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Constantza


Jewish community    EN

Author: ARDELEANU KONSTANTIN

Historical sources mention that Jews lived in several villages and towns in Dobrudja during the Middle Ages, so we can assume that they also settled in the port of Constanţa before the 19th century. However, statistical data are only available after 1878. The census of 1880 recorded 234 Jews and that of 1894 a total of 855. A decade later, in 1905, there were 812 Jews inhabitants, and in 1916 1,092 Jews, so that the community was in a continuous growth.

Both the large Jewish communities, Sephardic and Ashkenazi, were represented at Constanța. Until their organisation as recognised communities, the synagogues were the centres of the Jewish communal life. The Sephardic temple was erected in 1866, and a new temple was completed in 1905 [1].

The Ashkenazi synagogue dates since 1867, and the new temple was ready in 1910. For supporting the interests of their Ashkenazi community, the Jewish inhabitants elected in 1896 an epitropy composed of eight persons: M. Bujes – president, Ilie Avram – vice-president, L. Hazan – cashier, H. S. Koldengreber – vice-president, Moise Simon, Avram Rosenberg, Z. Weinstok, Solomon Farcaş – members, as well as four surrogate members: I. Goldstein, M. Baratz, I. Bercovici, B. Bercovici [2].

The first articles of the statutes stated that the Israelite community was to care for its religious, cultural and charitable institutions and to found new ones; among the attributions and tasks of the epitropy, providing charity was one of the most important.

A Sephardic community was only organised in 1921 [3].

Several cultural and philanthropic Jewish societies were also founded at Constanţa. Jewish students and youth founded in January 1900 Zionist lecture circles, one of them probably edited “Plecăm” (We leave). In July 1906 they established “Juna”, a society which aimed to help Jewish emigrants to settle to Palestine [4].

The Israelite school for boys was opened in 1902, as a primary school, and in 1904 it had two teachers and 39 students [5].

 


[1] Florin Stan, “Ethnic Communities from the Pontic Space. Jews from Constanta (I)”, Anuarul Muzeului Marinei Române, 8 (2005), 223–235; Idem, “Evreii din Constanţa”, Cumidava, 29 (2007), 229–241; data also in Adrian Ilie, “Populația evreiască în zona mediană a Dobrogei (secolele XVII–XX)”, in vol. Dobrogea – model de conviețuire multietnică și multiculturală, edited by Virgil Coman, (Constanța: Ed. Muntenia, 2008), 74–79.

[2] Stan, “Ethnic Communities, 223–235; its statute at Serviciul Judeţean Constanţa al Arhivelor Naţionale, Primăria municipiului Constanţa, File 15/1897, 3–11.

[3] Stan, “Ethnic Communities, 223–235.

[4]Ibid.

[5]Ibid., 230; Ibram Nuredin, “Şcoli confesionale şi ale comunităţilor în Dobrogea”, in vol. Colegiul Pedagogic „Constantin Brătescu”. Valori ale civilizaţiei româneşti în Dobrogea, edited by St. Lascu and C. Vitanos (Constanţa: Poligraf, 1993), 54.


References

Archival sources:

Serviciul Judeţean Constanţa al Arhivelor Naţionale [The National Archives, Constanţa Branch], Fond Comunitatea Evreilor din Constanţa [The Jewish Community of Constanţa], files starting with 1868.

Serviciul Judeţean Constanţa al Arhivelor Naţionale (The National Archives, Constanţa Branch), Primăria municipiului Constanţa (The Municipality of Constanţa), files starting with 1878.

Bibliography:

Ilie, Adrian, “Populația evreiască în zona mediană a Dobrogei (secolele XVII–XX)” [The Jewish Population from the Median Area of Dobrudja (17th – 20th Centuries], in vol. Dobrogea – model de conviețuire multietnică și multiculturală [Dobrudja – a Model of Multiethnic and Multicultural Co-existence], edited by Virgil Coman, (Constanța: Ed. Muntenia, 2008), 74–79.

Nuredin, Ibram, “Şcoli confesionale şi ale comunităţilor în Dobrogea”, in vol. Colegiul Pedagogic „Constantin Brătescu”. Valori ale civilizaţiei româneşti în Dobrogea [The “Constantin Brătescu” Pedagogical College. Values of Romanian Civilisation in Dobrudja], edited by St. Lascu and C. Vitanos (Constanţa: Poligraf, 1993), 50–57.

Stan, Florin, “Ethnic Communities from the Pontic Space. Jews from Constanta (I)”, Anuarul Muzeului Marinei Române, 8 (2005), 223–235

Stan, Florin, “Evreii din Constanta” [The Jews from Constanţa], Cumidava, 29 (2007), 229–241.

Stan, Florin, “Sinopticum. Din trecutul celor de lângă noi. Incursiuni în istoria comunităţilor etnice dobrogene” [Sinopticum. From the Past of Those Next to Us. Incurssions in the History of the Ethnic Communities from Dobrudja]”, in Tomis , 1–5 (2008), 71–74, 68–70, 71–74, 83–85, 84–86.


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