HUSI (Rom. Huşi), town in Moldavia, E. Romania. The first Jews settled there in the last quarter of the 17th century. The oldest tombstone preserved in the Jewish cemetery dates from 1747. The minute-book of the ḥevra kaddisha was opened in 1775. In 1794 the synagogue was rebuilt. In 1806 the bishop obtained authorization to settle another group of Jews in the locality. David Almogen (1823–1897) from Galicia, who settled in Husi in 1866, became municipal physician and wrote popular works on medicine. A first attempt was made to organize the community in 1882, and in 1910 the formerly independent ḥevra kaddisha, with its revenues, was included in the communal framework.
The B'nai B'rith group, founded in 1875, established a primary school in 1876, but this could not be maintained because of opposition from Orthodox circles which founded a talmud torah in 1877. In 1897 the Cultura association was founded, which established a school attended by 268 pupils, also supported by the community. The Orthodox, however, converted the school into a talmud torah in 1901. In 1889 the Jewish merchants formed 70% of the total merchants in the town. Among the rabbis who functioned in Husi were Gedalyah ben Israel Halevy, Ephraim Joseph Segal, Mattathias Ezekiel Gutman, and Nahum Shemaryahu Schechter.
The Jewish population numbered 261 (5.2% of the total) in 1831, 2,395 in 1859, 4,057 (26.2%) in 1899, and 2,514 (10.4%) in 1930. In 1882 there was a *blood libel, and in 1884 restrictive measures against the Jewish merchants were instituted. The situation was aggravated when the Romanian Brotherhood organization was founded after 1900 with the express aim of boycotting Jewish traders. In 1911 Ion Zelinsky-Codreanu, the father of Corneliu *Zelea-Codreanu, founder of the Iron Guard, became a teacher in the secondary school, which remained a focus of antisemitism between the two world wars. In 1927 a Cooperative Bank was organized with the aid of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, having 400 members.
The community was not destroyed during World War II. The Jewish population numbered 2,750 in 1947. A synagogue existed in 1969 when there were approximately 60 Jewish families. In 2005, 20 Jews lived in Husi.
M. Schwarzfeld, Ochire asupra istoriei evreilor in România… (1887), 19; idem; Momente din istoria evreilor in România… (1889), 7, 8, 39, 70; idem, in: Analele Şocietaˇţü Istorice Juliu Barasch, 2 pt. 1 (1888), 49, 83, 90; Melchisedek, Cronico Huşilor şi a Episcopşei (1869), 393; PK Romanyah, 114–7. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: E. Feldman, Ba'alei Melakhah Yehudim be-Moldavyah (1982) 14, 26, 36–40, 49, 52; G. Platon, in: SAHIR, 3 (1998) 171; J. Geller, Ẓemiḥatah u-Sheki'atah shel Kehillah (1985): 310; FEDROM-Comunitati evreiesti in Romania (Internet, 2005); I. Kara, in: Buletinul Centrului, 2 (1998), 71.
[Theodor Lavi /
Lucian-Zeev Herscovici (2nd ed.)]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.