Briceni, Moldova

Brichany [Rus], Briceni [Rom], Britshan [Yid], Bryczany[Pol], Bricen-Targ, Bricheni Targ, Briceni Sat, Bricheni Sat, Berchan, Brichon, Brishani (Alternate Spellings)


History of the Jews of Briceni

Briceni (Brichany (Rus) in Bessarbia. Moldavian SSR. Briceni Romanian and Moldovan and that (Brichany is only a transliteration from the Russian spelling."Briceni" is how immigrants at the turn of the century wrote the name of the town. Britshan is the Yiddish Town equivalent).

Bessarabia (now Moldova) as you can see above was ruled by Romania, and by Russia. It is now an independent country. Who are the Bessarbian Jews? They are believed to be a mixture of Hungarian, Ukrainian, and Turkish Jews, the latter being descendants of the Jews from the Turkish state of Khazaria, who, it is speculated, comprised the majority of the Jews populating the area in the late 1400s. In July 1429, reign of Moldova Alexander the Good Dan Uncleata had established himself several villages in the region of the district. In 1562 is first attested Briceni city under the name of the land Adicăuţi, Hotin, which gave Despot Voda to Vartic. Lipcani Tatars in 1699 the Jews are displaced , being displaced to Kamianets-Podilskyi. In 1788, Austrian military administration Briceni Jews are found in 56 households. In 1812, after the Treaty of Bucharest, Moldova is occupied by Russian Empire in the period 1812-1918 as the district is under Russian administration. In 1877, the region experienced an epidemic of plague. In 1882, a drought strikes the district. There were 137 Jewish Families living in the town in 1817. Another 47 had previously left the village when it was partially destroyed by fire. The community increased in the first half of the 19th Century, and by the middle of the 19th Century it was among the largest in the region. In 1897, there were 7,184 Jews in Briceni which made up 96.5% of it's population. A Jewish State School was opened in 1847. In 1924, 125 Jews were occupied in Agriculture on approx. 1,600 acres of land. Much of this land was leased. In 1930, the Jewish population numbered 5,354 (95.2%). Before WWII, Briceni had a hospital (1885), a Hebrew Tarbutro School and several synagoges.

Before the war many Jews from surrounding areas had concentrated in Briceni. By 1940 Briceni the Jewish Population had increased to 10,000. In June 1940, the city was annexed by the USSR. Jewish Property and Community Buildings were confiscated. Only the Synagogue was saved, because it was a granary. Some 80 Jews, mainly community leaders were exiled to Siberia. On July 8, 1941 Romanian and German troops passed through Briceni and murdered many Jews. Jews from neighboring towns of Lipkany and Sekiryany were brought to Briceni. On July 28, all Jews were dispatched across the Dneister and several were shot in route. When they arrived in Mogilev, The Germans selected out the old people and forced the young people dig graves for them. From Mogilev the rest were turned back to Ataki in Bessarabia and then onto to Sekiryany. Hundreds died in route. For a month they stayed in the Ghetto. Only to be deported again to Transnistria. Many of the young Jews were murdered in a forest near Soroca. Only 1,000 Jews returned to Briceni at the end of the war. In 2004 less than 84 Jews resided in the district (.11%). The Cemetery still exists but is in need of care. There are approximately 5oo tombstones.

History of the Region



Jewish Cemetery in Briceni, there are no gates, no walls and many Tombstones are flat or broken. Grass and weeds are overgrown. There are more than 500 graves.

This is a prominent monument in Briceni, erected in a park setting that commemorates the victims of fascism between the years of 1941 and 1945. The monument consists of a tall stone figure of a sorrowful woman, with left hand over her breast, set upon a tall pedestal marked with the dates 1941-1945. The monument and site are open to the public and are designated as a protected, historical landmark. The monument is in very good condition and is maintained by the municipality



The Civil Archive (Arhiva Actelor Starii Civile), Ministry of Justice Building, Str. 31 August 82, Chisinau. The Civil Archives contained marriage records from 1911 to 1945. The records for Briceni may have been recently sent to Briceni City Hall Archives. It is not known whether a copy of those records was retained in the Chisinau Civil Archive. The Chisinau Civil Archive had been responsive to on-site requests for a record search for a moderate fee. The City Hall (ZAGS) Archives in Briceni may now contain the Briceni/Briceni marriage records. No confirmation has been reported. There may also be birth and death records in the Briceni City Hall Archive.


First Britschaner Benevolent Association




First Independent Brichaner Society




First Independent Benefit Association of Brichan




Erster Independent Brichaner Unterstutzungs Verein




First Brichaner Congregation




First Brichaner Men of Truth




Brichoner Young Friends Benevolent and Educational Club




Independent Britchoner Bessarabian Benevolent Association




Britchaner Young Men and Young Ladies Benevolent Association




Britzaner-Bessarabier Progressive Young Folks




*AJHS NYC Incorporations of Landsmanshaften

First Britchaner BenevolentAssociation Records 1932-1977 (1ft. 10in. RG973)

Established in NYC 1n 1895 by immigrants from Brichany (Briceni) Moldova. Organized an interest free-loan fund in 1925 and an old age fund in 1935. Affilated with the Britchaner Bessarabian Relief Association dissolved 1977. By-laws, Minutes (1932-1977), Financial Records (1936-1970's), Materials pretaining to Old-age and loan funds. Golden Book (record of Deaths of members), Membership records, Materials pertaining to cemetery and burial, seal and stamp.

Family's from Briceni


Marriage License from Bricheni 1902. Pesach Hamvici Shnayder and Necha Roitburd.

Necha Roitburd and family wait in Briceni to emmigrate to NYC, c. 1915.

Books and Articles about life in Briceni, Bessarbia or Moldova


Other towns in Moldova where Jews were numerous before WWII are Ataki (Otaci, Atachi), Beltsy (Belti), Faleshty (Falesti), Kalarash (Calarasi), and Soroki (Soroca).

Bessarabia Special Interest Group (SIG) webpage:

Romania/Moldova Special Interest Group (SIG) webpage:

Hungarian Special Interest Group (SIG) webpage:

Ukraine Special Interest Group (SIG) website:

Introduction and History of the Jews of Moldova:

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Webpage was created and maintained by Barbara Cholfin Johnson until 2012.
Updated BAE: Apr 20 2014
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