Jewish Research in Lida Uezd


Alternate names: Rozanka [Rus, Yid], Różanka [Pol], Ražanka [Bel], Ruzhanka, Russian: Рожанка. Belarusian: Ражанка. רוז'אנקה Hebrew, ראזשאנקע Yiddish. 53°32' N, 24°44' E, 33 miles SW of Lida, 6 miles S of Scucyn. 1900 Jewish population: 543. Hrodzyenskaya Voblasts'

and the dependent villages of Balicze, Bobra, Bolotniki, Ciejkowszczyzna, Chilczyce and I, II, III, and IV, Cierechy, Dolina Prosta, Dolina Zarzeczna, Dolne I Gorne, Dowklewszczyzna, Dzerniaki, Dziakowce, Filipowicze, Girdziejowka, Holownicze, Holynka, Karpiejdzyki, Karpiowicze. Klimowszczyzna, Kolonya Dubruva, Krupowo, Kryszylki, Lahody and I and II, Makijowce/Makhovichi at 5349 2510, Malewicze Gorne, Mordasy, Nowinka, Nowo-Rozanka, Obsoch, Onichowszczyzna, Perekop, Podgajniki, Podgorna, Podrozanka, Podzamcze, Poplawy, Potoka, Pozniakowszczyzna, Rakovichi/Rakowica/Rakowicze, Rezy, Rozanka Nowa, Rucznica, Ruczyce, Rusaki, Siemiaeniaki, Siemiagi, Stara Podrozanka, Suchary, Szlachty, Trochimczyki, Turowka, Walanczyce, Wierzbilki, Woroniszki, Zaborze, Zapole

and the estates, colonies, and hamlets of Boguslawowo, Borki and I, II and III, Ciejkowszczyzna, Dzierazno, Dubrowa, Dubrowa Nowa, Girdziejowka, Girejowska, Mokrzyce, Onichowszczyzna, Podbobra, Poplawy, Potoka, Prostanasczyzna, Race, Rakowicze, Rutkiewicze, Turya/Turia, Uniebowszdzyna, Zdanowce

Różanka-Nowa, a peasant village, Lida district, was in the 3rd police precinct, Różanka rural precinct, 2 male serfs.




Scucyn's closest neighbor is Rozanka, which was, before the division of Poland, the estate of the well-known nobles of the house of Patz. The town was thus called "Rozanka-Patzovska", to distinguish it from another Rozanka.  General Patz defeated the armies of Bogdan Chmielnitsky in the year 1650, thus saving Vilna and Grodno from the invasion of Cossacks. (A common assumption is that the Patz Family's origin is Jewish.)


In 1764, the Viavoda (General) of the House of Patz established the luxurious Cathedral of the Apostles Peter and Paul in Rozanka. During the 1830's, Rozanka was confiscated from the House of Patz because they participated in the Polish Rebellion against the Russians. During the 1860's, when Czar Alexander II freed the Serfs, the lands of Rozanka were given to the serfs on the condition that they would repay the price at long-term payments.

Few Jews lived in Rozanka. Their settlement there started during the 1880's, when the Railway Line passing nearby was laid. However, a few Jews had started an agricultural settlement in nearby Malivitzia in the 1860s.

The mestechko of Rozanka in 1899 belonged to Slonim Uezd (second stan), and according to the territory divisions, was the main city of Rozhanskaya Volostj and the central post office for the surrounding small villages. Potoka, in Lida district, then was in Vilenskaya Guberniya. The Vilenskaya Gubernya "book" is in the Library of Grodno Museum.

In 1928, Rozanka was designated as a miasteczko (small town) and gmina wiejska (parish town) in the Second Uchastok, Lida powiat, Nowogrodskie voevodstvo of Poland. The Justice of the Peace was in Scucyn and the Justice Court in Vilna. The 1928 miasteczko population was 734. The railway station was three kilometers away in Rozanka n. Niemnen, on the Mosty-Lida line. the post office and telegraph were in Rozanka and the telephone in Mosty. Rozanka had one Catholic church, one synagogue, and mills. Imenie "Rozanka", now the building of the secondary school, in 1928, belonged to R.K. Kobordo-Mernicheg. Rozhankovskaya gmina, Lidski povet.

In 1972, Rozanka was a village in Scucyn District of Grodno Region, seven km from Scucyn, 74 km from Grodno and four km from Rozanka railway station, On the Mosty to Scucyn road. Rozanka had a tractor repair workshop, a wood-cut workshop, one secondary school, a House of Culture, a library, a kindergarten, a hospital, a post-office, four shops, and one monument to those who died in the WWII. (Soviet Belorussian Encyclopedia-1972)

A brick synagogue in the center of Rozanka still exists [1998] but was made into an Orthodox church during the summer of 1998. The Jewish cemetery does not exist. Some of the gravestones are visible in the river. The Jews of Rozanka were shot at a place in Scucyn.  Source: Scucyn Yizkor Book


A government-owned town on the Turejka River, Lida district, in the 3rd police precinct, Różanka gmina and rural precinct, at 56 wiorsts [approx. 56 km] from Lida and 144 w. from Wilno, has 883 inhabitants (445 male and 438 female). Catholic parish church called by the name of Ss. Peter and Paul, with high brick walls, founded in 1764 through wojewód[Polish senator] Pac. Catholic parish, Lida deanery, has 2,097 faithful; chapel in the burial ground. The environs have an elevated section and a level section, gravelly cultivated land, small forests. Once upon a time the inheritance of Pac, today [Różanka is] a governmental estate whose lands were turned over to the peasants to buy back. Różanka gmina belongs to the 2nd peace district of peasant affairs, 2nd circuit of summons to military service from Lida district, and 2nd court district. Encompassing 64 villages, having 351 settlements, 4,264 peasants (both sexes) reside there. It takes in two rural districts: Różanka and Rakowicze. A gmina school is found in Różanka (75 students). According to the rolls of 1864, there were in the gmina 619 dusz reviz. ["revision souls," or male serfs] who were enfranchised peasants and 1,011 who were treasury peasants. In the composition of the rural district come the town of Różanka and the villages of Podzameze, Dowklewszczyzna, Wierzbiłki, Bobra, Podbobra, Zaborze, Potoka, Nowo-Różanka, Kryszyłki, Dziakowce, Malewicze Dolne and Górne, Podróżanka, Ciejkowszczyzna, Makiowce, Dolina Zarzeczna, Dolina, Turówka, and the zaścianki [nobility neighborhoods] Kryłyszki and Klimowszczyzna, as well as the Jewish agricultural colony Malewicze; in sum, in the year 1864, 838 male serfs who were treasury peasants.



Composer Jerome Wilson Rabinowitz, born in New Jersey in 1918, was taken at age five to Rozanka at the insistence of his grandfather, Gershon Rabinowitz, who had wanted to see the grandchildren he had never met. Jerome's father immigrated to the States in the early 1900s without his parents. Jerome's mother, Lena, took him and his older sister Sonia to Rozanka. Quoted from The Life of Jerome Robbins, ISBN: 978-0-7679-0420-9 (0-7679-0420-6).  "Although it is gone now, there was once a village called Rozanka, which stood in the vast, flat plain that stretches between Poland and Russia, the land that is now Lithuania and Belarus. In the old days these miles of pasture and cropland, punctuated by patches of forest and the onion domes of churches, belonged to the kings of Poland, but by 1888, when Herschel Rabinowitz was born, they had come under the rule of the czar of all the Russias.’


Almost equidistant from the bustling towns of Vilna and Bialystok, Rozanka was a rural backwater of less than a thousand residents, two-thirds of them Jews, who lived in wooden houses, some with only earthen floors, that were built around the central marketplace and along the village's four streets-Mill Street, Bridge Street, Szczuczyn Road, and Connected Street. There were butchers and bakers, blacksmiths and tailors, cobblers and carpenters; there were two flour mills near the river, an eighteenth-century stone church for the gentiles, and a wooden synagogue of somewhat later date for the Jews. In addition, because the synagogue had no furnace and could not be used in the winters, there were two bet midrashim, the houses of worship and study where the faithful gathered for prayers and earnest yeshiva students came to learn and read the holy books.


There was a mikvah, a ritual bath for women's monthly cleansing; a cheder, the one-room school where the little boys sat on wooden benches and learned their lessons over the squawking of the rebbe's wife's chickens; and a bustling market where farmers brought their produce and livestock, merchants sold pots and pans and crockery and cloth, and villagers came to poke and pinch and buy and sell and exchange news and gossip. And there were Sabbath evenings when candles were lit in all the houses and braided bread was laid on the tables and prayers were said over the meal. Rozanka was a place out of time-"an unforgettable place," as the writer Sholem Aleichem said of another shtetl in the Jewish Pale of Settlement, which he called Voronko-"small but beautiful and full of charm. With strong legs, you can traverse the entire village in half an hour. It has no railroad, no sea, no tumult. . . . Although it's a small village, the many fine stories and legends about it could fill a book."


In this village of Rozanka, Herschel, the third son of Nathan Mayer Rabinowitz, the baker, was born on September 11, 1888. He and his brothers, Julius, Samuel, and Theodore, attended the cheder while their sister, Ruth, stayed home to learn from their mother, Sara, how to keep the house; they made wooden swords for Tishah b'Av and dreidels for Hanukkah; they swam in the river and played in the fields. And when they grew older, they worried not about the Torah portions they had to learn to chant for their bar mitzvahs but about becoming one of the Jewish boys who were conscripted each year into the czar's army, where they were often mistreated or forced to convert to Christianity.


It was to avoid this fate that first Julius and Teddy, then Herschel, and finally Samuel fled to America, where other emigrants from Rozanka had found a new home. When Herschel came of age for conscription, his father, Nathan, fearing reprisals for draft evasion, bought a burial plot and bribed an official to issue a death certificate for his son. The family took off their shoes and covered their looking glasses and sat shiva for him and put an empty coffin in the earth; his mother, Sara, sewed money and a steamship ticket into the lining of his coat; and Herschel, who at sixteen had never seen anything beyond the horizon of Rozanka, set off alone for the goldeneh medina on the other side of an ocean he could only imagine. He traveled on foot at night to escape detection, staying clear of towns and checkpoints, of barriers and strangers, sleeping in barns or haystacks, and scavenging food where he could. He was lonely and afraid, but then he acquired a comrade, a handsome, strapping young Russian deserter who showed him how to cross the borders, stepping carefully to avoid the raked areas that would show the slightest footprint. One night the two of them dared to get their dinner in a tavern, and they were served by a pretty young village girl; the soldier flirted with her and she blushed and giggled at his attentions, and young Herschel watched the byplay with yearning. The next day the two young men went on, making their way across Poland to Germany and then on to Holland; and when Herschel came to the pier in Rotterdam and "realized that the wall rising up beside him was the side of a ship"-he told his own son many years afterwards-"he burst into tears. For he had never seen anything so enormous."


Herschel Rabinowitz debarked from the SS Statendam in New York on January 4, 1905. His welcome to the United States was the cacophonous inquisition of the Registry Room on Ellis Island, where immigration agents pinned a numbered tag to his coat bearing the page and line in the Statendam's manifest on which his name appeared, and barked a series of questions: Name? Age? Occupation? Marital status? Herschel Rabinowitz told them he was eighteen; he was a baker, he said, and unmarried. ...


Eventually all the Rabinowitz siblings found their way to New York from Rozanka, along with a number of other landsmen from the village-enough that there was an association of Rozanka dwellers who met regularly for feasts and dancing and sent money back to the village to help pay for a library or a new bet midrash.."


In his personal journal quoted in the Vail book, Robbins remembered his visit thus:  "At night after dinner by kerosene lamps, songs were sung. I remember apples, embroidery, mud pies. It was all lovely, all lovely. I do not remember one unhappy moment."


Slownik Geograficzny Krolestwa Polskiego, p. 854:

Ro?anka, 1. Mko rz?d. Nad Turejka, pow. lidzki, w 3 okr. Pol., gm. i okr. wiejski Rozanka, o 56 w. od Lidy a 144 w. od Wilna, ma 833 mk. (445 m?z. i 438 kob.). Ko?cio? par. Katol. p.w. ?w. Piotra I Paw?a z muru wzniesiony w 1764 r. przez wojewod? Paca. Par. kat., dek. lidzkiego, 2097 wiernych; kaplica na cmentarzu grzebalnym. Okolica cz??ci? wynios?a, cz??ci? za? r?wna, grunt zwirowaty, las?w ma?o. Dziedzictwo niegdy? Pac?w, dzi? w?asno?? rz?du, kt?ry ziemi? odda? w?oscianom na wykup. Gmina Rozanka nale?y do 2 okr. Pokojowego do spraw w?o?cia?skich, 2 rewiru powo?anych do s?u?by wojskowej z pow. lidzkiego oraz 2 okr. s?dow., obejmuje 64 wsi, maj?cych 351 osad, zamieszka?ych przez 4264 w?o?cian p?ci ob.; sk?ada si? z 2 okr. wiejskich: Rozanka i Rakowicze. Szkola gminna znajduje si? w R. (75 uczn.). Pod?ug spisu z 1864 r. by?o w gminie 619 dusz rewiz. w?osc. uw?aszcz. i 1011 b. w?osc. skarbowych. W sk?ad okr?gu wiejskiego wchodz?; mko R., wsi: Podzamcze, Dowklewszczyzna, Wierzbilki, Bobra, Podbobra, Zaborze, Potoka, Nowo-Rozanka, Kryszylki, Dziakowce, Malewicze Dolne I G?rne, Podr?zanka, Ciejkowszczyzna, Makiowce, Dolina Zarzeczmowszczyzna, Dolina, Tur?wka; za?c. Krylyszki i Klimowszczyzna, oraz kolonia ?yd?w rolnik?w Malewicze, w og?le w 1864 r 838 dusz rewiz. b. w?o?cian skarbow. 2.) R. Nowa, w? w?o?c., pow. lidzki, w 3 okr. pol., gm., okr. wiejski Rozanka, 2 dusze rewiz. 2.) R. Nowa J. Krz.

Rozanka 1.) small town official government above the TUREJKA [river], in Lida powiat, in the third Polish rural administrative district and commune Rozanka, about 56 wiorsts [59.752 km] from Lida and 144 wiorsts [153.648 km] from Wilna, has 883 inhabitants (445 males and 438 female), Catholic church building dedicated to Sts. Peter and Paul built of brick in 1764 by voivode [a rank] Pa. Catholic parish, deanery [actually decanate; a grouping of 10 parishes] in Lida, 2,097 parishioners; [also] chapel on cemetery grounds. The terrain is hilly, the soil gravelly, there are few forests. Once in the hereditary ownership of the Pac family, the government has ransomed the land back to the peasants. The township Rozanka belongs to 2 peaceful districts of peasant affairs, 2 conscription rewiru into military service with Lida powiat [administrative division comparable to German Kreis] as well as 2 district seats, obejmuje 64 villages, majacych 351 settlers, residents over 4,264 peasant plci; composed of 2 rural districts: Rozanka and Rakowicze. Township school found in Rozanka. (75 students). According to list [census?] of 1864 619 affranchised peasants and 1011 financial peasants. The rural district includes: miasteczko [small town] Rozanka, villages: Podzamcze, Dowklewszczyzna, Wierzbilki, Bobra, Podbobra, Zaborze, Potoka, Nowo-Roznka, Kryszylki, Dziakowce, Malewicze Dolne and Gorne, Podrozanka, Ciejkowszczuzna, Makowce, Dolina Zarzeczna, Dolina, Turowka; settlement of lesser nobility or yeomen Krylyszki and Klimowszczyzna, as well as Jewish farming colony *Malewicze/ Malivitzia - a Rozhanka Jewish farming colony founded about 1864 was part of gmina "Rozhankovskaya", povet Stchutchinki, Novogrudskoe voedvostvo, Poland in 1932.

2. Nowa Rozanka, ws wlosc., pow. Lidzki, w 3 okr. Pol., gm., okr.wiejski Rozanka, 2 dusze rewiz.

New Rozanka, peasant or farming village, Lida district, in three Polish districts, rural parish district, two revisions.

Malewicze- a Rozhanka Jewish farming colony founded about 1864 was part of gmina Rozhankovskaya , povet Stchutchinki, Novogrudskoe voedvostvo, Poland in 1932.

POTOKA, village of Rozanka, p. 871:

1.) w?. w?osc., pow. Lidzki, w 3 okr. pol., gm., okr. wiejski i dobra skarbowe Rozanka, o 58 w. od Lidy, 15 dm., 190 mk. (93 dusz rewiz.). J. Krz.

1.) peasant or farming village, Lida powiat, in third Polish district, rural district and public property Rozanka, 58 wiorsts from Lida, 15 houses, 190 inhabitants (93 in revision list) J. Krz

1932: Potoki wies (village) was in gmina Rozhankovskaya, povet Stchutchinki, Novogrudskoe Voevodstvo) [Translation by Jan Sekta and Ellen Sadove Renck].

·         Kagan Haprenumerantn 8143; EVREISKAYA ENCY.: XIII: 572 [4 lines]. Documentary Sources on Jewish History in the Archives of the CIS and the Baltic States:

·         Preliminary List of collections, Compiled by Dmitri A. Elyashevich, Acropolis, St. Petersburg: 1994, St. Peterburg Jewish University, Diaspora Research Institute, Russian State University for the Humanities, Historical Archival Institute, Center for Archival research. Grodno (Belarus), Belorussian Historical Archive in Grodno: 167 Rozankovskaya Synagogue in Lidski uezd. #33, 10 chronicles, 1897-1900

·         Yad Vashem: 6174, Yiddish, 1 Oct 1961, Meirowitz, Mordechai: "actions" in ROZANKA; escape from the Ghetto to RORELICZE, looting by the local population; abuse of Rav Israel VIERNICK and burning of Torah scrolls; concentration of remnants of TURZEC, IWIENIEC, KORELICZE, HONODYSZCZE, and ZDZIECIOL [Zhetel/Dyatlavo] in the Nowogrodek ghetto; slaughter and "actions"; counting graves; work camp in place; stockpiling weapons and digging tunnel; escape to partisans in Naliboki city; family camp under the command of the brothers Bieski; sacrifices of the partisans and only those that remained alive; revenge on the Belarussian murderers

·         Yad Vashem: 62388, Yiddish, MEIROWITZ, Mordechai: expulsion of Jews from ROZANKA and the cities around Lida to the ghetto SZCZUCZYN and Novogrodek; tunnel digging in Novogrodek ghetto and escape by way of the partisans; relations with Jewish partisans

·         Grodno Archives:

o   Fond #170, Rozankovskaya Synagogue in Lidski uezd. #33, 10 chronicles, 1897-1900

o   Fond 33 Synagogue in Rozhanka, Lida yezd, Vilna gub. 10 chronicles 1897-1900

§  Metrical book of divorce 1897 #28

§  " 1898 #20

§  " birth? 1899 #20

§  " 1900 #20

§  " death 1897 #40

§  " 1898 #70

§  " 1899 #70

§  " 1900 #30

§  " marriage 1897 #30

§  " 1898 #40

o   33 Fond 10 chronicles 1897-1900 Vilna Guberniya

§  Inv#1--2 Metrical Book of Divorce-Synagogue in Rozhanka 1898

o   20 Rozhanka Lida yezd, Vilnja Gub

o   33 Fond 10 chronicles 1897-1900 Vilna Guberniya

§  Inv#1--3 Metrical Book of Divorce?-Synagogue in Rozhanka 1899

o   20 Rozhanka Lida yezd, Vilnja Gub

o   33 Fond 10 chronicles 1897-1900 Vilna Guberniya

§  Inv#1--4 Metrical Book of Divorce-Synagogue in Rozhanka 1900

o   20 Rozhanka Lida yezd, Vilnja Gub

o   33 Fond 10 chronicles 1897-1900 Vilna Guberniya

§  Inv#1--1 Metrical Book of Divorce-Synagogue in Rozhanka 1897

o   28 Rozhanka Lida yezd, Vilnja Gub

o   33 Fond 10 chronicles 1897-1900 Vilna Guberniya

§  Inv#1--9 Metrical Book of Marriage-Synagogue in Rozanka 1897

o   30 Rozhanka Lida yezd, Vilnja Gub

o   33 Fond 10 chronicles 1897-1900 Vilna Guberniya

§  Inv#1--5 Metrical Book of Death-Synagogue in Rozhanka 1897

o   40 Rozhanka Lida yezd, Vilnja Gub

o   33 Fond 10 chronicles 1897-1900 Vilna Guberniya

§  Inv#1--8 Metrical Book of Death-Synagogue in Rozhanka 1900

o   40 Rozhanka Lida yezd, Vilnja Gub

o   33 Fond 10 chronicles 1897-1900 Vilna Guberniya

§  Inv#1--10 Metrical Book of Marriage-Synagogue in Rozanka 1898

o   40 Rozhanka Lida yezd, Vilnja Gub

o   33 Fond 10 chronicles 1897-1900 Vilna Guberniya

§  Inv#1--6 Metrical Book of Death-Synagogue in Rozhanka 1898

o   70 Rozhanka Lida yezd, Vilnja Gub

o   33 Fond 10 chronicles 1897-1900 Vilna Guberniya

§  Inv#1--7 Metrical Book of Death-Synagogue in Rozhanka 1899

o   70 Rozhanka Lida yezd, Vilnja Gub

Address: Grodno Region Department, Director: Miss Karina Botrakova, National Belorussian Historical Archives of Grodno and National Belorussian Historical Archives, Grodno Region Department, Director: Miss Karina Brotrakova . Teizengauz Ploschad 2, Grodno 230001Belarus


JewishGen Family Finder


·         Sefer zikaron le-kehilot Szczuczyn, Wasiliszki, Ostryna, Nowy-Dwor, Rozanka (Tel Aviv, 1966). Rozanka portion:

·         LitvakSIG for Lida

·         Ksiega Adresowa Handlowa, Warszawa Bydgoszcz 1929

·         1923/Glowny Urzad Statystyczny Rzechzypospolitej polskiej

·         Slownik Geograficzny Krolestwa Polskiego

·         Lida Memorial Society.


Compiled by Ellen Sadove Renck from the sources listed above. Copyright © 1999-2014 Ellen Sadove Renck. 
HTML by Irene Newhouse

Jewish Gen Home Page | KehilaLinks Directory | Lida District Page | Szczuczyn Area Page