Bookstore Glossary Library Links News Publications Timeline Virtual Israel Experience
Anti-Semitism Biography History Holocaust Israel Israel Education Myths & Facts Politics Religion Travel US & Israel Vital Stats Women
donate subscribe Contact About Home

Dubno

DUBNO, city in *Volhynia, Ukraine. Jews in Dubno are first mentioned in documents of 1532 in connection with the ownership of cattle. The oldest tombstone inscription in the Jewish cemetery dates from 1581. At the beginning of the 17th century Isaiah ha-Levi *Horowitz, author of Shenei Lu*ot ha-Berit, was rabbi in Dubno. The community was represented on the council of the province (galil) of Volhynia (see *Councils of the Lands). On the eve of the *Chmielnicki uprising there were about 2,000 Jews in Dubno. In 1648–49, most of the Jews were massacred because the Poles refused to permit them to take refuge in the fortress. According to tradition the graves of the martyrs were located near the eastern wall of the great synagogue, where it was customary to mourn them on the Ninth of Av.

The Jewish community was reestablished shortly afterward under the patronage of the owners of the town, the princes Lubomirski, who accorded it special privileges in 1699 and 1713. By the beginning of the 18th century Dubno had become the largest Jewish community in Volhynia, being represented on the Council of the Four Lands and earning the sobriquet "Dubno the Great" (Dubno Rabbati). Its delegate, R. Meir ben Joel, was chosen to be head (parnas) of the Council of the Four Lands in the late 1750s. As many blood libels occurred then in Poland, R. Meir sent his relative R. Eliokim-Zelig of Yampol to the pope in Rome, to get bull against the libels, which he published in Latin and Polish. Jewish polltax payers numbered 1,923 in 1765. The great fair of *Lvov was moved to Dubno between 1773 and 1793, and the city became an important commercial center. The most famous of the 18th-century Jewish preachers of Lithuania, Jacob *Kranz, was known as the Maggid of Dubno after the city with which he was most closely associated. In the 19th century Haskalah (Enlightenment) activists like the physician and writer Reuben Kalischer, the lexicographer and poet Solomon *Mandelkern (author of a monumental Bible concordance), and the poet and writer Abraham Baer *Gottlober lived there. In 1780 the Jewish population numbered 2,325, in 1847, 6,330, and in 1897, 7,108 (about half the total). A main occupation was dealing in grain and hops. During World War I and the civil war in Russia (to 1921), the city changed hands a number of times and the community suffered extreme hardship, mainly of an economic nature. In March 1918 the Cossacks staged a pogrom killing 18 Jews. While Dubno belonged to Poland (1921–39), the community maintained many cultural institutions and there was an active Zionist and pioneer movement. In 1921 they numbered 5,315 (total population 9,146), and in 1931, 7,364 (total population 12,696).

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

P. Pesis, Ir Dubno ve-Rabbaneha (1902); H.S. Margolies, Dubno Rabbati (1910); H.D. Friedberg, Toledot ha-Defus ha-Ivri be-Polanyah (19502), 119–20; A. Yaari, in: KS, 9 (1932/33), 432; Rivkind, ibid., 11 (1934/35), 386–7. HOLOCAUST PERIOD: M. Weisberg, in: Fun Letstn Khurbn, 2 (1946), 14–27; Elimelekh, in; Yalkut Volhyn, 1 (1945), index; Fefer, ibid., index; Dubno (1966), memorial book (Heb. and Yid.). ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: PK.