SOROCA (ro) / SOROKI (ru) / SOREK (yid)
The Jewish presence in Soroca is mentioned in mid 17th century while the Jewish community here dates back to the beginning of 18th century. The community grew in the 19th century with the Jewish immigration to Bessarabia, and at the end of the century, also with the frequent expulsions of Jews from the neighboring border area and from the villages. In 1897 there were 8.783 Jews (57.2% of the total population). In 1863 a government Jewish school was opened. In 1900 the Jewish Colonization Association established a training farm near Soroca. From the 1880s the economic situation of the Jews deteriorated and a wave of immigration to the United States began. In 1930 there were 5.462 Jews (36.3% of the entire population). Prior World War II several educational and social institutions existed in Soroca, including Hebrew elementary and secondary schools, a hospital (founded in 1885), and an old-age home. In 1940s, Jews along with the others, were accused by the Soviet authorities. The community was destroyed with the entry of the Germans and Romanians into Bessarabia in July 1941. By that moment about 1300 Jews stayed in Soroca. They were ordered to gather once at the school yard. About 40 Jews (rabbays, shoikhets etc) were killed first. On August 5, the ghetto for 1235 Jews was established. During September 1941 Jews from the ghetto were shot, or deported to Târgul Vertiujeni camp or Transnistria, were few of them survived. Today a tiny community still exists here.
In Soroca we would visit the synagogue, the ancient Jewish cemetery with the Holocaust memorial, few known mass graves, and as a “side dish” non-Jewish heritage, such as medieval Soroca fortress and Capitol and Bolshoi Theater styled Roma houses and the “palace” of Roma Baro.
© Jewish Heritage Moldova (Maghid NGO) Research, Education, Guiding