DOROHOI


DOROHOI, town in N.E. Romania, located on important trade routes between Poland, Bukovina, and Moldavia. Jews began to settle there in the 17th century. They were granted charters of privilege in 1799, 1808, and 1823. The Dorohoi community was organized, like other communities in Moldavia, as a Breasla Jidovilor ("Jewish guild"), first mentioned there in 1799 and existing until 1834. There were 600 Jewish families in Dorohoi in 1803, 3,031 persons in 1859 (50.1% of the total population), 6,804 in 1899 (53.6%), and 5,820 (36.6%) in 1930. The town was also a ḥasidic center, where admorim sometimes lived, among them Jehiel Michael Tierer and Hanoch Frenkel who died in Haifa. Among the town's rabbis were Mattitiyahu Kalman (d. 1824); Ḥayyim *Taubes (1847–1909) after serving in Sassov, Galicia, author of Torah commentaries and responsa; Dov Beer Drimer; and Pinhas Eliyahu Wasserman (1917–1996), who died in Jerusalem. Before the Holocaust 25 synagogues functioned in Dorohoi. A regular modern communal organization was set up in 1896. The community had a talmud torah and a secular Jewish school by 1895. A large number of refugees from persecutions in the vicinity arrived in Dorohoi in 1881–4. The community also suffered severely during the peasant revolt in 1907. The Jews were persecuted by the military authorities during World War I and suffered from economic restrictions between the two world wars. The Jews in Dorohoi were mainly occupied as artisans, manual workers, and petty shopkeepers. In 1920 the community established a hospital. Ḥovevei Zion groups became active in the last decades of the 19th century. Later various Zionist and other Jewish organizations also became active. Among the intellectuals born in Dorohoi were Romanian-language writers on general and Jewish themes, such as Ion Călugăru (1902–1956), Saşa Pană (1902–1979), and Ştefan Antim (1879–1944). Jewish periodicals in Yiddish and Romanian were also published there.

[Yehouda Marton /

Lucian-Zeev Herscovici (2nd ed.)]

Holocaust Period

In 1941 there were 5,384 Jews living in Dorohoi, comprising about one third of the population. Antisemitic outbursts began in June 1940, when nearby Bessarabia and northern Bukovina were occupied by the Soviet Union. Romanian soldiers attacked the Jewish quarter, murdered about 200 Jewish inhabitants, and looted houses. The following day local peasants stripped the Jewish corpses that were still lying in the streets. The victims' families were forced to sign statements to the effect that their relatives had been murdered by "un-known wayfarers"; the public prosecutor, however, came to the conclusion that the soldiers had acted on instructions. The terror was renewed when Ion *Antonescu rose to power (September 1940), and many Jews were barred from commerce and the trades.

After the war with the Soviet Union broke out, 2,000 Jewish men from the towns and villages in the district were brought to the city and deported to *Transnistria on Nov. 7, 1941. Dorohoi's Jews were deported on November 12, and by November 14 two transports totaling 3,000 persons were dispatched. Many died in the sealed railroad cars before they reached their destination, *Ataki on the Dniester. Deportations were resumed on June 14, 1942, when 450 men were sent to Transnistria. They were later joined by their families in Mogilev and were sent from there to German camps on the banks of the Bug, where most of them met their deaths. In Dorohoi itself, only 2,000 Jews were left and they were forbidden to engage in any economic activity. In January 1943 the Antonescu government acceded to the request of the Dorohoi community and the leaders of the Association of Romanian Jewish Communities in *Bucharest to permit the return of the deportees; but it took until December 20 for this decision to go into effect. Of the 3,074 who had been deported, 2,000 came back to Dorohoi. In addition, 4,000 Jews from Transnistria who were not permitted to return to their original homes in the district also stayed in Dorohoi. In April 1944, the Soviet army occupied the city.

[Theodor Lavi]

Contemporary Period

After World War II the Jewish population of Dorohoi increased because of the refugees who settled there. In 1947, 7,600 Jews lived there. Community life was rebuilt. Jewish schools (including a secondary school) functioned until 1948. Later, Yiddish was taught in some public schools. In 1967 a kosher restaurant was opened and functioned until 1990. Dorohoi was presented as a model of the Jewish shtetl in Romania, with delegations of foreign Jewish organizations brought there to visit. In order to maintain this illusion Rabbi Pinhas Eliyahu Wasserman, the last rabbi of the community, was forced to remain in Dorohoi for some 20 years, even though the Jewish population had diminished through emigration, mainly to Israel. In 1956 there were 2,753 Jews in Dorohoi; in 1966, 1,013. In 2000, only 49 Jews remained in Dorohoi, with a functioning synagogue. An organization of Israeli Jews originating in Dorohoi is based in Kiryat Bialik, Israel. A forest dedicated to the memory of the Jews of the town and former county of Dorohoi is located at Shoresh, near Jerusalem, where annual memorial ceremonies are held.

[Lucian-Zeev Herscovici (2nd ed.)]

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

M. Mircu, Pogromurile din Bucovina şi Dorohoi (1945), 132, 145; M. Carp, Cartea neagră, 1 (1940), index; F. Şaraga, in: Sliha, 11 (1956), 4; 1:12 (1956), 4; 1:13 (1956), 4; pk Roman-yah, 1 (1970), 104–10. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: S. David (ed.), Dorohoi-Mihăileni-Darabani-Herţa-Rădăuţi Prut, 5 vols. (1992–2000); M. Rozen, Evreii din Judeţul Dorohoi (2000); I. Wasserman, Dobândeşteţi un rabin, câştigă-ţi un prieten (2003), 278–345.


Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.