Gorodok, Ukraine

"Greiding", “Grayding” “Graydung”, “Graydunk” (Yiddish) (Hebrew) הורודוק

“Horodok” [Ukr] Городок , “Gorodok” [Rus] , "Gorodok-Proskurovskiy” [Rus], “Gródek” [Pol]

Region: Podolia

Lat: 49°10’ N, Long: 26°34' E






Town Life

Jewish Life

Family Histories

Yizkor Page

Data and Research

Contact Us

KehilaLinks Home Page

Compiled by Marc Goldberger and Steven Schreiber

Updated: February 2015

Copyright © 2013 Marc Goldberger and Steven Schreiber



Present day Ukraine is divided into 24 provinces or “oblasts”. Oblasts are divided into regions or “rayons”, and rayons are further divided into local government units or “councils”. 

The town (now city) of Gorodok (Horodok), with a population of 17,746 in 2001, is located in the Khmelnytskyi Oblast, Horodok Rayon. Gorodok was formerly located in the Province of Podolia and is closely linked to the history of the province.

Gorodok was first mentioned in historical documents in the year 1392. [Source: Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1988).]

Polish/Lithuanian Period 1430-1793

 “After the death of the Lithuanian prince Vytautas (Vitovt) in 1430, Podolia was incorporated into Podolian Voivodeship of the Polish Crown, with the exception of its eastern part, the Province of Bratslav , which remained with Lithuania until its union with Poland in the Union of Lublin of 1569. Apart from an Ottoman occupation (1672–1699) and administration as Podolia Eyalet,

the Poles retained Podolia until the partitions of their country in 1772 and 1793, when the Austrian Habsburg Monarchy and Imperial Russia annexed the western and eastern parts respectively.” (Source: Wikipedia)The following map shows that the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth at its formation controlled most what is modern day Ukraine. (Source: Wikipedia)

If shown on this map, Gorodok would be located approximately 30 miles north of “Kamieniec” in “Podolskie” province.

The Khmelnytsky Uprising, 1648–1657, was a Cossack rebellion in Ukraine between the years which turned into a Ukrainian war of liberation from Poland. Widespread atrocities were committed against the Jewish people by the Cossacks during this period.

The Russo-Polish War of 1654–1667, also called Thirteen Years' War First Northern War, ]War for Ukraine was a major conflict between Tsardom of Russia and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Russian Period 1793-1917

During the Russian period Gorodok was a small town in Kamenets Podolsk County, which was a part of the Podolia Governorate.


 “The Podolia Governorate or Government of Podolia, set up after the Second Partition of Poland, comprised a governorate (guberniya) of the Russian Empire from 1793 to 1917, of the Ukrainian People's Republic from 1917 to 1921, and of the Ukrainian SSR from 1921 to 1925.” (Source: Wikipedia).


The Podolia governorate (guberniya) was one of the designated areas in which the Czarist regime permitted Jews to settle, i.e. the Pale of Settlement.    


Post 1917 Period

‘In April 1919 the Volhynian Group units of the Army of the Ukrainian National Republic fought several battles there against Bolshevik forces. It (Gorodok) was a raion center in Proskuriv okruha (1923–30), Vinnytsia oblast (1932–7), and Kamianets-Podilskyi oblast (1937–54). Machine tools and foodstuffs are produced there.” [Source: Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1988); as taken from the Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine]


An overview of the history of Gorodok can be found in this article that appears on a Ukrainian website. The article refers to Gorodok as one of the oldest cities in Ukraine and highlights the importance of the city for Ukrainian Catholics. Gorodok celebrated its 650th anniversary in 2012.

Jewish History


Jews settled in Gorodok before 1630.


In the late 1640's and early 1650’s during the Khmelnitsky massacres the town was devastated and the Jewish community was badly affected by Cossack raids.


In 1653 the town was besieged by a 30-thousand Bogdan Khmelnitsky army. Poles, Ukrainian Uniates and Jews hid behind the walls of Gorodok Castle. Cossacks took the castle by storm, destroyed it, and massacred everybody. As recorded by one of Bogdan Khmelnitsky contemporaries, "... they spared neither nobility nor riffraff." (Source:http://risu.org.ua/ua/relig_tourism/r_maps/regions/khmelnytska/gorodok/44462/)


In the nineteenth century Jews played an important role in the industrial and commercial development of the town during which time it became a district center. (Source: The Encyclopedia of Jewish Life Before and During the Holocaust by Spector, Shmuel 2001, p. 446) Gorodok business directories (refer to lower half of table) at end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries show Jews to have been widely involved in commerce and manufacture.

As stated on the Town Life page, in the 1870s there was one synagogue and four houses of worship (Beit Tfila). There was also one farm classified as “Kosher”. (Source: Słownik geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego" publ. 1881).

By 1893 there were two synagogues and five houses of workship (Beit Tfila). (Source: The "Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary" publ.1893).

A good source of background information relevant to Gorodok can be found in the article History of the Jews in Podolia, located on the Jewish Gen website.

The Jewish population of Gorodok (percent in parentheses):


1765 - 645 Jews,

1870s – 2500 (33%)

1893 – 3362 (42%)

1897 - 3194 (37%),

In the early 20th century 3,325 (42%)

1910 - 4.020 (36%),

1926 - 2,494 (30%),

1939 - 2329 (29%).


Knowing the number of Jews and their percentage of the population enables us to calculate the total population of the town and, by extension, the total number of non-Jews. Between 1910 and 1926 the Jewish population dropped by 1,526 or 38%, presumably reflecting to some degree the out-migration of the residents to other countries of Europe and to North and South America. World War I 1914-1917, the Ukrainian-Soviet War of 1917–1921, and economic factors might also have been a factor in these population changes. As the table below shows, the non-Jewish population also declined during that period by almost 20%. Finally, from 1897 to 1910, there was a very large increase in both the Jewish and non-Jewish populations, perhaps showing the growing economic importance of the town. All of these factors need further research to determine to what degree they explain the population changes in the town.

Population of Gorodok 1870s-1939


Jewish Population

Percent of Total Population

Percent Change of Jewish Population

Total Population

Non-Jewish Population

Percent Change of Non-Jewish Population




















In the early 20th century