RADUN (Pol. Raduń; Yid. Radin), a town in Grodno district, Belarus. Originally a Polish royal estate, Radun became important in the 16th century because it was situated on the main road between krakow and Vilna. Jews were still forbidden to live there in 1538 and Jewish farmers who cultivated lands in the vicinity exerted their influence to have Radun granted municipal status so that they would not be expelled. In 1623 the Council of the Province of Lithuania (see Councils of the *Lands) made the Radun community subordinate to that of Grodno. In 1765 there were 581 poll tax-paying Jews in Radun and district; in the town itself there were 283 Jews in 1847; 896 (53.3 percent of the total population) in 1897; and 671 (53.5 percent) in 1925. The center of Radun spiritual life was the yeshivah founded in 1869 by *Israel Meir ha-Kohen (the Ḥafez Ḥayyim). Its fame was widespread and the 300 students came from far and near. In 1940 most of the yeshivah students were transferred to United States via Japan. The Jews of Radun earned their livelihood from commerce, crafts, and agriculture; in the 1920s, 12 percent of the 200 members of the Jewish cooperative bank were farmers. In 1922 the *Yekopo relief society in Vilna gave loans to 19 farms, covering an area of 420 dessiatines (1,134 acres).
S. Dubnow (ed.), Pinkas ha-Medinah (1925), 17–18; A. Rivkes, in: Life, 1 (1951), 653; Unzer Hilf, 1–3 (1921–23); Yahadut Lita, 3 (1967), 57–58.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.