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Moldova & Jews

The Jewish history of Moldova



1 - 5 centuries - Jewish settlements appear in the Roman province of Dacia, of which the territory of modern Moldova was a part

5 - 10 centuries - The territory of modern Moldovapartly belongs to Hazar Kaganat professing Judaism

10 - 13 centuries - Boundary territories of modern Moldova are included in the Kiev Rus and the Polish-Lithuanian Empire where Jews have lived since the 10th century CE

14 century - The name of Moldova appears; the first official mention of the Jewish community of Moldova is made.

18 century - On the left bank of the Dniester river there are Russian military stations/fortresses - Dubossary, Rybnitsa, Tiraspol, etc. where there are Jewish communities

•1812 - Bessarabiajoins the Russian Empire; 5,000 Jewish families live on its territory
the end of 19th century - 300 thousand Jews live in Bessarabia, 12% of the total population of province

•1903 - A bloody Jewish Pogrom takes place in Kishinev, which alarms and agitates the public of Russia, Europe and America

•1905 - Jewish pogroms on the territory of the province; mass emigration of Bessarabian Jews to America.

•1940 - 400 thousand Jews live in Moldova

•1940 - 1944 - About 300 thousand Jews become victims of the Holocaust on the territory of Moldova

•1944 - 1989 - Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic is a part of the USSR. The processes of assimilation of Jews, anti-Zionist and anti-Israeli propaganda takes place. The first streams of emigration to Israel

•1989 - 1991 - Revival of the Jewish life, appearance of the first official local Jewish organizations, mass repatriation of Jews to Israel and emigration to America

•1991 - 1999 - Collapse of the USSR and formation of an independent Republic of Moldova. Opening of foreign Jewish organizations and representations, establishment and development of local Jewish structures.

•2000-2005 - Revival of the Jewish life in Moldova. Reducted emigration of the Jewish population. 23,000 Jews live in Moldova

2005– Opening of Kishinev Jacobs Jewish Campus

2005-present time – Development of Jewish Campuses as centers of the community life in the towns. Start of fee-for service programs for the local economic independence. 17,000 Jews live in Moldova


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Republic of Moldova is situated in southeastern Europe, sandwiched between Ukraine and Romania. The territory is about 34,000 square kilometres with a population of about 4 million. Moldavians consider themselves to be the descendants of the Romans; official state language is Moldovan that is part of the Roman language group and is similar to Italian. Russian serves for international communication. The Jewish population speaks mainly Russian, and many elderly speak Yiddish.

The name "Moldova" first appeared in a written source in 1336, although the Moldavian principality arose only after the Tatar-Mongol invasions and struggle with Hungarian feudal lords in 1359. During the 16th-18th centuries, Moldova was under Turkish power. At the end of the 18th century following petitions from a few Moldavian princes, Russia took control of part of the territory of Moldova. In 1812, Bessarabia - the entire territory between Dniester and Prout Rivers, including Moldova - was taken over Russia, as well.

In December 1917, Soviet power was proclaimed in the region. During 1918-1940 Moldova's territory is split into Bessarabia (as part of Romania) and Transdniestria (as part of the USSR). In 1940 Bessarabia is incorporated into the USSR according to Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. In 1941, the region was occupied by German-fascists troops until August 1944, when the Soviet army liberated Bessarabia. From 1944 until 1991, Moldova was part of the structure of the Soviet Union. In 1991, as part of the political changes taking place throughout the former Soviet Union, Moldova became an independent state. In 1992 Civil war resulted in the formation of an unrecognized Transdniestrian Moldavian Republic on the left bank of the Dniester River, with a predominantly Russian-speaking population. It has its own President, government, and currency. In present USA, Russia, Ukraine and EU are the guarantors of the negotiations between Moldova and Transdniestria.

At present, Moldova is a sovereign parliamentary republic with President as the head of state.

Spanning 350 km from north to south and 150 km from east to west, Moldova has practically no power resources of its own and depends on foreign energy imports. Moldova is officially recognized the poorest country in Europe.

Moldova is officially recognized the poorest country in Europe.

2015 main economic indices:

• GDP: ~$7,8 million

• GDP per capita (PPP): ~$4,014

• Inflation rate (annual): 13.6%

• Average salary: $250

• Average retirement pension: $60 (covers 65% of the minimal consumption level, 750 thousands retired live in the country)

•  Labor migration: about 1 million people work abroad in Russia, Spain, Italy, Israel transferring annually about $1.1 billion to Moldova

•  Life expectancy – 70 years