BATUMI (until 1936 Batum), port on the eastern shore of the Black Sea; capital of the Autonomous Adzhar Republic, within *Georgia. A Jewish community was established there in 1878 after the town was incorporated into Russia. In 1889 many of the Jews living there without official authorization (see *Pale of Settlement) were expelled. According to official statistics there remained 31 Jewish families, and according to unofficial sources about 100 Jewish families. The number, however, again increased rapidly. By 1897 there were 1,179 Jews living in Batum. One of the oil refineries was owned jointly by the Rothschild family and Jewish investors in Russia. The Jewish population numbered 3,700 in 1923 (6.1% of the total population) and 1,778 in 1939 (2,54% of the total population). Subsequent data are unascertainable.
[Abraham J. Brawer /
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.