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Dumitru Solomon

Dumitru Solomon (1932-2003), playwright, essayist, dramatic chronicler, and professor of dramaturgy, born in Galați, Romania. He attended high school in Bârlad and in 1955 he graduated in Romanian philology at the Faculty of Romanian Language and Literature of the University of Bucharest. Between 1955-1962, he was editor of Gazeta literară, then head of department at Luceafărul, editor-in-chief of the magazine Teatrul azi (“Theater today”) until its closure in 1998. During 1998-2001 he was the chief editor of the magazine Scena (“The Stage”).

He started his literary career by publishing in Viața Românească literary magazine in 1953. His works include Problema intelectualului in opera lui Camil Petrescu (“The intellectual’s problem in the work of Camil Petrescu”, essay 1958); Dispariția (“Disappearance”, 1967), Socrate, Platon, Diogene câinele (“Socrates, Platon, Diogenes the dog; Theater as a metaphor”, (essay), 1974), Fata morgana. Scene din viața unui bădăran (“Fata morgana. Scenes from the life of a rude person", 1978), Scurt circuit la creier (“Short Circuit to the Brain”, 1978), Iluzia optică (“Optical illusion”, 1985), Desene rupestre (“Cave drawings”, 1985), Transfer de personalitate (“Personality transfer”, 1990), Oglindă (“Mirror “,1995), Repetabila scenă a balconului (“The Repeatable Balcony Scene”, 1996), Miriam și nisipurile mișcătoare (“Miriam and the moving sands “, 2002), Mihail Sebastian - Anii jurnalului. O sinteză scenică (“Mihail Sebastian - The years of the journal. A scenic synthesis”, 2007).

Solomon was awarded the Prize of the Romanian Academy (1978), and the Prize of the Romanian Writers' Union (1973). His play The Repeatable Balcony Scene was awarded the Prize for the best Romanian play for the year 1995.

Date of birth:
1932
Date of death:
2003
ID Number:
20676448
Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People
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SOLOMON

Surnames derive from one of many different origins. Sometimes there may be more than one explanation for the same name. This family name is a patronymic surname based on a male ancestor's personal name, in this case of biblical origin.

Solomon is a form of the Hebrew Shlomo, meaning "man of peace", a biblical personal name whose root is Shalom, meaning "peace". Solomon, the son of King David and Bath Sheba, was the third king of Israel and Judah. Many Jewish family names have developed from Shlomo/Solomon/Salomon and its variants. Solomon is documented in the 7th century in France; Salman in 1090 in Germany; Salemanus in 1200, also in Germany; Salmon (1290), Saulmon (1306), Salmannus (1334) and Salamon (1388) in France; Scholem in 1495 in Germany; Sollomon in 1668 in America; Salom in 1713 in the Antilles; Salmonaba in 1715 in Italy; Schlam in 1717 in Germany; Salme, Schlomen, Schlumen, Scholum and Schaulom in 1784 in Alsace; Salimen in 1798 in America; Salem in the 18th century in the Netherlands; Salmang in 1831 in Germany; and Salomson in 1855 in America. In the mid 20th century, Solomon families in France changed their names to Aumond and Laumont, and the Polish variant Solomonowicz (meaning "Solomon's son") was Frenchified to Alamont.

Arabic forms of Solomon include Sellam, Saloma, Calama and Suleyman. Variants like Salaman, Salmen, Zalman, Zalkind, Zalkin, Zalheim, Zaling, Zalinger, Salinger and Zeling became frequent in Central and Eastern European countries.

Distinguished bearers of the Jewish family name Solomon include the English-born sheriff of St. Helena and consul of France and the Netherlands, Saul Solomon (1775-1850); the 19th/20th century Lithuanian-born American rabbi Elias Louis Solomon; the 20th century Indian community leader David Solomon and the 20th century Romanian poet and translator Petre Solomon.

Galati

Port on the river Danube, in Moldova, eastern Romania.

Jews first settled in Galati at the end of the 16th century. There are Jewish tombstones dating from between 1590 and 1595. A second cemetery was established in 1629 and a third in 1774. Until the beginning of the 18th century the chevra kaddisha was responsible for the communal administration.

Following a blood libel in 1796, outrages were perpetrated against the Jews. In 1812 Greek revolutionaries, who entered the town, set fire to several synagogues, and in 1842 there were renewed attacks on the community by local Greeks. In 1846 anti-Jewish outbreaks again occurred in which synagogues were looted and Jewish houses and shops were destroyed. In 1859, in a similar attack, many Jews were killed.

In 1867 a number of Jews among those expelled from catastrophe provoked a storm of protest throughout Europe. The Jewish bakers were expelled from Galati for refusing to break the strike of their fellow workers and party members in 1893.

The Jewish population numbered 14,500 in 1894, 12,000 in 1910 ( 22% of the total), 19,912 in 1930 (20%), and 13,000 in 1942.

Jewish artisans and merchants contributed considerably to the city's economic and commercial development.
Before World War II the community had 22 synagogues, a secondary school, two elementary schools for boys and one for girls, a kindergarten, a trade school, a hospital, an orphanage, an old-age home, and two ritual bathhouses. There was also a cultural- religious society, a Zionist society, a youth organization Tze'irei Zion, and a "culture" club.
The Jews in Galati were subjected to constant persecution by the pro-Nazi authorities during World War II. The community was not destroyed during the Holocaust, but subsequently diminished through emigration. It numbered 13,000 in 1947, 9,000 in 1950, and 450 families in 1969, with two synagogues.

Barlad

Bârlad, Birlad

A city in Vaslui County, Romania.

The Jewish community there is first attested in 1738 when the Prince of Moldavia, Gregor Ghica, appointed Marco (Mordecai) as leader (Starosty) of the Jews of Barlad according to ancient custom. A row of Jewish stores is mentioned in 1767 and a Jewish street in 1819; 53 Jewish households were recorded in 1803.

In 1838 the Jews were accused of desecrating Christian holy objects, and 23 notables of the community, including three women, were imprisoned. They were released only after payment of a heavy fine. In December 1867, there was an outbreak of violence when the Jews were accused of murdering an anti-Semitic priest.

The community numbered 2,000 in 1859, 5,883 (24% of the total) in 1899, about one-third of the merchants and artisans in the city being Jews, and 3,727 in 1930 (14% of the total), mainly occupied in commerce (many as clerks) and as artisans. There were then in Barlad a Jewish kindergarten and two Jewish schools, for boys and for girls. In 1941 there were 3,063 Jews living in Barlad.

Antonescu's rise to power in September 1940 marked the beginning of their economic repression, including the confiscation of property. All the Jewish men, including professionals, were sent on forced labor; but the latter were released when their Romanian colleagues rallied to their side and threatened to join them on forced labor.

On the outbreak of war against the Soviet Union in June 1941 all the Jews from the villages and towns in the district were expelled and sent to Barlad. Sources of livelihood were scarce, and the community had to take care of the unemployed; 200 families were subsidized in 1940 and by 1943 their number had grown to 600. The community also opened its own secondary school for the Jewish children who had been dismissed from the public secondary schools. Four men who had been deported to Transnistria eventually returned to Barlad.

In 1969, 100 Jewish families lived in Barlad. There was one synagogue.

Bucharest

Romanian: Bucuresti

Capital of Romania

The historic Jewish district of Bucharest used to be centered around the Choral Temple, and spread from Piata Unirii east towards Dristor. However, most of the Jewish buildings that stood there were destroyed during the 1980s in order to make way for the Bulevardul Unirii. As of 2015, there remain a handful of points of Jewish interest in Bucharest, serving the community of approximately 3,500. The Choral Temple, the Yeshua Tova Synagogue, and the Great Polish Synagogue, continue to hold services; the latter also hosts the city's Holocaust Museum. The Beit Hamidrash Synagogue, which dates back to the late 18th century, is abandoned and decaying, though the structure itself is still (barely) standing. Another abandoned synagogue whose building still stands is the Hevra Amuna (Temple of Faith).

The Jewish History Museum (Muzeul de Istorie a Evreilor din Romania) is located in what was once a synagogue called the Holy Union Temple. The synagogue building itself was constructed in 1836; it began serving as a Jewish history museum in 1978. Mozes Rosen, the chief rabbi of Romania from 1964 until his death in 1994, founded the museum and provided a number of items for its collection.

The State Jewish Theater, which is located in Bucharest, is the oldest uninterrupted Yiddish-language theater in the world. The theater features plays by Jewish playwrights, plays about Jewish topics, and Yiddish plays that run simultaneous Romanian translations through headphones. The theater is located next to the Lauder-Reut Jewish school, which has over 400 students enrolled in its kindergarten, elementary, and middle schools.

HISTORY

The Jewish community of Bucharest was formed both by Sephardic Jews who arrived from the south, chiefly from the Otooman Empire, and later by Ashkenazi Jews arriving from the north. A responsum by the rabbi of Solonika during the 16th century that mentions a Sephardic community is the first documented evidence confirming the presence of Jews in Budapest. The Jewish community began to grow and prosper; some were even the creditors of the ruling princes. This economic success, however, eventually came at a steep price (pun intended); when Prince Michael the Brave revolved against the Turks in November 1593, he ordered that his creditors be killed, among whom were a number of Jews.

Ahskenazi Jews began arriving and establishing their own community towards the middle of the 17th century, drawn there after fleeing the Khmielnitski Massacres taking place in Ukraine. Their numbers grew, and eventually the Ashkenazi community became larger than the Sephardic community. For tax purposes, the Ashkenazi and Sephardic communities were organized into a single community by the state, and were forced to pay a fixed tax to the treasury. Meanwhile, the general population, afraid of economic competition, was intensely hostile towards the Jews. In 1793 residents of the suburb Razvan petitioned Prince Alexander Moruzi to expel the Jews who had recently settled in the area and to demolish the synagogue that they had built. Though the prince ordered that the synagogue be closed, he did not remove the Jews from Razvan and, in fact, issued a decree confirming his protection of them. In 1801 there were anti-Jewish riots following blood libel accusations, and 128 Jews were killed or wounded.

In 1819 Prince Alexandru Sutu officially acknowledged both the Sephardic ("Spanish") and Ashkenazi ("Polish") communities, allowing them to operate as separate entities. This continued until 1949 when the Communist regime once again forced the two communities to join together. By 1832 there were 10 Ashkenazi and one Sephardi synagogues in Bucharest. The Great Synagogue, which was Ashkenazi, was dedicated on Rosh Hashanah, 1847.

In spite of the impressive Great Synagogue, the Ashkenazi community of Bucharest had to deal with a number of fissures and tensions during the 19th century. There were tensions between those were born in Romania, and those who immigrated to Bucharest, who were not under the same system of taxation as the native Romanians. This led the immigrants within the Jewish community, who were considered "foreign subjects" to refuse to pay the tax levied on kosher meat. This was a problem, as this tax constituted the sole income of the community council. The authorities, who were drawn into the conflict, at first upheld the traditional rights of the Jewish communal organization. However, following repeated complaints from both sides, as well as constitutional changes that took place in Romania in 1832, the community was given a new constitution that greatly curtailed its autonomy. Instead of operating autonomously, it fell under the direct authority and close supervision of the municipality. Eventually, in 1851, the Prussian and Austrian subjects (about 300 families) were officially permitted to found a separate community.

The increasing influence of the Haskalah (Jewish Enlightenment), also led to tensions within the Ashkenazi community. It is important to note that this conflict also reflected the economics of the community; those in favor of the Haskalah and who wanted the community to undertake more progressive reforms tended to be from the upper classes, while those who were more traditional tended to be further down the socioeconomic ladder. At that time, the Bucharest Ashkenazi community was torn by strife between the Orthodox and progressive factions. The controversy began to center around a school with a modern curriculum that opened in 1852, as well as the proposal in 1857, led by Ya'akov Lobel, to build a Choral Temple, that would incorporate modern ideas and principles into its services. The appointment of Rabbi Meir Leib Malbim in 1858 as the chief rabbi did not help quell the disputes. Malbim was a fierce and uncompromising opponent of the Reform movement, and he quickly made enemies among Bucharest's Jewish elite. The conflicts between Malbim and those who were in favor of the Reform Movement came to a head in 1862, when Malbim was arrested. He was freed only after Sir Moses Montefiore intervened, and on the condition that he leave Romania. The Choral Synagogue was completed in 1867, and became the center for the modernists of the community.

Among the most prominent spiritual and religious leaders of the community before World War I were Antoine Levy and Moritz (Meir) Beck, who were rabbis of the Choir Temple Congregation from 1867 to 1869 and 1873 to 1923, respectively. Other outstanding figures within the Choir Temple community were Iuliu Barasch and Yitzchak Leib Weinberg. Yitzchak Esiik Taubes was the rabbi of the Orthodox Congregation from 1894 until 1921. The most prominent lay leader was Adolf Stern. Moscu Asher led the Sephardic community, and Rabbi Hayim Bejarano was a noted scholar and poet. Later, the lawyer and politician Wilhelm Filderman would become the president of the Union of Romanian Jews, and Rabbi Jacob Isaac Niemirower would be the country's first chief rabbi. Filderman, in fact, would in 1941 work successfully to annul the decree forcing Jews to wear an identifying badge.

Between the two World Wars the Bucharest community grew in both numbers and importance. The Jewish population of the city, which had become the capital of Greater Romania and attracted immigrants from all parts of the country, increased from 44,000 in 1912 to 74,480 (12% of the total population) in 1930 and 95,072 in 1940. Most Jews worked as artisans, merchants, clerks, and bankers. Others were active in professions such as medicine and law. Several ironworks and foundries were established by the end of the 19th century. Major Jewish business leaders at that time included Leon Abramovici, Sigmund Prager, and Adolph Solomon.

There were a number of Jewish schools in Bucharest, particularly at the turn of the 20th century. Among the most influential was the abovementioned school established in 1852 by Yisrael Pick and Naftali Popper. These founders sought to imbue their school with the Haskalah principles that they believed in, and the school became extremely influential on Jewish education in Romania. There were also vocational institutions serving Jewish workers, including the Ciocanul (Hammer) school which trained Jewish craft workers.

Communal institutions included over 40 synagogues, two cemeteries, 19 schools, a library and museum, two hospitals, a clinic, two homes for the elderly, and two orphanages. There was also a B'nai B'rith, as long as a number of social and cultural organizations serving the community. A number of newspapers also served the community; the first Jewish newspaper, "Israelitul roman," was founded in 1855 and written in Romanian and French. Other publications included "Fraternitatea," "Revista Israelita," "Egalitatea," and "Curierul Israelit." Yiddish and Hebrew language publications included "Et LeDaber," "HaYoetz," and the Zionist newspapers "Mantuirea" and "Hasmonaea." A Yiddish theater was established in the late 1870s, and reached its peak during the interwar period. This theater would later be banned under Ion Antonescu.

Anti-Semitism continued to be a problem for the Jews of Bucharest. In 1866 the visit of Adolph Cremieux, a French lawyer who advocated for the political emancipation of the Jews, resulted in Jewish synagogues and shops being vandalized. The rise of prominence of nationalist leader Alexandru C. Cuza spurred the development of a number of anti-Semitic organizations, many of which were centered at Bucharest University.

In September 1940, with the rise of the Antonescu-Iron Guard coalition, Bucharest became one of the new regime's main centers of the anti-Jewish activities. This culminated in a pogrom during the rebellion of the Legionary Movement; 120 Jews were killed, thousands were arrested and tortured, synagogues were desecrated, and Jewish homes, shops, and community buildings were looted and destroyed.

Until the end of the Antonescu regime in August 1944, the Jews of Bucharest were subjected anti-Semitic legislation and persecution. Jews were legally downgraded to second-class citizens. They could no longer access state-funded education or health care, and their property was confiscated. These restrictions had major economic effects on the community: in 1942 only 27.2% of the city's Jewish population of about 100,000 were registered as employed, compared with 54.3% of the non-Jewish population. In September 1942 several hundred Jews were deported to Transnistria, where many eventually perished. Thousands of other Jews, particularly the young, were required to work as forced laborers.

The lack of access to education, combined with the growing poverty of the Jewish community, spurred the need for the community to greatly expand their own educational and social welfare activities. In 1943 the Jewish community ran 27 schools and 21 soup kitchens. Bucharest became the center of relief activities for Romanian Jews.

The Jews of Bucharest were saved after Antonescu was deposed on August 23, 1944 and German forces were not able to entering the city. Though Adolf Eichmann had begun making preparations to deport Romania's Jews, the fierce opposition on the part of the Romanian army, coupled with the entry of the Soviet Army on August 30, 1944, prevented any of these plans from being carried out.

After World War II, large numbers of Jewish refugees and concentration camp survivors began arriving in the city; by 1947 the Jewish population had grown to 150,000. The Communist regime, which came to power in 1947, gradually closed all Jewish national, cultural, and social institutions in Bucharest. The welfare institutions were nationalized and the schools were absorbed into the general educational network. A state Yiddish school was opened in 1949, but closed a few years later. A State Yiddish Theater was founded in 1948 and a Yiddish drama school was established in 1957. Two Jewish newspapers, the Romanian "Unirea," followed later by "Viata Novua" and the Yiddish "Ikuf Bleter" were published. Of the 44,202 Jews (3.6% of the total population) registered in the city in the 1956 census, 4,425 of them declared Yiddish to be their mother tongue. In spite of the difficulties in living under a Communist regime, Rabbi Mozes Rosen was able to successfully navigate the opaque policies of the Romanian government, allowing Bucharest to continue to serve as the center of Jewish communal and cultural life.

The rise of Nicolae Ceausescu, who was the dictator of Romania between 1965 and 1989, prompted mass emigrations to Israel. In 1969 it was estimated that there were 50,000 Jews living in Bucharest; by the turn of the 21st century there were only about 4,000.
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Dumitru Solomon

Dumitru Solomon (1932-2003), playwright, essayist, dramatic chronicler, and professor of dramaturgy, born in Galați, Romania. He attended high school in Bârlad and in 1955 he graduated in Romanian philology at the Faculty of Romanian Language and Literature of the University of Bucharest. Between 1955-1962, he was editor of Gazeta literară, then head of department at Luceafărul, editor-in-chief of the magazine Teatrul azi (“Theater today”) until its closure in 1998. During 1998-2001 he was the chief editor of the magazine Scena (“The Stage”).

He started his literary career by publishing in Viața Românească literary magazine in 1953. His works include Problema intelectualului in opera lui Camil Petrescu (“The intellectual’s problem in the work of Camil Petrescu”, essay 1958); Dispariția (“Disappearance”, 1967), Socrate, Platon, Diogene câinele (“Socrates, Platon, Diogenes the dog; Theater as a metaphor”, (essay), 1974), Fata morgana. Scene din viața unui bădăran (“Fata morgana. Scenes from the life of a rude person", 1978), Scurt circuit la creier (“Short Circuit to the Brain”, 1978), Iluzia optică (“Optical illusion”, 1985), Desene rupestre (“Cave drawings”, 1985), Transfer de personalitate (“Personality transfer”, 1990), Oglindă (“Mirror “,1995), Repetabila scenă a balconului (“The Repeatable Balcony Scene”, 1996), Miriam și nisipurile mișcătoare (“Miriam and the moving sands “, 2002), Mihail Sebastian - Anii jurnalului. O sinteză scenică (“Mihail Sebastian - The years of the journal. A scenic synthesis”, 2007).

Solomon was awarded the Prize of the Romanian Academy (1978), and the Prize of the Romanian Writers' Union (1973). His play The Repeatable Balcony Scene was awarded the Prize for the best Romanian play for the year 1995.

Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People

Bucharest
Barlad
Galati
Bucharest

Romanian: Bucuresti

Capital of Romania

The historic Jewish district of Bucharest used to be centered around the Choral Temple, and spread from Piata Unirii east towards Dristor. However, most of the Jewish buildings that stood there were destroyed during the 1980s in order to make way for the Bulevardul Unirii. As of 2015, there remain a handful of points of Jewish interest in Bucharest, serving the community of approximately 3,500. The Choral Temple, the Yeshua Tova Synagogue, and the Great Polish Synagogue, continue to hold services; the latter also hosts the city's Holocaust Museum. The Beit Hamidrash Synagogue, which dates back to the late 18th century, is abandoned and decaying, though the structure itself is still (barely) standing. Another abandoned synagogue whose building still stands is the Hevra Amuna (Temple of Faith).

The Jewish History Museum (Muzeul de Istorie a Evreilor din Romania) is located in what was once a synagogue called the Holy Union Temple. The synagogue building itself was constructed in 1836; it began serving as a Jewish history museum in 1978. Mozes Rosen, the chief rabbi of Romania from 1964 until his death in 1994, founded the museum and provided a number of items for its collection.

The State Jewish Theater, which is located in Bucharest, is the oldest uninterrupted Yiddish-language theater in the world. The theater features plays by Jewish playwrights, plays about Jewish topics, and Yiddish plays that run simultaneous Romanian translations through headphones. The theater is located next to the Lauder-Reut Jewish school, which has over 400 students enrolled in its kindergarten, elementary, and middle schools.

HISTORY

The Jewish community of Bucharest was formed both by Sephardic Jews who arrived from the south, chiefly from the Otooman Empire, and later by Ashkenazi Jews arriving from the north. A responsum by the rabbi of Solonika during the 16th century that mentions a Sephardic community is the first documented evidence confirming the presence of Jews in Budapest. The Jewish community began to grow and prosper; some were even the creditors of the ruling princes. This economic success, however, eventually came at a steep price (pun intended); when Prince Michael the Brave revolved against the Turks in November 1593, he ordered that his creditors be killed, among whom were a number of Jews.

Ahskenazi Jews began arriving and establishing their own community towards the middle of the 17th century, drawn there after fleeing the Khmielnitski Massacres taking place in Ukraine. Their numbers grew, and eventually the Ashkenazi community became larger than the Sephardic community. For tax purposes, the Ashkenazi and Sephardic communities were organized into a single community by the state, and were forced to pay a fixed tax to the treasury. Meanwhile, the general population, afraid of economic competition, was intensely hostile towards the Jews. In 1793 residents of the suburb Razvan petitioned Prince Alexander Moruzi to expel the Jews who had recently settled in the area and to demolish the synagogue that they had built. Though the prince ordered that the synagogue be closed, he did not remove the Jews from Razvan and, in fact, issued a decree confirming his protection of them. In 1801 there were anti-Jewish riots following blood libel accusations, and 128 Jews were killed or wounded.

In 1819 Prince Alexandru Sutu officially acknowledged both the Sephardic ("Spanish") and Ashkenazi ("Polish") communities, allowing them to operate as separate entities. This continued until 1949 when the Communist regime once again forced the two communities to join together. By 1832 there were 10 Ashkenazi and one Sephardi synagogues in Bucharest. The Great Synagogue, which was Ashkenazi, was dedicated on Rosh Hashanah, 1847.

In spite of the impressive Great Synagogue, the Ashkenazi community of Bucharest had to deal with a number of fissures and tensions during the 19th century. There were tensions between those were born in Romania, and those who immigrated to Bucharest, who were not under the same system of taxation as the native Romanians. This led the immigrants within the Jewish community, who were considered "foreign subjects" to refuse to pay the tax levied on kosher meat. This was a problem, as this tax constituted the sole income of the community council. The authorities, who were drawn into the conflict, at first upheld the traditional rights of the Jewish communal organization. However, following repeated complaints from both sides, as well as constitutional changes that took place in Romania in 1832, the community was given a new constitution that greatly curtailed its autonomy. Instead of operating autonomously, it fell under the direct authority and close supervision of the municipality. Eventually, in 1851, the Prussian and Austrian subjects (about 300 families) were officially permitted to found a separate community.

The increasing influence of the Haskalah (Jewish Enlightenment), also led to tensions within the Ashkenazi community. It is important to note that this conflict also reflected the economics of the community; those in favor of the Haskalah and who wanted the community to undertake more progressive reforms tended to be from the upper classes, while those who were more traditional tended to be further down the socioeconomic ladder. At that time, the Bucharest Ashkenazi community was torn by strife between the Orthodox and progressive factions. The controversy began to center around a school with a modern curriculum that opened in 1852, as well as the proposal in 1857, led by Ya'akov Lobel, to build a Choral Temple, that would incorporate modern ideas and principles into its services. The appointment of Rabbi Meir Leib Malbim in 1858 as the chief rabbi did not help quell the disputes. Malbim was a fierce and uncompromising opponent of the Reform movement, and he quickly made enemies among Bucharest's Jewish elite. The conflicts between Malbim and those who were in favor of the Reform Movement came to a head in 1862, when Malbim was arrested. He was freed only after Sir Moses Montefiore intervened, and on the condition that he leave Romania. The Choral Synagogue was completed in 1867, and became the center for the modernists of the community.

Among the most prominent spiritual and religious leaders of the community before World War I were Antoine Levy and Moritz (Meir) Beck, who were rabbis of the Choir Temple Congregation from 1867 to 1869 and 1873 to 1923, respectively. Other outstanding figures within the Choir Temple community were Iuliu Barasch and Yitzchak Leib Weinberg. Yitzchak Esiik Taubes was the rabbi of the Orthodox Congregation from 1894 until 1921. The most prominent lay leader was Adolf Stern. Moscu Asher led the Sephardic community, and Rabbi Hayim Bejarano was a noted scholar and poet. Later, the lawyer and politician Wilhelm Filderman would become the president of the Union of Romanian Jews, and Rabbi Jacob Isaac Niemirower would be the country's first chief rabbi. Filderman, in fact, would in 1941 work successfully to annul the decree forcing Jews to wear an identifying badge.

Between the two World Wars the Bucharest community grew in both numbers and importance. The Jewish population of the city, which had become the capital of Greater Romania and attracted immigrants from all parts of the country, increased from 44,000 in 1912 to 74,480 (12% of the total population) in 1930 and 95,072 in 1940. Most Jews worked as artisans, merchants, clerks, and bankers. Others were active in professions such as medicine and law. Several ironworks and foundries were established by the end of the 19th century. Major Jewish business leaders at that time included Leon Abramovici, Sigmund Prager, and Adolph Solomon.

There were a number of Jewish schools in Bucharest, particularly at the turn of the 20th century. Among the most influential was the abovementioned school established in 1852 by Yisrael Pick and Naftali Popper. These founders sought to imbue their school with the Haskalah principles that they believed in, and the school became extremely influential on Jewish education in Romania. There were also vocational institutions serving Jewish workers, including the Ciocanul (Hammer) school which trained Jewish craft workers.

Communal institutions included over 40 synagogues, two cemeteries, 19 schools, a library and museum, two hospitals, a clinic, two homes for the elderly, and two orphanages. There was also a B'nai B'rith, as long as a number of social and cultural organizations serving the community. A number of newspapers also served the community; the first Jewish newspaper, "Israelitul roman," was founded in 1855 and written in Romanian and French. Other publications included "Fraternitatea," "Revista Israelita," "Egalitatea," and "Curierul Israelit." Yiddish and Hebrew language publications included "Et LeDaber," "HaYoetz," and the Zionist newspapers "Mantuirea" and "Hasmonaea." A Yiddish theater was established in the late 1870s, and reached its peak during the interwar period. This theater would later be banned under Ion Antonescu.

Anti-Semitism continued to be a problem for the Jews of Bucharest. In 1866 the visit of Adolph Cremieux, a French lawyer who advocated for the political emancipation of the Jews, resulted in Jewish synagogues and shops being vandalized. The rise of prominence of nationalist leader Alexandru C. Cuza spurred the development of a number of anti-Semitic organizations, many of which were centered at Bucharest University.

In September 1940, with the rise of the Antonescu-Iron Guard coalition, Bucharest became one of the new regime's main centers of the anti-Jewish activities. This culminated in a pogrom during the rebellion of the Legionary Movement; 120 Jews were killed, thousands were arrested and tortured, synagogues were desecrated, and Jewish homes, shops, and community buildings were looted and destroyed.

Until the end of the Antonescu regime in August 1944, the Jews of Bucharest were subjected anti-Semitic legislation and persecution. Jews were legally downgraded to second-class citizens. They could no longer access state-funded education or health care, and their property was confiscated. These restrictions had major economic effects on the community: in 1942 only 27.2% of the city's Jewish population of about 100,000 were registered as employed, compared with 54.3% of the non-Jewish population. In September 1942 several hundred Jews were deported to Transnistria, where many eventually perished. Thousands of other Jews, particularly the young, were required to work as forced laborers.

The lack of access to education, combined with the growing poverty of the Jewish community, spurred the need for the community to greatly expand their own educational and social welfare activities. In 1943 the Jewish community ran 27 schools and 21 soup kitchens. Bucharest became the center of relief activities for Romanian Jews.

The Jews of Bucharest were saved after Antonescu was deposed on August 23, 1944 and German forces were not able to entering the city. Though Adolf Eichmann had begun making preparations to deport Romania's Jews, the fierce opposition on the part of the Romanian army, coupled with the entry of the Soviet Army on August 30, 1944, prevented any of these plans from being carried out.

After World War II, large numbers of Jewish refugees and concentration camp survivors began arriving in the city; by 1947 the Jewish population had grown to 150,000. The Communist regime, which came to power in 1947, gradually closed all Jewish national, cultural, and social institutions in Bucharest. The welfare institutions were nationalized and the schools were absorbed into the general educational network. A state Yiddish school was opened in 1949, but closed a few years later. A State Yiddish Theater was founded in 1948 and a Yiddish drama school was established in 1957. Two Jewish newspapers, the Romanian "Unirea," followed later by "Viata Novua" and the Yiddish "Ikuf Bleter" were published. Of the 44,202 Jews (3.6% of the total population) registered in the city in the 1956 census, 4,425 of them declared Yiddish to be their mother tongue. In spite of the difficulties in living under a Communist regime, Rabbi Mozes Rosen was able to successfully navigate the opaque policies of the Romanian government, allowing Bucharest to continue to serve as the center of Jewish communal and cultural life.

The rise of Nicolae Ceausescu, who was the dictator of Romania between 1965 and 1989, prompted mass emigrations to Israel. In 1969 it was estimated that there were 50,000 Jews living in Bucharest; by the turn of the 21st century there were only about 4,000.

Barlad

Bârlad, Birlad

A city in Vaslui County, Romania.

The Jewish community there is first attested in 1738 when the Prince of Moldavia, Gregor Ghica, appointed Marco (Mordecai) as leader (Starosty) of the Jews of Barlad according to ancient custom. A row of Jewish stores is mentioned in 1767 and a Jewish street in 1819; 53 Jewish households were recorded in 1803.

In 1838 the Jews were accused of desecrating Christian holy objects, and 23 notables of the community, including three women, were imprisoned. They were released only after payment of a heavy fine. In December 1867, there was an outbreak of violence when the Jews were accused of murdering an anti-Semitic priest.

The community numbered 2,000 in 1859, 5,883 (24% of the total) in 1899, about one-third of the merchants and artisans in the city being Jews, and 3,727 in 1930 (14% of the total), mainly occupied in commerce (many as clerks) and as artisans. There were then in Barlad a Jewish kindergarten and two Jewish schools, for boys and for girls. In 1941 there were 3,063 Jews living in Barlad.

Antonescu's rise to power in September 1940 marked the beginning of their economic repression, including the confiscation of property. All the Jewish men, including professionals, were sent on forced labor; but the latter were released when their Romanian colleagues rallied to their side and threatened to join them on forced labor.

On the outbreak of war against the Soviet Union in June 1941 all the Jews from the villages and towns in the district were expelled and sent to Barlad. Sources of livelihood were scarce, and the community had to take care of the unemployed; 200 families were subsidized in 1940 and by 1943 their number had grown to 600. The community also opened its own secondary school for the Jewish children who had been dismissed from the public secondary schools. Four men who had been deported to Transnistria eventually returned to Barlad.

In 1969, 100 Jewish families lived in Barlad. There was one synagogue.

Galati

Port on the river Danube, in Moldova, eastern Romania.

Jews first settled in Galati at the end of the 16th century. There are Jewish tombstones dating from between 1590 and 1595. A second cemetery was established in 1629 and a third in 1774. Until the beginning of the 18th century the chevra kaddisha was responsible for the communal administration.

Following a blood libel in 1796, outrages were perpetrated against the Jews. In 1812 Greek revolutionaries, who entered the town, set fire to several synagogues, and in 1842 there were renewed attacks on the community by local Greeks. In 1846 anti-Jewish outbreaks again occurred in which synagogues were looted and Jewish houses and shops were destroyed. In 1859, in a similar attack, many Jews were killed.

In 1867 a number of Jews among those expelled from catastrophe provoked a storm of protest throughout Europe. The Jewish bakers were expelled from Galati for refusing to break the strike of their fellow workers and party members in 1893.

The Jewish population numbered 14,500 in 1894, 12,000 in 1910 ( 22% of the total), 19,912 in 1930 (20%), and 13,000 in 1942.

Jewish artisans and merchants contributed considerably to the city's economic and commercial development.
Before World War II the community had 22 synagogues, a secondary school, two elementary schools for boys and one for girls, a kindergarten, a trade school, a hospital, an orphanage, an old-age home, and two ritual bathhouses. There was also a cultural- religious society, a Zionist society, a youth organization Tze'irei Zion, and a "culture" club.
The Jews in Galati were subjected to constant persecution by the pro-Nazi authorities during World War II. The community was not destroyed during the Holocaust, but subsequently diminished through emigration. It numbered 13,000 in 1947, 9,000 in 1950, and 450 families in 1969, with two synagogues.

SOLOMON
SOLOMON

Surnames derive from one of many different origins. Sometimes there may be more than one explanation for the same name. This family name is a patronymic surname based on a male ancestor's personal name, in this case of biblical origin.

Solomon is a form of the Hebrew Shlomo, meaning "man of peace", a biblical personal name whose root is Shalom, meaning "peace". Solomon, the son of King David and Bath Sheba, was the third king of Israel and Judah. Many Jewish family names have developed from Shlomo/Solomon/Salomon and its variants. Solomon is documented in the 7th century in France; Salman in 1090 in Germany; Salemanus in 1200, also in Germany; Salmon (1290), Saulmon (1306), Salmannus (1334) and Salamon (1388) in France; Scholem in 1495 in Germany; Sollomon in 1668 in America; Salom in 1713 in the Antilles; Salmonaba in 1715 in Italy; Schlam in 1717 in Germany; Salme, Schlomen, Schlumen, Scholum and Schaulom in 1784 in Alsace; Salimen in 1798 in America; Salem in the 18th century in the Netherlands; Salmang in 1831 in Germany; and Salomson in 1855 in America. In the mid 20th century, Solomon families in France changed their names to Aumond and Laumont, and the Polish variant Solomonowicz (meaning "Solomon's son") was Frenchified to Alamont.

Arabic forms of Solomon include Sellam, Saloma, Calama and Suleyman. Variants like Salaman, Salmen, Zalman, Zalkind, Zalkin, Zalheim, Zaling, Zalinger, Salinger and Zeling became frequent in Central and Eastern European countries.

Distinguished bearers of the Jewish family name Solomon include the English-born sheriff of St. Helena and consul of France and the Netherlands, Saul Solomon (1775-1850); the 19th/20th century Lithuanian-born American rabbi Elias Louis Solomon; the 20th century Indian community leader David Solomon and the 20th century Romanian poet and translator Petre Solomon.