STARO-KONSTANTINOV


STARO-KONSTANTINOV (referred to by the Jews as Old Konstantin), city in Kamenets-Podolski oblast, Ukraine. Under Polish rule Staro-Konstantinov was an important commercial center renowned for its fairs. Jews lived there from the end of the 16th century; in 1629 there were 130 Jewish families (about 25% of the total population) and the community was the second largest in Volhynia. During the *Chmielnicki massacres (1648–49), Jews from the whole of the surrounding region sought refuge within the fortified city. The Cossacks broke into the city on the Ninth of Av, however, and massacred all the Jews. Staro-Konstantinov was also destroyed several times during the *Haidamack persecutions of the early 18th century. Jews continued to settle in the city, however, and by 1765, 1,801 Jews were counted as paying the poll tax in Staro-Konstantinov and its vicinity. Under Russian rule Staro-Konstantinov became a district city of the region of Volhynia. In 1802 Jews numbered 2,053. Riots broke out in Staro-Konstantinov in 1827 when the order of Czar Nicholas I on the mobilization of Jews into the Russian army was published. By 1847, there were 6,611 Jews in the community, and in 1897 the number had increased to 9,212 (60.7% of the total population). Most of the local Jews were Ḥasidim and followers of the ẓaddikim of the Chernobyl and Sadagora dynasties. With the establishment of the Soviet regime in Volhynia in 1920 Jewish community life was dissolved. This period also marked the economic collapse of the city proper and the departure of many of its inhabitants. By 1926 there were again 6,934 Jews (41.3% of the population) in Staro-Konstantinov supporting a large Yiddish secondary school. At the end of 1931 there were 4,837 Jews (about 33% of the population) in the city, of whom over a quarter were deprived of voting rights ("Lishentsy"). During World War II when the Nazis invaded the city those Jews who did not succeed in escaping were exterminated. In 1959 there remained only 800 Jews among the city's 20,000 inhabitants. Staro-Konstantinov was the birthplace of A.B. *Gottlobor and A. *Goldfaden.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

S. Ettinger, in: Zion, 21 (1956), 107–42; Nathan Hannover, Yeven Meẓulah (1966 ed.), passim, esp. 53ff.; A. Margolis, Geshikhte fun Yidn in Rusland (1930), 402–4; S. Lipshitz, Vegn Shtetl (1932), 34–68; A.B. Gottlober, Zikhronot mi-Ymei Ne'urai (1880).

[Yehuda Slutsky]


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