Encyclopedia of Jewish
Communities in Romania, Volume 2

(Alexăndreni, Moldova)

47°48' / 28°04'

Translation of “Alexandreny” 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 334-335, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, 1980

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[Pages 334-335]


Translated by Ala Gamulka

In Romanian and in Russian it was called Alexandreni.

Alexandreny was a Jewish settlement in the Balti District in the Reut Valley.

Jewish Population

Year Numbers % of Jews
in population
1897 1,190 94.9
1919 350 families 90
1930 1,018 66.8


Up to the End of World War I

The settlement was founded in 1836 on leased land. Its area measured 247 Disiatins (1 Disiatin = 11 Dunams). The first Jews came from Podolia in Ukraine. It, too, was founded through the efforts of the governor of Bessarabia who wanted to attract Jews to agricultural life. The fact that the land was leased and not owned outright caused important consequences on Jewish life in the village. The land was leased for 25 years with the possibility of extending the contract to 50 years. The Jews were unable to purchase the land for two reasons: 1. the high price due to the diligent work which raised the value of the land and later, 2. Temporary regulations by the Tsarist government in 1881 which forbade the Jews from leasing or owning land outside urban areas. The statistics available from 1889 indicate that 70 families (363 people) ignored the law and leased more land from Christian neighbors. The leasing was done under Christian names or, orally, to circumvent the law.

Initially, the Jewish farmers mostly grew corn and not wheat as was the custom in other Jewish settlements in Bessarabia. In the years prior to WWI a change occurred in the type of crop and in the work methods in the settlement. The Jewish farmers began to grow tobacco. This allowed them to use the family as their manpower. It included women, children, and the elderly. Thus, the head of the family could pursue other work outside of the settlement. Tobacco requires small parcels of land only. Proportionally, the earnings were higher. From the end of the 19th century through the early 1900s only tobacco was grown in Alexandreny.


Between the Two Wars

After WWI, there were about 300 Jewish families and 30 Moldavian ones. They all received land parcels according to the Agrarian reform in Romania. They continued to grow tobacco. The rules and regulations of the government about the tobacco monopoly caused the prices to decrease. The agricultural branch was badly hit everywhere, and in Alexandreny as well. The growing of tobacco was no longer profitable and the Jews turned to other fields, such as sunflowers. After the reform the total land area was 200 Disiatins. The plots were close to each other as if it were a large ranch.

The building of the railroad at that time brought Alexandreny closer to Balti, the District capital. It now took only 20 minutes to reach the Balti markets from Alexandreny. The farmers were able to sell their products in Balti.

In the 1930s the Jews suffered from a lack of agricultural machinery. Ort came to their rescue. It built depots for the rental of agricultural machinery (Prakat-Fuink). There, it was possible to lease different equipment. In 1923 the value of the machinery was $1200. A student of agriculture was sent by Ort to manage the depot. He also guided the farmers in the care and use of the machinery. They paid minimal amounts for the service.

In the early 1900s the Colonization Association opened a school. There were also 3 synagogues.



There is no information available about the fate of the Jews in the village.


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