BAKHCHISARAI, town in Crimea, Ukraine. From the 16th to the 18th centuries it was the capital of the khans of Crimea. A settlement of Rabbanite Jews (Krimchaks) as well as of *Karaites evidently existed in Bakhchisarai in the second half of the 18th century. In the 1870s the Karaites abandoned *Chufut-Kale , approximately 1¼ mi. (about 2 km.) to the east, and moved to Bakhchisarai. A Jewish traveler in the 1870s found about 20 families of Rabbanite Jews and some 70 Karaite families there: in 1897 there were 210 Rabbanites and 967 Karaites. The Hebrew poet Saul *Tchernichowsky wrote several poems about Bakhchisarai. During the Soviet period the number of Jews remained stable, numbering 228 souls in 1939. Bakhchisarai was occupied by the Germans on November 2, 1941, and they soon murdered 90 Jews. In the first half of July 1943 they murdered over 1,000 from the town and the surrounding area. The Karaites were not considered Jewish by the Germans and were therefore not harmed by them.
E. Deinard, Massa ba-Ḥaẓi ha-I Krim (1878), 104. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: PK Ukrainah, S.V.
[Yehuda Slutsky and Eliyahu Feldman / Shmuel Spector (2nd ed.)]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.