JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA

Vol. 14, Pages 392-393

Translated from the Russian by Harry D. Boonin & Dina Abramowicz

SLUTZK: In the era of the Polish Empire (The Republic), Slutzk was the chief town of the principality of the same name (Slutzk District), forming a part of the Novogrudski region. The first information about Jews dates from 1583.In the beginning of the 17th century, there already was a Jewish community which, according to the decision of the Lithuanian Vaad in 1623, found itself in the sphere of influence of the Brest Kahal. But in the year 1691 the leaders of the Vaad included the community of Slutzk in the structure of the chief communities, taking into consideration the populousness and wealth of the community, and the many expert scribes and Talmudists. From that time a representative (Rosh ha-Medinah) from Slutzk sat at the Vaad and voted on all matters that came up for discussion concerning interests of all Lithuanian Jewry. The last Vaad took place in Slutzk in 1761 When Muscovite troops invaded Lithuania in 1655, fear spread, and the Jews fled to Vilna. After the military disturbances, Slutzk again became one of the liveliest market towns in Lithuania. The Radziwills, to whom the Slutzk Principality then belonged, helped with the material growth of Slutzk; privileges were apparently given to the Jews which explains the complaints against them by the Archimandrite of Slutzk (the superior or abbot of a larger monastery of the Eastern church) to Boguslav Radziwill in 1660. Still in 1754 "The Greco-Russian Clergy of the Slutzk ecclesiastical district" complain to the commissioner of the principality of Slutzk that, since the transfer of the tax rent to the Jews of Slutzk, all the privileges given to the clergy were destroyed. In 1766 they counted 1577 Jews in the Slutzk Kahal region.

Now Slutzk is a district town in Minsk Gubernya, According to the tax assessment book for 1800, there were three Christian merchants and 47 Jewish merchants; 641 Christian petty bourgeois and 1,537 Jewish petty bourgeois. According to the inspection (census) of 1847, there were the following Jewish communities: Slutzk--5,897 people; Kletzk--2,138; Kopil--1,824; Lyakhovetzk--1,071 and Nesvizh--3,449. According to the Census of 1897, 260,000 inhabitants appeared on the District list; among them were 40,906 Jews. Of that number 14,349 were inhabitants of Slutzk; among these were 10,264 Jews. In the district settlements, in which there were not less than 500 inhabitants, Jews represented the greatest percentage in relationship to the general number of inhabitants, as follows: Vyzna--1,593 inhabitants, among them 532 Jews; Gresk--1,674 and 207; Grozov--928 and 765; Kletzk--4,684 and 3,415; Kopil--4,463 and 2,671; Lyakhovetzk--5,016 and 3,846; Medvedich--913 and 274; Nevolozh--53.8 and 56; Nesvizh--8,459 and 4,687; Pohost--863 and 685, Romanov--1,535 and 494; Risinovich--541 and 102; Semyshovo--2,538 and 288; Sinyavka--792 and 418; Starobin--2,315 and 1,494; Timkovitz--2,393 and 1,523. In Slutzk (in 1914) there is a two-grade private school for boys with a female shift, Talmud-Torah, Yeshiva and a private school for boys. 

Copyright 2001 Harry Boonin and Dina Abramowicz

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