Ceastina Alla (Частина Алла)
Jewish Life in Bessarabia
Ladies and gentlemen!
Ladies and gentlemen!
My name is Alla Chastina. I work in the Institute of Cultural Heritage of the Academy of Sciences of Moldova. Simultaneously I am the independent researcher at the National Archive of Moldova in Chishinev.
The topic of my presentation is “Jewish Life in Bessarabia as it is Reflected in Bessarabian Newspapers, 1850-1930”
Reading Bessarabian newspapers that were printed in Russian, Romanian and Hebrew, from the 1850s to 1930 one can learn a great deal about life of the Jewish people in Bessarabia. The newspapers may serve as an invaluable source of additional information for any genealogical research. "Bessarabskiye oblastnyye” (Bessarabian regional) and "Bessarabskiye gubernskiye vedomosti” (Bessarabian province news), "Bessarabia", "Bessarabskaya zhizn” (Bessarabian life), "Bessarabskiy yuzhnyy kray ” (Bessarabian south), "Svobodnaya Bessarabiya” (Free Bessarabia), and many others – covered political, social as well as cultural aspects of then thriving Jewish live throughout the region.
“Bessarabian regional news” was official newspaper of Bessarabian administration , issued for the first time on the 17th of July, 1854. Initially it was published once a week, some later it was printed two or three times a week.
When Bessarabia became a province, the name of that newspaper was changed on “Bessarabian province news”. It was included two parts with various information as official and unofficial ones, printed in Russian from the 5-th of December of 1873 to on February of 1917.
“Bessarabia” was a political, literary, social, economic newspaper in Russian after 1911 at Kishinev publishing house of B.O. Lempert and B.M.Sheinberg. Some later from 1914 to 1917 it was issued in Romanian at the publishing house if B.B. Yacubovich.
«Bessarabian life» was political, literary, social, economic, newspaper printed in Russian from 1904 to 1919 and with some interruptions it changed its name before 1928.
«Bessarabian south» was daily newspaper edited in Russian at D. Natenzon’s publishing house in Bendery for 1914-1918.
“Free Bessarabia” was issued by Bessarabian socialists. It appeared in 1917 instead of “Bessarabian provice news”.
As for Jewish newspapers there were weekly “Jewish tribune” in Russian and Romanian for 1929, “Jewish chronicle” in Russian for 1912, “Alarm” in Russian for 1917 and a few other newspapers in Hebrew that you can find in the library of National Archive of Moldova. Today various collections of Jewish newspapers and magazines can be kept in some libraries of Moldova, Romania, Ukraine and Russia.
Every page consists of information related to the Bessarabian Jews. Thus, "Bessarabskiye Oblastnyye vedomosti” (Bessarabian Provincial Gazette) in 1858 published an article about the deceased pharmacist Schuster, who supplied medications for the Jewish Hospital in Kishinev since 1833, another article about litigation between heirs of Leiba Barbalat, the tradesman from Bender. Announcement about house purchased by Ovshii Molochnik in Soroki and another about the merchant Alter Dorfman from Cahul departing abroad, and another about certain Leyzor Pinchevsky from Faleshti who was summoned to appear in court for “offending a Kishinev's merchant”, and yet another one about public auctioning of vineyard and orchard owned by Heim Vayshenker of Durleshti. One of the ads in 1859 announced that merchant Kitsis was selling owned by him public baths in Chisinau. From 1839 to 1843 the property was leased to merchant Mendel Perper. The description read: "baths has two sections, wooden floor, in the yard - a well laid in stone with wooden frame. Next to the bath - a stone outbuilding, covered with clay-tiled roof which houses the cellar”. The property also inclluded ajacent to the buildind piece of land and in whole was priced at 1,200 silver rubles.
Newspapers in 1850s also had a special section dedicated to inheritance affairs where all the children and grandchildren of the deceased were listed, which makes it especially important for genealogists. For example, the heirs of the deceased Chisinau third guild merchant Berka Zisels and his wife Etia appeared in court to declare
their rights on the property that consisted of several stone buildings. The heirs were: son Hertz, married daughters Enta and Rifka and others.
Also of apparent interest to genealogists are other court related notes, such as
the one about Rabbi Aron Pinchevsky from Falesti who was suing other Jewish
residents of the city, for beating his wife, stealing her pearl chain and other
damages estimated at 1,000 silver rubles. Not only we learn about Pinchevsky
family who resided in Falesti at the time, but also about the position that one
of its members held, which may become a useful finding for a related
genealogical research. Here one can also encounter information on various laws
of the period concerning the Jewish population, including that of Bessarabia.
Such as the law passed in 1859 allowing Jewish merchants of the 1st guild along
with the Jews-foreign citizens to live and trade beyond the Pale of Settlement.
Or another glance at the Jewish life: Jewish women – subjects of Russian Empire
who entered into marriages with the Austrian citizens, by the recently passed
Austrian law, were not allowed to live in Austria as such marriages and
subsequently the children of such were not recognized by the Austrian
authorities. To address the problem, Novorossiysk and Bessarabian Governor
General suggested that Jewish Committee would acquire a permission from the
Austrian authorities before officiating such marriages.
From the newspapers we can also learn some interesting facts about our ancestors' professional life. So, in 1860 the newspaper praised Chisinau bakers Yankel Dorfman, Berko Zeltser and Richler, who, in response to the falling cost of wheat, voluntary reduced prices for bread, thereby committing commendable deed. In the same 1860 took place Bessarabia Agricaltural Exhibition and according to the newspaper
“Bessarabian Regional Gazette” (Bessarabskiye Oblastnyye Vedomosti), the event was attended by some of the Jewish businessmen. Among them was Chisinau merchant of third guild Lewandowski who presented his invention: a lighting fluid called fotozhen that was made out of oil produced in Bessarabia. With his innovation, the inventor "arranged 117 lanterns for lighting the city's main streets and up to 1500 lamps in private homes, as well as in Odessa: up to 500 lamps, and was convincing everyone that while producing excellent light, fotozhen is cheaper than tallow candles". For that the Exhibition Committee awarded merchant Lewandowski with "minor silver medal." The Committee also awarded certificate of merit to Orhean merchant Yakov Warsaw (Yakov Varshavskii) for his white and red liqueurs. We also learn that in the summer of 1860 in Chisinau was opened by G. Filbrandt wonderful public garden where "lovely clean air, showering, cold and warm baths, were offered, ... for a cheap price".
In the 1870s the "Bessarabian Regional Gazette" (Bessarabskiye Oblastnyye Vedomosti) was renamed to become "Bessarabian Provincial News" (Bessarabskie Gubernskie Novosti). And it continues printing even more of announcements of similar nature, such as the one about the store of R. Krasil'schik, located on the main street in Chisinau, "has just obtained a rich selection of diamond, gold and silver goods: namely - gold and silver watches, both for men and ladies, diamond bracelets , brooches, medallions, crosses, rings, etc. at the most reasonable prices ". Or another - about the invention of a certain Averbuch, who offered a new “rundshtuk”, a divice for measuring the correct volume of wine in barrels instead of the old Moldovan method called "Cat" when instead of 100 buckets of wine resellers were deceitfully yielding 125 buckets.
Or the news that in 1874, Chaim Yankel opened in his own home a prayer school without official permission , and that the Chisinau commoners Mark Yosev and Etl Hershkov Urman were accused of illegally producing a snuff. From the announcement of the deletion from the merchant class, we can learn that some of our ancestors may have had been “re-classed” by Bessarabian Treasury from a merchant to the bourgeois class. For example, Bender merchant Nachman Bronfman and his family were in 1874 entered into bourgeois lists in Bendery, and such data may too be important for your research. After all, we know that the Jews, as a rule, belonged to either merchant or bourgeois class. We also discover that the Bessarabian Trustees Committee on Prisons acknowledged the Chisinau merchant Abram Harlamb for donating a certain amount to the needs of the Committee. In the magazine "World Illustration" , published in 1877 in St. Petersburg, not only we can read the account of the traveler who visited Bessarabia but can see great pictures of Bessarabia of the day, including the view of one of the streets in the Jewish quarter in Chisinau. The Bessarabian Provincial Gazette (Bessarabskie Gubernskie Novosti) of 1884 published the alphabetical list of Jews-bourgeois – residents of Chisinau, subjects of conscription, as well as it published the list of Chisinau's real estate owners who's properties were valued of not less than 3000 rubles and who were allowed to vote.
In the court notice of 1884, we can find valuable information about the will, from which we learn a great deal about this Jewish family. So, tradesman Aron Itsek Mordko Fokshansky bequeathed his property in Soroca to: his son Nachman - house near the river, his wife - Bayle and his other sons Yudke-Guvid and Luzer-Pincus – house, brewery, cellar, store and another small house, divided in equal shares.
The same newspaper, "Bessarabian Provincial Gazette" in June of 1888 published the list of some of the tax payers for Khotyn district. (spisok nekotorykh platel'shchikov raskladochnogo sbora) In the Bessarabian Provincial Gazette of 1894 was published the list of the Jewish merchants and burghers assigned to the 1st and 2nd parts of Chisinau and to be conscripted in 1894 In 1899 the newspaper "Bessarabian Provincial Gazette" also publishes the alphabetical list of Jews-draftees as well as the announcement by the Kherson Bank of Kherson about the estates put for sale, including some that were owned by Jews.In 1901, the newspaper complained that in Chisinau, where tobacco is grown, there were "only two tobacco factories - Stopudis and Crete, while just a few years ago there were six here. And those all worked fine, and our tobacco farming had flourished then because of that". In Bessarabian Provincial Gazette was also presented by the Chisinau Municipal government the list of Jews-subjects for conscription in 1904. And also in the so-called “wanted articles” (sysknyye stat'i) in this same newspaper we can find that
Moshko Benyumin Stanbulskii, resident of Brichany, Khotin county has fled in order to avoid conscription. And that he was the brother of Shmul, Duvid, Ioyn, Yankel, Abram, Friedman, and the son of Benyumine – and that the latter would have to pay a fine. And we of cause remember the Jewish census records where the Bessarabia Treasury Chamber kept track of the Jews who have had been reported as "missing" In 1904 issues we can find some ads where Bessarabian estates were listed “for sale” via Poltava Bank. For example, Falikova Elia Refuleva, resident of Vilkovo was selling her house on Malo-Dunaiskaja Street, and the ad includes a detailed property description as well as the price.
In 1905, the subject of the pogrom becomes all but dominant in the press. For example, “The Bessarabian" (Bessarabets) documented in its November issue: "The day before yesterday and yesterday have died from the wounds sustained during the unrest in Calarasi: Hawa Bay - 48 and Yankel Haimov Lerner, 58." The same newspaper in 1905: "The Chisinau Talmud Torah has introduced a new method of teaching Jewish subjects. Starting with the new school year as the newspaper wrote, the Jewish subjects that were previously taught in Russian, will now be taught in Hebrew instead. The innovators hope to popularize among the pupiles the ancient language so that it could eventually become spoken among the Jewish youth." Or other news in the newspaper "The Bessarabets" of 1905: about the induction of the fire society of Lipkany of Khotin County to the Imperial Russian Fire Siciety and awarding the members of the society - Rachlin Peisakh and Lewandowski silver medals "for bravery, and dedication they have repeatedly shown while extinguishing fires dispite danger to their own life.”
The award was backed by the Bessarabian governor who informed the Society Board of his approval. In another newspaper, "Bessarabian Life," we learn about founding in 1907 of similar fire society in Brichany chaired by G. Shteynberga whose goal was to prompt fire fighting, that occasionally destroyed multiple homes in Brichany.
Same year, in Romanovka of Bendery county was established the Savings and Loan
Society, headed by local pharmacist G.I. Shapiro. The town's population
according to statistics, in the early XX century, consisted of 79 Christians and
Other ads of interest include offers of painless dental treatment in a private office of female doctor Minkevich and clothes manufacturing stores of H. Margulis, trading house of Perel'muter and M. Kogan, about “peysakhova” purified grape vodka made at David Lipovetsky's factory or that "for the upcoming Passover, the Partnership Carmel offers Palestinian wines and brandies, old and aged varieties of 1891 and 1892., that, according to the ad, were sold throughout Bessarabia. Yet other ads, such as: celebration of an event, congratulations on engagement or a wedding of Jewish couple, and the publication of numerous condolences on a sad occasion of the death of loved ones, for example, on the death of Chisinau Rabbi Avraham Katlovker in 1907, in which case many close and distant relatives, have had usually indicated their relation to the deceased, the custom that certainly aids those seeking information on their ancestors.
The newspaper "Southern Land" (Yuzhnyy kray) was published in Bender and
informed its readers about important events that took place mainly in the south
of Bessarabia. Its publishers were D.A. Natenzon and M.H. Rakhman. In 1913 the
paper reported about existence in Căuşeni of a single Jewish public school,
which despite the poor state, continued to be an important educational center.
In the cultural and economic life of this town, the Jewish Savings and Loan
Association played an important role. Founded in 1907, by 1913 it membered some
500 people. The Association served the town's poor part of Jewish population and
became the only hope for many. "Every poor Jew in need of credit, can get it in
the Savings and Loan Association by becoming a member. And because of the
"insurance policy”, “in the event of a death of a shareholder, his family gets
a certain sum of money" the article in the "Southern Land" wrote.
In Bendery in 1913 was organized a service that provided medical assistance to workers at the M.L. Goldenfeld's brewery, Blank Brothers' Mill and other facilities. Local doctor P.V.Borovsky and pharmacist B.Rozenblat were helping those in need.
"In Bendery N. and L. Blanc, on the occasion of their daughter's recovery have donated to the Society for Needy Jews, as well as to the Bendery Jewish Hospital, the Talmud Torah and other Jewish organizations 107 rubles. The act has been called the" generous gift" and the Blancs were offered to obtain the appropriate receipts. Another newspaper "The Friend" (Drug) reported that on April 11, 1914 there will be held only a single concert of the world-famous Jascha Heifetz. "The 12-year-old violinist - a real magician and sorcerer, captured all with his artistic inspired performance. Yet so young the violinist has everything necessary for a first-class artist: an amazing technique, long, smooth, light bow, ardent temperament beyond his years and artistic flair.” " The Voice of Chisinau" (Golos Kishineva) in 1916 wrote about famous Gornshteyn theater, where was performing the Jewish touring troupe runned by N. Spivakovsky - a talented artist and experienced administrator.
The newspaper "Free Bessarabia" in 1917
published a list of candidates to the Chisinau
City Duma. Separately were printed the
lists of Chisinau Zionist Organization, a nonpartisan group of Chisinau Jews,
Jewish Independent Progressive Party and the Jewish United Party, the Jewish
Socialist bloc and other parties, where
Jews were also presented. On August 31, 1917 Chisinau hosted the Congress of
Teachers of Jewish schools. "Rabinovich speaks on behalf of the Union of
students of the Jewish school. He encourages the teachers to unite, to organize.
Now a Jewish teacher must develop his initiative and creative skills". Certain
Kalinver gave speech titled "National Jewish school and the language of
education": "In the Diaspora, violence (against them) rallied and soldered Jews.
Common historical destiny, common psychological experiences have united the
scattered among other nations Jewish masses with common slogans and incentives,
not allowing it to become a "human dust." Powerful factor in this case was
"The Free Bessarabia" wrote in 1917 about the Jewish national unity, about the fact that since 1906 in Petrograd there was a "Jewish national group" whose purpose was to protect Jewish interests. But before the days of freedom, its main work was done in hiding. Therefore, the work of the Jewish group has been successful only in England and America. Since the onset of freedoms, the party declared itself openly, "as a national, nonpartisan, with branches in the provinces." Belatedly, but Jewish People's Party was also formed in Bessarabia. "The program provisions of national unification are about as follows: the Organization is not purely political. It is a political party as much as a politic is needed for any organization that fights for their political, economic and cultural-national rights. This organization - common for the entire Jewish population, for all its classes ".
The same newspaper wrote that in the town Kaushany in 1917, "a speech by candidate to the Constituent Assembly N.E. Greenfeld was enthusiastically accepted by her audience. Newspaper "Free Bessarabia" in the same 1917 advertises a performance called "Pogrom of 1905. Jews. In their blood we are not guilty." Written by Chirkov this 6-part drama was previously banned by censors. Subject of pogrom remained relevant and in 1917 the newspapers wrote: "In the village Karpinen ... local peasants destroyed pharmacy of Levitos, groceries of father and son Luman and bakery of Reklov". Or " in village Myndyk of Soroca county" 4 armed men burglarized Perelman's property. Destruction of Jewish households occurred also in other villages of Soroca County. The newspapers reflected and different sides of life. "Bessarabian Gazette" in 1919 gives a story about Chisinau centenarian Ihel Hersh Cohen, who lived to 107. Survived by five generations, Ihel was married 4 times, last time at 69 years of age. In this last marriage he fathered one daughter and five sons. His descendents included a 65 years old granddaughter as well as 76 years old daughter. Entire family lived in a large house, ran by Ihel Gersh until his last days. His wealth had been distributed beforehand among the heirs. Another interesting fact is that he was buried in the Jewish cemetery on the lot, purchased by his father 84 years ago. Or another article by the same paper on the death of Jewish activist and philanthropist Anchel Halperin
- "The deceased had particularly distinguished himself in the Aid to the Needy
Committee, to which, being the founder and chairman he gave his hart in the
literal sense of the word". He was only 51 years old. The deceased left a wife,
twelve children and a large fortune. Such and similar information can obviously
be an important find for a genealogy research. Newspaper "Free Thought" in 1919
published lists of donors to Ezras Hoylim - aid organization helping ill or
impoverished Jews. And we learn about companies whose owned by Jewish
entrepreneurs. In 1920, in Chisinau, opened a brewery named "Bohemia" by its
owner Joseph Darshin. Newspaper "Bessarabia" wrote that "Bohemia" released a
lager of high quality, made of best products. The beer, as reported by the
newspaper, is sold in all grocery stores as well as shipped for free directly to
consumers. The factory had a bar and bowling facilities. The aggressive ad
campaign included announcement in other newspapers: "Daily - the fresh, cold,
high quality beer by local plant "Bohemia” ... and “soon to run on the line
Chisinau - Ungeni and Chisinau - Ackermann tw0 train cars with "Bohemia" beer
... the best quality in special branded bottles" The newspaper "Iskra" of
1921 prints a vast variety of advertisements including sale of tickets to New
York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Argentina, Brazil by American Steamship Company
Simplon, or invitation to visit the printshop of P.L. Galanter in Chisinau, that
was equipped with the latest technology, had a large number of fonts and offered
a various kinds of printing options in Russian, Romanian and Hebrew. Newspaper
"Bessarabian Post" in 1923 on its pages was telling about interesting Jewish
personalities, including the young and talented sculptor Nyum Patlazhan who had
sculpted such busts as "Mephisto" and "Faust". Among his other works was a
sculpture that depicted Sholom Aleichem. The then 35 years old artist has had a
great success exhibiting his creations in Paris and New York. Newspapers
regularly reported about the incidents that took place in Bessarabia. For
instance, mill of Shvartsberg in Chisinau had burned down in May 1923 "All that
left of the mill were four walls with window openings. Partially survived the
engine room. In the middle of the quadrilateral - formed by the walls, were a
pile of red-hot tin metal, machine parts, and likes. " described the paper. "As
reported by visiting peasants, a glow of a fire could be seen in many villages
of Chisinau County. Schwartzberg has lost 16 million lei. Thorough investigation
into the cause of fire was being conducted. The "Bessarabian news» of 1925
prints a bold advertisement depicting a tiger, trying to tear apart a stylish
outfit. The inscription reads: "can't break it for it's been sewn by famous
tailor A. Moshkovich” followed by the latter Chisinau address. Or an article
about a 62 year old Abraham Shoyhetts from Orgeev who married his 20 year old
niece. The groom had a 40 years old daughter who was eldest among his 9
In newspaper "Our Times" we could find some humor, "Mendel, name a body part” teacher asks
-And another one?
-Ear, responds Mendel.
-But why ear again?
- Because I have two ears, Mr. Teacher. "
The same newspaper "Our Times" introduced the head of the first advertisement agency in Bessarabia S. Shaposhnik who was quoted to say that "advertisement of enterprises should be at the height at which it stands in Western Europe and America." He called for every business in Bessarabia, no matter how big or small, to advertise its production, i.e. advertising, in his opinion was to become the engine of trade, and the newspaper promised to contribute to the initiative.
The "Bessarabian word" reported that in 1927, the international Jewish organization "JDC" allocated $ 13,000 to the needs of Bessarabian Jewish hospitals and orphanages. "JDC representative" Aaronovitch, while in Chisinau, has visited some institutions, such as the Jewish hospital, orphanages for boys and girls, nursery shelter". Some of the provincial hospitals received grants too: those in Orhei and Balti – for purchasing linen, etc. and that in Akerman – for completion of the construction. In addition, poor children in Balti, Orhei and Soroca were given allowances for basic needs. The "Bessarabian Word" wrote about touring world-famous Jewish performers. Sevila Pastor sang in classical musicle "Tsipko Fayer" with all the splendor of her wonderful talent. Her fame reached well beyond the Yiddish speaking public.
Another Jewish singer Anna Gelber performed in Bessarabia with equally great success. Her repertoire included a genre of Jewish folk song that she was able to elevate to the level of true art making them appealing for those outside the traditional Jewish realm. In 1927, the famous Jewish actor Misha Fishzon celebrated his 25th professional anniversary by performing in Eyts-Adas" "The Tree of Knowledge” by famous Jewish writer Jacov Gordin. He played in his signature role "Mozya the carpenter” which he played more than two hundred times in America with exceptional success. Several years ago, during his numerous appearances Fishzon promised to the public to celebrate the anniversary in his hometown of Chisinau.
The newspaper "Bessarabian word" cited statistics of Jewish marriages and divorces in 1930s: for example, " from January 1st to September 1st, ie in 8 months were registered 152 weddings and 10 divorces. These figures in comparison to the statistics of past years, are quite negligible. In 1929, during the same period were registered 340 weddings and 34 divorces. And previous years averaged 700 weddings and 120 divorces a year. The reduced number of marriages is partly due to the difficult economic situation, and of divorces – to a transition of this kind of registration under the jurisdiction of the tribunals" wrote the newspaper. According to the newspaper "Bessarabian word" in September of 1930 took place the Bessarabian Jewish Congress, whose purpose was "to establish a Jewish national policy." The forum gave voice to Bessarabian Jews who were a fragment of once 6,000,000 mass of Russian Jewry. The congress was attended by over 100 delegates of various Jewish communities. Wonderful drawings portraits congress delegates graced the pages of newspapers. Congress was opened by rabbi Tserelson, who emphasized the urgent need for unity among Jews of all classes. The vice-chairman of the Union of Bessarabian Jews of Argentina, Elman, who spoke on behalf of entire Argentine Jewry, that consisted of 300-350 thousand people. He said: "As for immigrants from Bessarabia, constituting 40 percent of the total number of Jews in Argentina, they never for a moment forget their homeland Bessarabia. They react to everything that happens with their brothers in Bessarabia and always willing to lend a helping hand ". In addition I have to say that in the National Archives of Republic of Moldova have been partially preserved lists of Bessarabian Jews who in the XX century emigrated to Argentina. Some of these files contain profiles and personal documents, and sometimes photographs associated with Jewish emigration to Argentine. Furthermore at the Congress, engineer Zilberman called to organize the work of statistical committees, in order to collect statistical data in order to then use it to protect the interests of the local Jews. To genealogists, the the newspaper accounts of the Jewish Congress present a certain interest as there are lists of delegates of Jewish origin from different villages and cities of Bessarabia. The newspaper "Bessarabian word" in 1930 at the page devoted to Soroca, wrote about Jewish savings and loan Partnership founded by agronomist H. Ettinger in 1906 in cooperation with other Jewish community leaders. Despite some difficulties, the partnership survived, and in 1925 took part in the Congress of Jewish Bessarabian cooperatives represented by Mr. Fuchs. Besides the usual operations the Partnership subsidized artisans and farmers. In the city, the organization enjoyed the confidence of all sections of the population. In an article "Talmud Torah" the newspaper wrote about the oldest Jewish educational institution in Bessarabia, created in 1880s In particular, about the Soroca branch that ex continue to educate new generations. In 1923 the only Soroca Jewish school became a part of the “Talmud Torah” and began to flourish. The number of students increased and best teachers were employed. One of the articles in the same newspaper wrote about Soroca Jewish Hospital, which was on the verge of closing because of the crisis caused by lack of funds. "The influx of local donations, as well as those from the U.S. fell" . "The new hospital committee, which includes Ziser, Flexor, Volokh, Zeldin, Kolker, Chokler and others organized a collection campaign. "Besides, the Jewish population of the city has been charged monthly fees. Thus, the Committee was able to delay the closing of the hospital".
Also related to the subject of Jewish Hospital in Bessarabia in the 1930's. According to a newspaper report, in Akkerman (Cetatea Alba), funded by donations from oversea of former citizens of this city construction of the new building of the Jewish Hospital was close to completion. And to complete the construction, it was decided to ask the ex-compatriots in Chicago and New York for help. One of these emigrants from Ackermann was featured in a Bessarabian newspaper. It was Mr. M. Karolik who in 1922 moved to the US, married a rich woman, twice his age, and thanks to her fortune, became a millionaire. Having settled with his wife in her mansion in Washington, he did not forget about his homeland and over the years donated hundreds of millions of lei to various charities. "That's how lucky some akkermanians are” - wrote the newspaper in the article titled "American Uncle."In seven issues of the newspaper "Bessarabian Word" for 1930 there was published an alphabetical list of Jews and Christians subjected to conscription. A theater «Liberty» from New York with Dora Weissman and talented author A.Shor impressed Bessarabians in 1930. At the same time in Bessarabia Sarah-Gorbach-Goldstein performed in a series of concerts. A native of Chisinau, she was educated in Paris where one of the newspaper wrote: "Sarah Goldstein has a good voice, a good education and fine musicianship, her voice is warm, colorful and extremely mobile for mezzo soprano".Also, Bessarabians in 1932 "were fortunate to see and hear the creator of the Jewish theater in America, Moritz Schwarz". The world-renowned artist reads excerpts from plays, skits and stories. Ticket prices were lowered to enable the broad masses to see and hear the pride of the Jewish scene.
Jewish schools remained a constant subject of the newspaper articles. In one of those, it was suggested that the Jewish community would fund all the schools and contracted the teachers. " Foundation in Chisinau of the Jewish community not to be marked by the closing of the Jewish national school", said supporter of this idea, Mr. Birman, at a special meeting dedicated to the development of Jewish schools in Bessarabia. In Chisinau in September 1937 a new elementary Jewish school "Mogen David" was opened, but only children of wealthy parents were accepted there.
According to the newspaper "Bessarabian Post", in 1937 at the premises of the Jewish community Wad-Rashkov a “ball was arranged under the auspices of the Jewish community in favor of the school for poor children, which was run by the department of cultural and educational communities. The hall was beautifully decorated; servicing the public were a great buffet, lottery, kiosk and other means of entertainment. The ball was attended by the local intelligentsia. Without distinction by religion and nationality, the event had gathered a lot of visitors from the surrounding towns and villages. "
Elections to the Jewish community in Izmail, concert by famous Lydia Lipkovski dedicated to the great Jewish poet Bialik with the performance of Jewish songs in Hebrew and Yiddish, and many others - those and many others were subjects for discussion on the pages of the "Bessarabian mail" in the late 1930s.
Thus, a variety of newspapers covered in detail the many aspects of Jewish life in Bessarabia. And we must remember that except interesting publications about prominent Jewish people, you can also search there a lot of genealogical data about the sale of real estate, tour of famous Jewish artists in Bessarabia, some shops opened by various Jewish owners, as well as a birth, wedding, death and other announcements and obituaries. It's worth noting that Bessarabian newspapers today can be found in a few libraries in Chisinau of Moldova, Bucharest of Romania, Odessa of Ukraine, as well as in the Russian National Libraries in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
And I would like to tell about one important source on this topic. You can know about every newspaper from the book named “Bessarabian Press from the beginning till 1957”, issued by a few Municipal libraries of Kishinev in 2002. This is alphabetical catalogue of all periodical publications of Bessarabia from 1854. The main goal of this index is to present a great number of names of newspapers and magazines gathered in one edition with the description of short history and location of any publication.
This catalogue will help historians, the researchers, bibliographers to identify the beginning of Bessarabian press, to reflect of the diversity of the press such as newspapers, magazines, annuals, daily papers, calendars, bulletins and others and to know out the printing and publishing houses existed in Bessarabia. Also using this work you can find all names of the Jewish newspapers and magazines issued in Bessarabia from 1854 including others whence today we read interesting articles reflected various sides of the life of Bessarabian Jews.
In conclusion, I would like to thank all the organizers of this important International Forum of Jewish Genealogical Conference who invited me to join you.
I’ll be glad to continue our collaboration further. I hope to find a lot of new interesting information referring to the Jewish history in the pages of old Bessarabian newspapers. Also I would like to continue the collaboration in searching new archival documents with other archives and institutes of different countries.