RADOSHKOVICHI (Pol. Radoszkowice), town in Molodechno district, Belarus; within Poland until the partitions and between the two world wars. The Jewish community was established in the 16th century. The Jews numbered 455 in 1765; 1,701 in 1847; 1,519 (58.9 percent of the total population) in 1897; and 1,215 (49.4 percent) in 1925. The Jews earned their livelihood from trading at the annual fair, dealing in wood and cereals (exported to Germany and even Hungary), local retail trade, and crafts. In the town there was also a brewery, a brick factory, flour mills, and small tanneries. Many families earned their living from cultivating orchards on behalf of non-Jewish farmers and landowners. In the 1920s and 1930s the Jewish economy suffered and there was considerable poverty as a result of the poor returns, the heavy taxes, and the competition of non-Jews who were supported by the Polish government. The local Jewish people's bank made considerable efforts to assist the community in its economic struggle. The members of the community were largely *Mitnaggedim, but local Ḥasidim had two prayer rooms. Pioneers from Radoshkovichi were among the first members of the Third *Aliyah. After World War I, Zionist youth movements were very active and a *He-Ḥalutz training farm was established. In 1921–22 Radoshkovichi (then on the Polish-Russian border) was a transit station for the Jewish refugees returning from Soviet Russia to their homes in Poland. Communal institutions included a *Tarbut school, and a Hebrew library named after the poet Mordecai Ẓevi *Manne, a native of Radoshkovichi. Among the community's rabbis were Abraham b. Judah Leib *Maskileison, Meir b. Joshua Ẓevi Rabinsohn, who settled in Palestine in his old age, and his son, Joseph Zundel, the last rabbi of Radoshkovichi. Notable natives of the town included Israel Rivka'i-Rubin, educator and author; Mordecai Rabinsohn, Hebrew critic; and Naphtali Maskileison, poet and Talmud scholar.
At the outbreak of World War II there were about 1,200 Jews in Radoshkovichi. On Sept. 18, 1939, the Red Army entered the town and a Soviet administration was established there. The Germans occupied the town on June 25, 1941. A Judenrat was appointed and the Jews were compelled to pay heavy contributions. An Aktion took place on March 11, 1942, when 800 Jews were killed, 200 escaped, and 50 were shot while trying to flee; 110 were left as skilled artisans. After this Aktion, a ghetto was established for the remaining Jews. The Jewish community was liquidated on March 7, 1943, when the remaining 260 Jews were burned alive in a barn. During the liquidation, about 50 Jews succeeded in escaping to the nearby forests, where they joined the "Revenge" partisan unit. After the war the Jewish community of Radoshkovichi was not reconstituted.
I. Rubin and M. Rabinsohn (eds.), Radoshkovich, Sefer Zikkaron (1965); Unzer Hilf (1932). ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: Sh. Spector (ed.), Pinkas Kehilot Poland, vol. 8, Northeast (2005).
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.