other names: Botoschan (Ger), Botoszany (Pol), Botoshani (Rus,Ukr), Botuschani. Location 47°45' / 26°40'
Botosani early 1900s
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Botosani is a major city in northeast Romania and the capital of Botosani Judet (county). Early Jewish population is known from the 16th/17th centuries. Over the next few hundred years Jews leaving the Russian Empire, Galicia, and Germany headed south toward northern Romania (Moldovia and Bukovina). Jewish population growth was very rapid throughout the 19th century. Botosani Judet and Dorohoi Judet became major Jewish centers along with Jassy. Dorohoi merged with Botosani after WW2.
According to the Jewish Yearbook, [London, 1902-03] the Jewish population (25,000 in 1901/02) in Botosani was 72% - the highest percentage of any large city in the world at that time. Iasi (Jassy) was the 2nd highest at 58%.
Elias Schwarzfeld, writer and Romanian Jewish historian from Jassy, wrote two important articles which appeared in the American Jewish Yearbook, 1901-02:
Radu B. Rosetti (a.k.a. Verax) wrote his own view of how the Jews came to Romania in Romania and the Jews, 1904.
A key turning point in Jewish life in Romania occured in 1866 with laws that denied them citizenship, schooling, and economic opportunity. In 1878 the Congress of Berlin attempted to legislate basic rights for religious and other minorities, however it soon became apparent that nothing had changed for Jews in Romania. At the same time a new era of economic and religious opportunity opened across the Atlantic. It was not surprising that from 1890 to 1910 about 90% of all Romanians who emigrated to the United States were Jewish. [Samuel Joseph, 1914], chapter IV.
large community remained up through the Holocaust and tried to regroup
after WW2. However, the communist regime placed numerous
restrictions on Jews including measures such as closing
outlawing all Jewish organizations and restricting
occupations/professions that were common to Jews.
This time the new state of Israel was relatively
close and a
very friendly option. At first Jewish families slowly left for Israel
until eventually a critical mass was achieved and the emigration rate
increased significantly. The following table tells the story:
Population numbers by ethnicity from census reports for the period 1930-2002, Romanian National Institute for Statistics.
Botosani LinksGoogle Translate - Romanian to English translate (a few pages) of text or web pages from/to English or other languages. Not perfect but free and very fast.
Botosani Research projects
In 2008 a small group of dedicated Botosani descendants/researchers started a project to photograph and develop computer indexes for all Jewish civil records and registers (Mitrices) located at the Botosani branch of the Romanian State Archives. As of April 2017 all available civil records (over 120,000) records from locations with significant Jewish presence in the former historical counties of Botosani and Dorohoi are now indexed. Thousands more from other sources have also been indexed and additional documents relating to Dorohoi Jews are waiting to be indexed.
We dedicate our project to the memory of our friend and colleague Rony Shaham who was one of the primary translators from the beginning.
Completed Civil Birth, Marriage, Death (BMD) record indexes:
Details of the initial project were published in Avotaynu - The International Review of Jewish Genealogy [Vol 27-2, Summer 2011, 11-13].
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How You Can Help
Help transcribe. We still need people familiar with the Romanian language and Jewish names for future work.
Help us photograph and acquire
new records. In order to keep costs low we hire
local photographers and do all transcribing by unpaid
volunteers. We need to pay for the photographer,
archive fees, and small administrative costs. All money
received go directly to acquiring records. For more information send email to: email@example.com
or the webmaster.
Romania and Border Countries
|Botosani Transit - frequent, quiet, clean||Supermarket with Botosani Branch of National Archives in Background|
Romania Database (for Botosani)
Click the button to show all entries for Botosani in the JewishGen Romania Database.
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