ORDZHONIKIDZE (until 1932 Vladikavkaz; 1944–54 Dzaudzhikau), capital of the N. Ossetian Autonomous Republic in the Russian Federation. The city is situated in the N. Caucasus. In 1784 the Russian government erected a fortress which dominated the road crossing the Caucasus; from the 1830s there were always some Jewish soldiers in the fortress and it was, in fact, demobilized soldiers who founded the community. A prayer room was erected in 1865, and about 10 years later authorization for the construction of a synagogue was obtained. A community of Subbotniki (*Judaizers) also existed in the town. During the 1890s the administration began to oppress the Jews. There were 1,214 Jews (about 2.8% of the total population) in 1897, in 1926 about 1,000 (1.3% of the population), and 1,517 (1.16% of the total) in 1939. When the Germans invaded the Soviet Union, they were brought to a halt on the outskirts of the town, so the Jewish inhabitants were saved. In 1959 about 2,000 Jews lived in the town.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.