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FROM THE FIELD

All Rights Reserved. First printed in the RAGAS Newsletter of Spring 1999

Volume V, Number 1

Reprinted with the permission.

May not be reproduced without permission.

When Vlad (Soshnikov)was in Kishinev, Moldova, this Spring(1996), he prepared the following extract from archival records in the Kishinev archive which relates to Dmitry Z.Feldman's articles about Jewish farm colonization in southern Ukraine. It illustrates the end of efforts by the Tsar's government to settle Jews on farms by forcing them to be grain farmers in South Russia (Bessarabia)in the 1800s. For economic reasons and because of the traditional role of the Jewish people in Europe, the Jews of Bessarabia simply could not become farmers; it was impossible to convert town dwellers into farmers. The archival document below reveals a short history of the Jewish agricultural colonies in Bessarabia(today's Moldova} which existed only on paper.

Correspondence between the Bessarabia Crown Treasury and the Tyrnovskoy district government, the town elder of Khotyn, and the Podolia Crown Treasury, concerning the addition of settlers from the abolished colony of Bricheva Into town communities within the territory of the Pale of Settlement for the Jews. Dated 1889. (Archival source: Fond 134, opis 3, #528).

Excerpt from the application of Avrum-Yos Aron-Ghershkovich GHUN, resident of the township of Brichany, Khotin district (NB: a different town. not the Bricheva colony):

"According to the resolution of the Bessarabia provincial Government of April 5,1889, it is clear that all the Jews registered as grain farmers of the three colonies, Lomachinetsk, Valia-Lui-Vtodsk, and Bricheva, are being excluded from the class of agricultural settlers because they actually did not perform grain-farming. These Jews are granted the right for the period of nine months to be transferred into the class of town dwellers and to be included in town communities of the territory of the Pate of Settlement for the Jews. As for the (Avrum Ghun) and my family consisting of six souls, Zelman, Mot, Aron. Ghersh, Beirish, Moishe, we have been registered in the colony of Bricheva for many years. However, all the time we were in the agricultural class we actually did not farm and we lived outside the colony in the town of Brichany, Khotin district Before being transferred into the agricultural class, I (Avrum Ghun) was a town dweller of the township of Yarshev, Mogilev district, Podolia Province. In accordance with the resolution of the Bessarabia Provincial Government of April 5,1889,I have the honor to submit a request that my sons and I be granted the right to become members of the community where I was before, exactly in the community of Yarshev, Mogilev District, Podolia Province. Official payment in the form of stamps costing 80 kopecks is attached." Signed in Avrum's own hand.

The archival file includes a family list of the Ghun family which had finally been added to the community of the town of Khotin in 1890. Also there is a family list of all Jewish "grain farmers" of the colony of Bricheva, Tyrnavska Volost, Soroki District as of the year 1887. The following last names appear Helman, Sherman, Weitzman, Parnos, Fiterman, Blyum, Roisenblit, Voldman, Blikstein, Goldenberg, Lerman. Blank, Grinman, Shektman, Spielberg, Epel, Shikhman, Bronstein, Kestelman, Hershfeld, Shnaderman, Rotstein, Soiferson, Ghun, Reisenthal, Schlossman, Tendler, Rechtman, Grinberg, Schnaer, Teperman, Kuperschlak.

There was a total of 42 Jewish families in the colony of Bricheva.

For additional information from this issue see also: [Excerpts from Mr. Feldman's paper concerning Jewish farm colonization In southern Russia which appeared in Vol. Ill, #4 and Vol. IV, #1 of RAGAS REPORT.

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