In a message dated 12/15/03, Rabbi Ben-Zion Saydman (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
<< I recently learned that my MELTSNER family immigrated to Kirovohrad and
Praha >from Lithuania around 1914. Does anyone have any information /
contacts regrading these two Ukrainian locations?>>
According to my 1968 Columbia-Lippincott Gazetteer, in 1939, Kirovograd had a
population of 100,000. It is located in the Kirovograd oblast, 150 miles
southeast of Kiev. It was a metal works center, where people also did
grain-trading and made agricultural machinery. They manufactured clothing, did flour
milling, distilling, and made things >from hemp. The city was founded in 1754 as a
fortress. It was called Yelizavetgrad to honor the empress Elizbeth Petrovna.
It developed institutes for agricultural machinery and pedagogy. The city
experienced pogroms in 1881, 1905, and 1919. Im 1924, it was renamed Zinovyevsk
1924 [no doubt after Grigori Evseevich Zinoviev, a close associate of Lenin.
Zinoviev, of Jewish orgin, fell into disrepute under the Stalinist regime, and
was ultimately executed for treason in 1936.] In 1936 the city was called
Kirovo and named Kirovograd in 1936. During WWII it was held by the Germans.
I could not find a C-L entry for a place called Nova Praha, but the
gazetteer does have an entry for a Novaya Praga, which is in the Kirovograd oblast, 29
miles east of Kirovograd. In 1926 it had a population of 13,096. amd the town
was known for flourmilling. I did find an entry for "Novi Praga" (Novaya
Praga, in Chester G. Cohen's Shtetl Finder Gazetteer which said only that it is
southeast of Kiev and east of Yelisavetgrad (Kirovograd) and that the newpaper
Hamelitz had published an item by D. Levi Epshtein in Novi Praga.
Rabbi Saydman may be able to find more about Kirovograd and Novaya Praga by
using the "search this website" box at Jewishgen's main page
(www.jewishgen.org) and by searching for the city and town using the google search engine at
I have no contacts to suggest nor am I personally interested in these places.
But the Rabbi should try searching through Jewishgen's Discussion group
archives, and also through the message archives of Jewishgen's Special Interest
Naomi Fatouros (nee FELDMAN)
Researching: BELKOWSKY and BIELKOWSKY, Odessa,St. Petersburg and
Berdichev;ROTHSTEIN, Kremenchug; FELDMAN, Pinsk; SCHUTZ, RETTIG, WAHL, Shcherets; LEVY,
WEIL, Mulhouse; SAS or SASS,Podwolochisk; RAPOPORT, Tarnopol, Podwolochisk,
Berdichev; BEHAM, Salok and Kharkov; WOLPIANSKY, Ostryna.
MODERATOR'S NOTE: A search of the JGFF yielded a large number of
people researching these places.