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

47°47' / 24°08'

Translation of “Stramtura” 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,
page 199, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, 1980

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[Page 199]


Translated by Jerrold Landau

(Romanian: Stramtura, Hungarian: Szurdok, by the Jews: Strimtura.)

It is village in the district of Maramureş, about 25 kilometers
from the district city of Sighet. All of its residents are Romanian.


Jewish Population

Year Population % of Jews in
1920 409 12.7
1930 369 10.5


Until the Outbreak of the Second World War

The first Jews arrived in Stramtura during the first half of the 18th century. A Jew is first mentioned in the population census of 1748. The list is very vague. The name, trade, and place of origin of the Jew is not noted, but it does note that he had a wife, two children, and two servants employed in his home economy. It seems that he was occupied with liquor distilling and commerce, and stemmed from Galicia.

From among the first Jews of Stramtura, we know of Reb Yitzchak Stern (1763-1845), the son of Reb Mordechai Stern from the village of Săliştea (see entry), who became wealthy and excelled in hosting guests. He was also accepted by the village authorities such as the owner of the village, Count Teleky, and the district authorities. He would intercede on behalf of the Jews of Maramureş. Most of the residents of the village were his descendants or spouses of his descendants. When he died at the age of 82, he merited seeing hundreds of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren in the village itself and in the villages of the area. Rabbi Yosef Stern, the rabbi of Sighet, was his son.

At first, the Jews of Stramtura earned their livelihoods through agriculture, on lands that they leaded from Count Telesky. After the revolution of 1848/49, the count sold a significant portion of his lands, and almost every Jew of the village purchased small plots. Those of means purchased large plots. Pinchas Hos purchased more than 1,000 dunams of land. During the second half of the 19th century, the Jews also transferred over to the lumber trade, which developed greatly. They also tried their hand in the wheat, fruit, and animal trades. Approximately ten families earned their livelihoods from shopkeeping. Some of them also maintained a tavern. The shops sold groceries, clothing for farmers, work utensils, and haberdashery. Four shoemakers, two carpenters, and a glassblower worked in the village. Almost all of the Jews maintained small supplemental farms to which they tended along with their families. Some Jews owned sheep and produced kosher cheese that was sold throughout the country.

The community was organized at the beginning of the 19th century. Gravestones from around 1800 are preserved in the cemetery. The kernel [i.e. nerve center] of the community was the home of Reb Yitzchak Stern, in which a minyan [prayer quorum] was held. A wooden synagogue was built during the first quarter of the 19th century. A Chevra Kadisha [burial society] was funded during that same period. A ritual bath [mikva] had already opened prior to that time.

There was no rabbi in the community of Stramtura until the beginning of the 20th century. Rabbi Moshe Kizelnik was accepted as rabbi at the beginning of the century. He moved to Rozavlea immediately after the First World War to take the place of his father, who died during the time of the war. Rabbi Tzvi Kahana was accepted as rabbi of the community around 1935. Like his predecessor, he ran a Yeshiva, in which about 60 students studied. Rabbi Kizelnik and Rabbi Kahana both perished during the Holocaust.


The Holocaust

We have no knowledge of the fate of the Jews of Stramtura from the time that the Hungarians entered until the extermination. At the end of April 1944, the Jews of the village were gathered together and transferred to the ghetto of Vi?eul de Sus (see entry), from where they were sent to be exterminated in Auschwitz.

Today, there are no Jews in Stramtura




Yad Vashem Archives 03/2013

Greenwald, Yekutiel Yehuda: Matzevet Kodesh [Holy Monument} Section I: Sighet and the Maramureş district, New York 5712 [1952], pp. 14-15; ibid.: A Thousand Years of Jewish Life in Hungary, New York, 5710 [1950], page 234; Greenwald, Eliezer David: Responsa Keren LeDavid, Satmar 5699 [1939], section 112; Sperber, David: Responsa Afarkasta Deanya, Satmar, 5700 [1940], sections 39, 45, 94.

Magyar-Zsidó Oklevéltár, vol. VII, Budapest, 1963, p. 748.

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