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Bucecea, Romania
Location 4746' N, 2626' E

3km (2 miles) NE of the Suceava border (historic Bukovina)
20km (12 miles)W of Botosani
24km (14 miles)NE of Suceava
370km (230 miles)N of Bucharest

Alternate spellings: Bucea, Buccea, Bucecca

    Bucecea is a town located in Botosani Judet (county) in the northeast part of modern Romania. It was officially founded in 1828 and the 1831 census showed a total population of 98 with 87% Jewish. By 1851 there were 523 inhabitants with 61% Jews. The population peaked in 1891 at 1281 with 72% Jews.
    Jews earned their livelihood as cattle ranchers, tavern owners, butchers, bakers, soap makers, shopkeepers and peddlers. Pograms and threats of expulsion for Jews occured sporadically with major incidents in September 1894 and March 18, 1907.
   In spite of this Jews remained a major part of Bucecea society for over 100 years. In 1937, the local community had five synagogues, a school with two teachers, a kindergarten, and a kosher mikva (ritual bath) However, shortly afterwards the situation changed rapidly as the Nazis came to power and gobbled up much of Europe with the goal of exterminating all Jews.
    In 1941 the entire Jewish population was rounded up and sent to the regional capital of Botosani. A few of the survivors returned after WW2 but most of the Jews were gone by the late 1950s. The latest tombstones found in the cemetery are two from 1956 and the last from 1975.

Bucecea Vital Records Project

In 2013 the Botosani Vital Records Group finished indexing all know Bucecea Jewish BMD records (1860-1907). This includes about 1650 births, 1000 deaths, and 275 marriages.  Several other cities and towns in Botosani Judet (county) with significant Jewish populations are also indexed or planned.

This is the largest Jewish vital record indexing project ever conducted in Romania.   See the Botosani website for more details and for a printed discussion of the project see Avotaynu - The International Review of Jewish Genealogy, Vol 27, no. 2, Summer 2011. Individuals interested in this project may get further details by sending email to:  recsbot@gmail.com

Bucecea Links

Pinkas Hakehillot Bucecea

Bucecea - Jewishgen Communities DataBase

Romanian SIG Web Site

Botosani Web Site

Downtown Bucecea - May 2008

"History of the Founding of Bucecea," written
by Dr. E. Schwartzfeld, edited in 1914,
translated by Dr. Marcel Bratu

BUCECEA  1828 January 16

With God kindness, I, IOAN SANDU STURZA., Voevod and Prince of the Moldavian Country, Considering the written application of our honest and faithful Boyard Alexandru Ralet, sword bearer, that in his estate, Bucecea, from Botosani region : there is room enough to create a market town, neighbouring villages and many houses, in My Reign, I consider that this application is not only right, but will resuscitate the private businesses, not creating any harm for the proposed land. We approve this application and we give him complete freedom to do this market town, investing his money and to bring foreigners, out of this country and not from other small towns and villages, who will be exempt to pay any taxes for the land.

This measure is to create stability for the newcomers in this town, however I legislate the followings :

  • First- Nobody can open a store, shop, without to buy from the owner the land, the parcel necessary for the business, measured in length and across, no matter if the parcel is in the town or suburb.area
  • Second- Nobody can sell beer, alcoholic beverages or kerosene without the approval of the estate's owner.
  • Third- .The butcheries, bread bakeries, candle stores and soap stores will be the property of the Boyard, unless of those, who by mutual understanding with the Boyard, will be permited to have such properties.
  • Forth- The leaders of the guilds, selected by the townsmen will be under the control of the owner of the estate.
  • Fifth- Those who will not have stores and will like to open temporary stands or to have moving carts with merchandise, or to sell only during fairs, should have the approval of the owner of the estate.
  •  Sixth- The pasture for the townmen's cattles, living in the suburb, will be located and divided by the owner of the estate as folows : 1/2 of a hectare, counting this surface for two oxes and a cow without calfs. For the townsmen living on the streets, the same size of land for a horse and a cow without calfs. Those who want a larger area should pay to the Boyard, how much will be the mutual agreement between them.

To attract the arrival of the people and to live in this market town as long as possible, will grant them the following privilleges : the merchants, without any discrimination being even foreigners, not to ennoy them, are exempt for taxes and voluntary days of work for the Boyard for a period of 5 years. The stores and the inns, which will be the property of the Boyard are exempt of any voluntary work.

The mayor of the market town should be chosen by the Boyard and should be a hardworking man, onest, to have good manners, without any abuses, but to be obidient to the superiors of the region, which are instructed by the leaders of the country.

The income of the weight station will go to the Boyard, as costumary for other such market towns.

The Boyard can bring in town 30 comendable foreigners from other countries, verified by superior organs that they don't owe any taxes to the foreign country, to live for ever in the new town, being exempt for any taxes and voluntary work for the Boyard, but to be incharged with the security of the town, fire and against bad people, to watch the roads and other needs in town, as the owner of the estate (Boyard) will find necessary.

The boyard will spend from his money for the building of houses, streets and lanes in the suburb, using gravel from the Siret river. The townsmen have the duty to mantain in good conditions the buildings and to repair when necessary the streets and lanes, with gravel which will be brought by the boyard, for the town to be forever in good conditions.

To facilitate the business of the merchants, I decided to have 9 fairs a year as follows:

The first, on the day of the 3 Ierarchi Saints on January 30th.
The second, on the 2nd Sunday before the big fast for Easter.
The third, on the day of the Apostols Saints and Marcu the Evangelist, April 25.
The fourth on the day of St. John the Baptist, May 25.
The fifth, on the birthday of St. John the Baptist, June 24.
The sixth, on the day of Great Saint Martyr Pantelimon, July 27
The seventh, on the day of St. Simion Stapalnicu, September 1
The eight, on the day of St Apostol and Evangelist Luca, Octomber 8
The ninth, on the day of St. Ierarch Spiridon, December 12.

Every Friday, the fair will be open for everybody who has to sell or to buy everything. However to compensate the Boyard for the use of the pasture as a place for the fair, and for him to find an other place for grassland in these days, we have to devote him an income from the revenue of the cattles which will be sold in the days of the fairs, namely : 24 " bani " (pennies) for each big cattle, like ox, cow, horse and mare. 1/2 of this amount will be paid by the seller and 1/2 by the buyer.

Because the Boyard, as well as the majority of the townsmen of this market town have the desire to live for ever in this town and to be kept out of any dangers, he ( the Boyard) will take care of the school, doctor, midwife and pharmacy. These are very important items which will be paid by the Boyard from the income provided from the selling of the cattles. Also, for these needs, everybody who will come to the fair with anything to be sold, will pay 2 "parale" (dollars?) for each bundle of goods, which is supposed to be sold.

If the inhabitants of this town will not pay the taxes which are mandatory, or will not be abide by the mutual understanding with the Boyard, will be chased away from the town, only after a verification of the treasury from the area.

I order to the people to obey this document strengthen by the seal of My Reign.

This document was written in Iassy, in the sixth year of my reign.


Click here  for the rest of the commentary and history of the Jews in Romania

Main Restaurant in Downtown Bucecea  

By 2008 the only evidence of the Jewish community was the old Jewish cemetery which is hidden in a thick, rectangular stand of trees with significant overgrowth throwout. The cemetery is located about 1 mile east of the town center along the main road to Botosani. It is easily visible from a large windmill overlooking the town at the top of hill about 1 mile further east. A small cement fence surrounds the cemetery with an unlocked gate directly down a steep hill from the road. Cattle pastures completely surround the cemetery.

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Last Updated on February 2, 2020 

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