Re: Ukraine Jewish Population after Khmelnitski Massacres #general

Alexander Sharon

David Goldman wrote:
I haven't well understood how the Jewish population seemingly grew so much into the
19th century in places such as Podolia where they were about 10% of the population
at the beginning of the 19th century in the wake of the effects of the Khmelnitsky
uprisings and massacres in the 1640s. In the days of the Chassidim the stories we
read make it sound as if there were vibrant communities and rabbis everywhere in
Podolia (and even Volhynia), so one wonders how the Jewish population grew so much.

On the other hand there are other stories suggesting that famous Jewish towns in
Ukraine in the 18th and 19th centuries actually only had relative handfuls of Jews
in them, i.e. 100-200 or even fewer Jews. Famous Chassidic and pre-chassidic rabbis
in those areas had religious responsibilities ostensibly covering many "towns"
which must have meant handfuls of Jews here and there. In reconstructing how things
were in those days, what did Jewish life in Podolia in the years after the
massacres really look like and where did those Jews all migrate >from specifically
into a place such as Podolia that was so potentially socially and politically

The Jewish chronicles say 100,000 Jews were killed and 300 communities
destroyed during Bohdan Chmielnicki uprising of 1648-9.

But on the other hand, Jewish Encyclopedia quotes that at the beginning of
1640ies only 4 thousands Jewish were residents in of 18 communities in
Podolia. The larger Jewish communities were Miedziborz, Nemirov, Tulchin and
Bar. German Jews have settled in Podolia during Thirty Years War (1618-1648).

Alexander Sharon
Calgary, AB

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