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Elizavetgrad Historical Note

by Maurice Commanday

from an address to the JGSLA September 1991

reprinted in Jewish Agricultural Colonies in Russia

This material was researched by the Association for Jewish Culture of Kirovograd in the couty archives of Kirovogradia and Khersonia. It provides the bases for the following information.

These are, perhaps, the earliest physical records of agricultural collective organizations (Kibbutzium) among the Jews in modern era.

After the establishment of the Fort Elizavet, in 1754, around this fort a new type of trade was developed. Among the first merchants who  attended these fairs four times a year were Jews, as well as others, who came from Poland, Austria and Turkey. Officially Jews were allowed to settle in Novoroshiskia, as the territory was called at that time. This was established by the ukase of November 16, 1769. Besides the cities and shtetls in which the Jews had small shops and trading posts, where were also some agricultural colonies which were organized by Jewish peasants.

The everyday lives of the peasants, in spite of large subsidies from the government, were so fragile and difficult and so economically marginaly thast the ukase of April 6, 1810, the government halted the movement of Jews into the Novotoshiski province which order was lifted only in 1837, and in all Jewish colonies in Kherson province in 1849.

In Khersonia there were about 1,532 families who lived in fifteen colonies. The largest of these colonies were several in Elizavetgard county. There were Glomokleye, Yisrealevka and Sadaidak. These colonies remained in existances as collectives until 1941.

The following data is from 1896 as translated from the original reports of the local police chief of Bobrinyets suburb about the Glomokleye colony,. It is a kind of inventory of his responsibilities.

"48  families and houses, population 334 (164 male, 170 felmaes). There was Jewish house of worship, a post office, a small general store and a bath house. The nearest city was 75 versts (50 miles)".

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Updated Sunday October 22 2017. Copyright 1999 [Jewish Agricultural Colonies of the Ukraine]. All rights reserved.