CĂLĂRAȘI (ro) / KALARASH (ru) / KALARASH (yid)

Călărași is known (under the name Tuzora) since mid 15th century. Jews began to settle here in the first half of the 19th century. They numbered 4.593 in 1897, forming 89% of the population. Most were engaged in trade, primarily in agricultural produce, and some in agriculture. Most of the Jews were ḥasidim and spoke Yiddish. The wave of pogroms in Russia in October 1905 also hit Călărași, where 60 Jews were killed, 300 were injured, and over 200 houses were burned down. After Bessarabia passed to Romania in 1918, communal life flourished in Călărași. The community had welfare
organizations and educational institutions, including a hospital (founded in 1890), a talmud torah, a library, and a loan and savings fund. In 1930 the Jewish population numbered 3.631 (76% of the total population). Zionist organizations were also active. Beginning with mid July 1941, a series of mass killings took place in Călărași and surroundings. In 1940s more than 200 people from Călărași, including many Jews, were convicted by the Soviet authorities. Large part of the community perished in Holocaust, few Jews survived.

Today Călărași is proud with its old Jewish cemetery; we should visit the local Historical museum for the exposition devoted to the local Jewish history, and the Holocaust memorial; and can have a nosh or lunch in the former synagogue rededicated to the restaurant.

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