LUGANSK (1935–58, Voroshilovgrad), capital of the Lugansk district, Ukraine. The town was founded at the end of the 18th century and Jews started to settle there, numbering in 1897 1,505 (7.5% of the population). Three Jewish schools were opened in 1910. From 1908 to 1916 the position of *kazyonny ravvin ("government-appointed rabbi") of Lugansk was held by the Hebrew writer J.B. Lerner. There he published two newspapers for Jewish children, one in Hebrew (Peraḥim) and another in Russian. During World War I many refugees arrived in Lugansk, and were aided by the community. In 1926 there were 7,132 Jews (c. 10%), increasing to 10,622 (5% of the total). In the 1920s many Jews were unemployed, mostly among the ex-bourgeoisie, but in the 1930s they began to work on the railroad and in industry. The city was occupied by the Germans on July 17, 1942. Most of the Jews were evacuated or fled. Of the remaining 1,038, the majority were murdered at Ivanitchev Yar on November 1, 1942, and January 21, 1943, together with Jews from other localities, all together 1,986 persons. There were 5,500 Jews (2.5%) in the city in 1959. Most remaining Jews emigrated in the 1990s.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.