Balta, Podolia, Ukraine: Jews of Balta

Podolia, Ukraine

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Jews of Balta

Family Photos

Kleiman family

Kleiman extended family
Fanny (2); Yankel Kleiman, Nisha Chirnomas' great-granduncle (4);
Chaim Kleiman, Yankel's son (5); Sarah, Chaim's wife (6);
others in photo thought to be Yankel's children
(Photo courtesy of Nisha Chirnomas)



Nissenson family

Rose Kleiman Nissenson
Nisan Nissenson

photo Montreal, ca. 1940s
married in Balta Dec. 1899
emigrated to Canada 1904
Rose, Nisha Chirnomas'
grandmother, born in Balta
grandfather Nisan born in
(Photo courtesy of Nisha Chirnomas)



Nissenson ketubah

December 1899 Ketuba
Rose Kleiman Nissenson
Nisan Nissenson
(Document courtesy of Nisha Chirnomas)

Balta Alumni

M. Sheinkin
Zionist leader; government-appointed Balta rabbi, 1901-1904.
Yuly Aikenvald, 1872-1928
Russian literary critic.
Sholem Schwartzbard, 1886-1938
anarchist & Yiddish poet; assassin of Symon Petlyura.
Zellig Harris, 1909-1992
Jewish-American linguist, born in Balta.
Dr. Tzvi N. Harris
Jewish-American immunologist, born in Balta.

Internet Resources

Balta town is in Russian, but has a link to translate the page into English. There are many resources here, including Balta citizens in 1914. They also have photos from Balta's old cemeteries which includes matseva [gravestone] pictures from two of four Jewish cemeteries. These are, apparently, only a fraction of the thousands of stones still standing.

At Jewish History on the Web, there are a series of articles by Max Lilienthal, who was an early leader of the Haskalah in Russia. He left the country when he realized that the government had no good intent towards even an "enlightened" Jewish population.

These reports were published in an American Jewish paper–The Occident– in 1847-1848.

Among numerous other observations covered in the multi-series report is an analysis of the appeal of training as skilled tradesman and as religious leaders among the Jews of Russia. Lilienthal gives a specific report on teachers of children's religious classes there: "The three cities of Kaminiec, Balta, and Mohilev in Podolia Oblast, alone give employment, according to strictly authentic records, to one hundred and twenty-six Melammedim, who teach over sixteen hundred children, at an annual expense of 10,392 silver rubles."

Sketches of Jewish Life in Russia: A General Survey of the Condition of the Jews in Russia. By the Chief Rabbi Dr. Lilienthal, pub in American Occident Vol. V, No. 10 Tebeth 5608, January 1848.

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  • Last Modified: 05-10-2012

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