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Podgaitsy

PODGAITSY (Pol. Podhajce; in Jewish tradition, Pedaayets), city, W. Tarnopol district, Ukraine. A Jewish community existed in Podgaitsy during the 16th century. At the beginning of the 17th century the rabbinical seat was held by Benjamin Aaron b. Abraham Solnik, who died in 1610. He published a collection of 112 responsa and legal novellae in his work Masat Binyamin. After the invasion of the town by the Tatars in 1667 and the massacre which they perpetrated among the Jews, R. Ze'ev b. Judah Leib wrote an elegy in memory of the victims. According to the census of 1764 there were 1,079 Jews. There were some adherents of Jacob *Frank, but the greatest influence came from the ḥasidic dynasties of Belz and Ruzhany. During the 19th century, under Austrian rule, the Jewish population increased, and by 1910 numbered about 6,000. However, Podgaitsy's importance subsequently declined and according to the census of 1931 only 2,872 Jews were left.