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Jews in Public Life in Bessarabia

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This database contains 1,874 records of Jews listed in the annual “Bessarabia Reference Calendar”, “Akkerman Calendar” and “Kherson Calendar” published by the Czarist goverment the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Bessarabia Calendars — in some cases named “Bessarabia Reference Calendar” — were published by the office of Bessarabia Governor for each calendar year.  Similar publications were produced by all Governors’ offices of the Russian Empire.  There were no standard requirements for those publications, and even Bessarabia Calendar’s contents differed from year to year.  Nevertheless, each Calendar contained major chapters related to the following reference materials:

  1. Daily calendars with reference to Russian Orthodox Church holidays, Names of the Saints celebrated on that particular day, times of the sunrise and sunset, and the lengths of the day.
  2. List of the Major Russian Orthodox Church Holidays, Holidays related to Russian Imperial Family, and major events established by Governors’ office and local administration.
  3. List of all Federal and Local Government Organizations, Local Government Agencies, Religious Organizations, Major Charities, Hospitals, Schools, Public Associations, Trade Associations, etc.  Each list contained Names, Ranks, Titles, and Positions held of all ranking officials, association members, major charity contributors, etc.
  4. Broad Statistical and Reference information related to different aspects of the public life, local economy, transportation, postal service, means of communication, units of measurements, etc.

Title page of “Bessarabia Calendar” of 1888, published in Kishinev

There are also records from the Akkerman Calendar and Kherson Calendar transcribed in 2018.

Information for this database “Jews in Public Life in Bessarabia” has been compiled from information in Chapter 3 of each Calendar.  Selections have been made based on persons’ Last and First names (typical Jewish names), or occupation (Rabbi, Jewish School Teacher, etc.).

The photocopies (pdf files) of “Bessarabia Calendars” published for the years 1862, 1872, 1875, 1882, 1883, 1885, 1887, 1888, 1893, 1895, 1896, 1899, 1900, 1901, 1902, 1907, 1910, 1911, 1912 and 1914 — are available as the source for the database.  The current version of the database contains information from Bessarabia Calendars for the years preceding 1914.

Database Fields

  • Name — Surname and Given Name(s) of the person.
  • Father — First name of the father of the person (if available).
  • Sex — “M” for male, “F” for female.
  • Organization — Name of the organization that particular person belonged to.
  • Department — Name of the department or subsidiary of the organization (if available).
  • Occupation — Occupation of the person as listed in the Calendar for that particular year (it may differ from year to year).
  • Rank / Title — Additional information describing Social Status (group), Education, Rank according to Russian “Table of Ranks”, Trade group association, etc. (if available).
  • City — City of residence/occupation.
  • Uyezd — district; one of the eight districts of Bessarabia: Akkerman, Bendery, Izmail, Khotin, Kishinev, Orgeev, Soroki, or Yassi (later Beltsi).
  • Gubernia — always “Bessarabia”.
  • Year — year of publication.
  • Source — always “Calendar”.
  • Page — Number of the page for this particular “Bessarabia Calendar”.  Multiple pages might be listed per record.

Page 51, Annual Calender of 1887.
First half of the page is part of Religious Department lists. For Jewish religion, it lists Crown Rabbis in Kishinev, Khotin, Brichany, Akkerman, Orgeev, Beltsy, Skulyany and Bendery.

Sample Illustration

At the right, see a sample page of the “Bessarabia Calendar” for the year 1887.  Click on the image for a larger view.


Images of the linked records are posted as follows:

Statistical Information

Some of the Calendars contained statistical information related to the population of Gubernia with reference to Jewish population.  Information that was possible for formalization and aggregation is present in relatively free format in the addendum to the database.  You can see the Statistical information at the JewishGen Bessarabia SIG website in the Current Research Projects section (30. Bessarabia Annual books, 1862-1914), and also in Bessarabian Databases section.


This project of translating/transcribing “Bessarabia Reference Calendars” began in January of 2013, using electronic copies (pdf files) received from The Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library (

The information from “Bessarabia Reference Calendars” was reviewed, translated, and compiled into “Jews involved in public life of Bessarabia” database by Yuriy Daylis.

Yuriy Daylis dedicates his work to three generations of his ancestors – Daylis, Rabinovitch, and Galperin families – who over the span of more than 125 years made a valuable contribution to public and cultural life of Bessarabia and Moldavia.

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The "Jews in Public Life in Bessarabia" database can be searched via either the JewishGen Romania Database or the JewishGen Ukraine Database.

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Last Update: 3 Oct 2018  MT
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