BRICENI (ro) / BRICHANY (ru) / BRECHEN (yid)

The settlement located on the site of today’s Bricheni is known since mid 16th century. Jews are beleived to come here in the mid 18th century. In 1817, 137 Jewish families lived here. In 1848, in Bricheni are listed 590 Jewish families: 2693 men and 2824 women of about 7000 population. By that time Bricheni had a synagogue and a cheder; in 1860s already 5 synagogues, by early 20th century even 17. In 1897 Jews consisted almost the whole population of Briceni: 7184 of 7446. In 1930 Jews consisted 5417 of 8785. In 1940 dozens of families, including Jewish ones, were oppressed by the Soviet authorities. During Shoah few Jews of more than 5 thousand escaped, most were deported to Transnistria, only about 1000 came back in 1944-45. Today few Jewish families still live in Briceni.

Briceni has an impressive overgrown cemetery dated back to at least 19th century, a former Jewish hospital, a formerly Jewish windmill – and that’s almost everything that still reminds about once flourishing Jewish town.

© Jewish Heritage Moldova (Maghid NGO) Research, Education, Guiding