Encyclopedia of Jewish
Communities in Romania, Volume 2
(Botiza, Romania)

47°40' / 24°09'

Translation of “Botiza” chapter from
Pinkas Hakehillot Romania

Published by Yad Vashem

Published in Jerusalem, 1980


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to put this material on the JewishGen web site.

This is a translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot: Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities, Romania, Volume II,
pages 92-93, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, 1980

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[Page 92]


Translated by Jerrold Landau

(Romanian: Botiza, Hungarian: Batiza)

Botiza is a village in the district of Maramureş, approximately 30 kilometers southeast of the district city of Sighet. All of its residents were Romanian.

Jewish Population

Year Population % of Jews
in general
1920 194 10.2
1930 121 5.9
1947 28  


Until the Outbreak of the Second World War

We do not have any documents regarding the settlement of Jews in that village. In the census of the Jews in the district of Maramureş in the year 1728, 1735, and 1746, not one Jew was registered in Botiza. Apparently, the first Jews did not arrive in this village prior to the end of the 18th century. They arrived from Galicia and were occupied in liquor production, commerce in grain, and leasing land of which they later took ownership.

The small community was apparently founded in the middle of the 19th century, when they built a synagogue, opened a cemetery, and built a ritual bath [mikva]. After some time, they also hired a ritual slaughterer [shochet]. No rabbi served in the community. The rabbis of Sighet, and later the rabbis of Vişeul de Sus, issued rabbinical decisions for that village as well.

The number of Jews in the village declined from the era of the First World War and onwards. Some of them settled in the societies of Transylvania and Romania, and several succeeded in immigrating overseas, from where they sent support to their family members and then brought them over.

Most of the Jews of Botiza earned their livelihoods in a meager fashion from small-scale agriculture, and also from physical labor in cutting down treats from the forests, sawing the lumber in sawmills, and hauling it to the Tisa River. Others occupied in commerce of fruit and grain, or in work in various trades. The vast majority were poor and destitute.

From among the Botiza natives, it is worthwhile to mention Reb Mordechai Leichter, who was born in the village in 1880. He moved to Sighet after his marriage, where he was occupied in religious Zionist activities and was elected as the president of Mizrachi. He participated in the first convention of the Zionists of Transylvania in 1920. In 1922, he was a delegate to the Zionist Congress in Vienna, representing Mizrachi. He published his book “Maamar Mordechai,” – articles on morality and defense of the Jewish religion and customs in the spirit of religious Zionism (Sziget 5687 – 1937). He made aliya in 1933 and settled in Rechovot, where he was active in Mizrachi, and was elected to the city council representing the Mizrachi Party. Today he lives in a retirement home in the Visznitz neighborhood of Bnei Brak, and he is the veteran of the Maramures natives in Israel.


The Holocaust

The details of the fate of the Jews in Botiza under the Hungarian regime are not known. We only know about the economic restrictions and the revocation of business and work permits. We also know that Jews between the ages of 21 and 42 were drafted

[Page 93]

to forced labor and sent to Ukraine, where almost all of them perished.

In the latter half of April 1944, the Jews of the village were gathered together and deported to the ghetto of Vişeul de Sus, from where they were sent to Auschwitz for extermination.

The Holocaust survivors returned to the village after the war, but most of them left after some years and made aliya to Israel.



Yad Vashem Archives 03/3385.
Máramorossziget (Quarterly in Hebrew, Yiddish, and Hungarian) edited by Yehoshua and Helen Reich, Tel Aviv, issue 29, pages 1-2.


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