RAȘCOV (ro) / RASHKOVO (ru) / RASHKEV (yid)

(Not to be confused with Vadul Rașcov, a village right at the opposite bank of Dniester!)

Rașcov is the oldest settlement in Pridnestrovie – Dniester left bank of Moldova, and one of the oldest Jewish towns in Moldova. In 16-18th century Rașcov was an important border town of the Commonwealth, inhabited with Poles, Armenians and Jews, Jewish presence is dated back to 1637. In 1738, the Jewish community suffered from the raids of the Haidamaks, many Jews were killed, their property was looted. In 1765, the Jewish population of Rașcov numbered 478 people. In mid 18th century a synagogue was built. In 1847, the Jewish community listed 1544 members. In 1897, Jewish population of Rașcov constituted 3201 of 5823. In 1870, there were 3 synagogues, in 1914, 4 synagogues. In Rașcov was placed the Hassidic court of Rashkever Hassidim, tracing back to the direct Baal Shem Tov’s student, r. Yaakov Iosef from Polonne. After 1917, under the Soviet power, the Jewish life became more and more vulnerable, in 1929 the synagogue was exploded, and in 1930s, the Hassidic court moved to Vadul Rashkov, shtetl on the opposite (Bessarabian) bank of Dniester river. In August 1941, the shtetl was occupied with the German and Romanian troops. 65 Jews were shoot on the river bank and corpses dumped into the river.

Rașcov is possibly the most valuable and the most attractive point on the Jewish map of Moldova, with its two ancient Jewish cemeteries, and especially with the tremendous ruined synagogue.

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