Ukraine SIG #Ukraine Volhynia Gubernia data #ukraine
Josef Meszorer <jmesz@...>
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----- Original Message -----
From: Josef Meszorer
Sent: Friday, April 13, 2001 8:03 PM
Subject: Volhynia gubernia data
I think you should include Berdichev on your Volhynia Gubernia towns list.
It is next to Zytomir, and it was 18-th and 19-th centuries most important
Jewish town, sometimes even called "Capital of the Jews".
Studying old maps of Volhynia, I found that at least about 1850 Berdichev
was shown in Volhynia Gubernia, and a century earlier, in times of Kingdom
of Poland, it was in Volhynia Gubernia as well.
By the end of 19th century it was, possibly together with Zytomir, part of
Here is its short history:
(Other names: Berdicev, Bardichev, Berditchev, Berditchov, Berdyczow)
History of Berdichev:
(Courtesy of Beth Hatefutsoth, Museum of the Jewish Diaspora)
Berdichev is a town in the historic region of Volhynia province. Now in
Zhitomir Oblast, Ukrainian S.S.R. Apart >from two single references to
individual Jews >from Berdichev in 1593 and 1602, there is no evidence that a
Jewish Community existed in Berdichev before 1721. In 1732, the owner of the
town granted a charter to the Jewish Guild of Tailors freeing them from
interference by the communal authorities (kahal). The Jewish population
gradually increased with Berdichev's development as a fair town >from 1765.
According to the census of 1765, the Jews in Berdichev numbered 1,220 (out
of a total population of 1,541); they numbered 1,951 in 1789 (out of 2,460).
In 1794, Prince Radziwill, the owner of the town, deprived the rabbis of
their right of civil jurisdiction, which was transferred to a court to be
elected by majority Jewish vote. Berdichev had become an important center of
Volhynian Hasidism in the last quarter of the 18th century, and the Hasidim
were thus able to secure the election of Dayyanim so as to free themselves
from the jurisdictionof the Kahal and its Mitnaggedim rabbis. As the town grew, a number of noted
scholars served as rabbis of Berdichev, including Lieber "the Great," Joseph
"the Charif," and, >from the end of the 18th century until his death in 1809,
Levi Isaac of Berdichev.
I hope, you find this information useful.
MODERATOR'S NOTE: >from now on, suggestions for towns to be researched under Volhynia should be addressed strictly to Joanne Saltman personally at <jsaltman@...>. However, because of the informative content of this letter, it has been approved. Thanks for your cooperation in this matter.