Address: city of Tiraspol, str. Kotovskogo 14