Bessarabia SIG #Bessarabia Khotin Yizkor Book Translation Project #bessarabia

Judi Wagner

Please consider donating to the Yizkor book translation project for the town of
Khotin/Khotyn, also called Hotin

On the JewishGen website, go to the upper right corner on the donate button, on the
right is a list of Active JewishGen projects, and the last one is Yizkor Book Translations,
please scroll down the list until you come to Khotyn

Project Name: Khotyn Yizkor Book, original title Sefer kehilat Khotyn Bessarabia

Project Coordinator: Judith Wagner, Florida and NYC

Liaison/Advisor: Lance Ackerfeld, Project Manager, Yizkor Book Project

Project Synopsis: This project is being initiated in order to fund the translation of the
over 300 page Yizkor book of Khotin/ Hotin, Ukraine. It was originally published in
Hebrew and Yiddish in Israel, and the editor was Shlomo Shitnovitzer, and was
published in Tel Aviv in 1974 by the Khotin (Bessarabia) Society and has 339 pages.
The Table of Contents was translated by Yocheved Klausner.

Khotin is a city in Chernivtsi Oblast of western Ukraine. It is south-west of
Kamianets-Podilsk Khotin, is first chronicled in 1001, and is located on the right
(southwestern) bank of the Dniester River, and is part of the historical region of
Bessarabia. An important architectural landmark within the city is the Khotin Fortress,
constructed in he 13-15th centuries. During some of itâ??s history, the city was part
of the principality of Moldavia. Jewish merchants traveling >from Constantinople to
Lvov in the 15th and 16th centuries used to pass through Khotin, then an important
customs station on the Polish-Moldavian border on the commercial route between
Turkey and Poland. Jewish merchants >from Poland used to visit Khotin for the fairs
held there, evidence which dates >from 1541. The residence of Jews in Khotin is first
mentioned in documents in 1741. There were 340 Jewish families in 1808. After this
time the community grew as a result of the large Jewish immigration into the region.
In 1897 the community totaled 9227 which was over 50% of the population. A Jewish
government school was established in 1847, and a private school for girls was opened
in 1857. In the first half of the 19th century, Isaiah Schorr, one of the most important
rabbis in Bessarabia, officiated in Khotin. Later, Grand Rabbi Israel Twersky served
the community of Khotin.

The goal is to provide a complete English translation of the text and make it available
online to JewishGen.

Key Audiences: Descendants of Khotin and other Jewish genealogists who have
ancestors in Khotin and Bessarabia will be interested in learning more of the community,
traditions, and lost relatives. This project will also be of interest to non-Jewish residents
of Khotin that are learning and researching the history of the Jewish Community of
Khotin, Ukraine.

Project Importance: Yizkor books are unique sources of information on once vibrant
towns, primarily in Central and Eastern Europe, whose Jewish populations were
destroyed in the Holocaust. Written after WW11 by emigres and Holocaust survivors,
Yizkor books contain narratives of the history of the town, details of daily life, religious
and political figures and movements, religious and secular education, and gripping
stories of the major intellectual movements in 20th Century Europe. The necrologies
and lists of residents are of tremendous genealogical value, as often the names of
individuals who were taken to extermination camps or died in the forests are not
recorded elsewhere. Usually written in Hebrew and/or Yiddish, these books are not
accessible to a wider audience. The translation will unlock this information to many
more researchers all over the world. This project will result in the creation of a primary
English language source of information for anyone doing research on the town and its
Jewish community.

Project Description: As the funds become available, the Hebrew and Yiddish pages
will be translated into English according to importance, by a professional translator.
The project coordinator will review the translation and work closely with the translators.
The project coordinator with solicit funds >from family members, friends, genealogists,
descendants of Khotin, Ukraine, and others interested in the history of this area.

Estimated cost: A full translation is currently estimated at $17,000-$18,000.

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