BUZAU (Rom. Buzău), town in Walachia, central Romania. The Jewish community there grew in the 19th century from three families in 1831 to 1,660 persons (7.6% of the total population) in 1899. An organized community was formed in the 1830s, but the communal organization in the second half of the 19th century was unstable. A Jewish school was founded in 1873. According to the official census, the Jewish population numbered 1,604 (4.5% of the total population) in 1930. Communal institutions before World War II included an elementary school for boys and for girls, a kindergarten and a bathhouse.
In December 1940, all Jews were sent to forced labor. In July 1941, all Jewish men between 18 and 60 were arrested and held prisoner until the end of the year. Jews from other Romanian cities (e.g., Targu-Neamt, Iasi) were forcibly expelled to Buzau. The community had to help them as well, including 900 orphans from Transnistria who arrived in April 1944. After World War II, the number of Jews in Buzau diminished considerably as a result of emigration. The Jewish population numbered 274 in 1956. In 1970 there about 30 families with a rabbi and shoḥet. In 2002, 22 Jews lived in Buzau.
E. Schwarzfeld, in: Anuar pentru Israeliti, 7 (1884/85), 73; M. Schwarzfeld, in: Fraternitatea, 4 (1882), 262; Reicher, in: Sinai (Bucharest), 2 (1929), xxviii (Heb. section); Almanahul Ziarului Tribuna Evreiasca, 1 (1937/38), 264; Filderman, in: Sliha, 1 no. 4 (1956), 3; M. Carp, Cartea Neagra, 3 vols. (1946–48), index; Pe marginea prapastiei, 1 (1942), 224, 227; PK Romanyah, I, 24–28. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: S. Costachie, Evreii din Romania, aspecte demografice (2003), 63.
[Eliyahu Feldman and Theodor Lavi / Lucian-Zeev Herscovici (2nd ed.)]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.