Hi Robert, please see answers below:
1. Does anybody know if Zorel is a hebrew first name? If yes, is it also
common among non-jewish Romanians?
According to Alexander Beider's dictionary of Jewish names the closest name
is Zorekh, and derived name Zore, Zortshe, Zorekhl. Very possible that
Zorel is one of derivation.
2. Does anybody know if any jewish families migrated south to Dobrogea
(southeast Romania) as a result of the Romanian pogroms of the late 19,
early 20th century, especially the Iasi pogroms?
Dobrudja was not part of Romania, or Principalities (Walachia, Moldova). It
was part of Turkey, under direct Ottoman control. In 1870s the Dobruja
region was swapped with two districts in Bessarabia (Izmail and Kagul). I
assume that after Romania was established in late 1870s people moved,
including Jews. Possible that pogroms were reason too.
Bessarabia SIG Coordinator