The set up
of the royal residence was during the reign of Stefan the Great, a few
years after the Turks conquered the castles Chilia and Cetatea Alba
(1484), and it's supposed that a part of the population from these lands
ran to Husi for cover, enlarging the number of inhabitants and making it
more and more like a city, administratively and economically. A document
is given in 1526 by Bogdan, the son of Stefan The Great, which gives
cereal merchant DAVID FRISOF, the right to gather cereals for the royal
Researcher HAIM BEINARTI appreciates that at the end of the XVth century,
in Moldova there were 20.000 Jews. In the XVI-XVII century, their number
began to grow, reaching 50.000.
After certain names kept in the local topology it seems that Jewish
merchants and workers settled here around the year 1600. This is
registered in a document from the archive of The Bishopric of Husi,
dated 8th of January 1604, on a list of 25 bad tax payers, 7 were Jews.
The numbers of Jews in Husi grew in the time of fanariotes, even more
after the document released by Constantin Mavrocordat, lord of Moldavia.
He gives, on the 2nd of april 1747, the priviledge of foreigners, among
which there were Jews, to settle here.
From the "History of the Bishopric of Husi", written by the Bishop of
Husi, Melchisedec Stefanescu, it seems that in 1747, there were 212
Jewish families in Husi, 1024 Jews in total. Some of them were merchants
others were workers, and only a few were farmers.
The cemetery of Jews situated on str. Calarasi nr. 1 demonstrates the
long time Jews settled here, the cemetery was set up in 1680 on a
terrain bought by the Bishopric. The document made between Jews and the
Bishopric of Husi for the terrain was made in 1676, but was signed by
the lord only two years later (in 1679), and the cemetery was set up in
1680. The second cemetery, that exist even today, was set up in 1880.
The Jews had a direct contribution on the development in all the places
that they settled along the time, through their occupations as workers
and merchants, making cities from villages.
in 1845, the report between Jewish workers and merchants and the local
or foreign. At every 6048 Jewish merchants in Moldova, there were 3901
locals and 1066 foreign. In workers, at every 5153 Jews, 4620 local and
In 1859, Husi population was made of 13.500 inhabitants. There were 2516
foreigners and 2500 of the were Jews, 5 Germans, 2 polish, 6 Greeks and 3
The life of the community respected the laws of the country, but it was
organized on it's own rules of living. The first form of official
organization was "The Guild of Jews", and the leader was an abbot. After
that there was Hevra kadosa (The Sacred Brotherhood), set up in 1775 by
rabbi LEVY ISAC SEGALL. This legalizes the life of Jews and sets up it's
own system of helping and study, plus the control of the sanity and
hygiene of Jews.
The bug synagogue of Husi was constructed in 1794, and each guild had
it's own synagogue (Furriers synagogue, Tailors synagogue, Big Klaus
synagogue, Bet Hamidras Synagogue, Postelnicu synagogue). There was a
special Jewish hospital, a Jewish hall, a ritual Jewish baths with tubs
and steam (1880), a home for old people and a public library.
From all the Jewish families that settled in Husi before 1800, as seen
in some documents, we can mention: FRISOF, LEIBA, SILBERMAN, OVICI,
NACHIM, STEINBERG. They were merchants, bankers, fabricators and
After the XVIIIth century the Community appeared as an organization formed of
Jews. This was a laic and religious form, being reigned by a committee,
which was presided by the rabbi in most cases, who was elected every 2
years. The first president was elected in 1738, NAFTALI BERCOVICI.
Another well known president was doctor CARP AZRIL, director of the
Jewish hospital, names "doctor of the poor" because he didn't ask for
money from the poor, locals or Jews. He was president of the community
two times, between 1895-1908 and 1928-1939. DAVID ALMOGEN (born 1846)
was one of he most known doctors. Director of the Jewish hospital and
then the city hospital, he participated at the independence war where he
created the first ambulance in Romania.
Many of the intellectuals of Husi are from Jewish families, from
teachers, news writers, doctors, lawyers to engineers, plastic artists,
scientists and universitary professors.
Here is a list of the best known Jewish doctors from Husi:
DAVID ALMOGEN, CARP
AZRIL, HERSCOVICI ITZHAC, FROIMOVICI ISAC, STERNBERG USER, GHILTMAN
IANCU (director of the Hospital of Husi), SILBERMAN PUIU, JEAN SCHNEER,
MOSENSOHN ZAHARIA, AUREL SCHNEER, AUREL SCHROTTER (director of the
Hospital of Husi), ZAMBILOVICI ZAHARIA (since 1953 - chief doctor of the
capital and then director of the Hospital for Children Cotroceni).
Among lawyers there are MARCU TERDIMAN and DANIEL SEGAL who was the
chief of the Bar of Husi, then the Bar of Bucharest and the General
Second Prosecutor. After retirement he was chosen general secretary of
the Federation of Jewish Communities in Romania.
News writers: ANTON FARSTEIN (CELARU), SANDA FARSTEIN (FAUR) and HERA
MIRON RUBINSTEIN, nautical engineer, he was the chief of the projection
section at the Galati Shipyard ant then director of the Haifa Shipyard.
A very well known painter in Romania was
In 1939 the Jewish community in Husi had gotten to 5000 people, a third
of the cities population. There where four rabies (ALTER BERIS, RICHTER
BENIAMIN, ROZENFELD ITZIC, SCHETER NESE), two rabbi helpers, and many
servants of the church. Most of the business man in the city were Jews.
During the World War Two the Jewish Central was set up, that represented
the Jews in front of the Government. In Husi the Jews were represented
by doctor STERNBERG OSCAR as president and CALMAN-CAROL STEIMBERG,
When the antijewish legislation appeared, all their properties were
confiscated by the state.
The contribution of Jews to the development of the city until 1939 was
considerable because 2/3 of the commerce, workers and city banks were
theirs. Over 80% of the workers from Husi were Jews. Some of the most
There were two manufactories owned by the RUBISTEIN brothers, a big
timber manufacture of FRISHOF BEARL, tailories, the biggest one was
owned by CAROL STEIMBERG. The most famous merchant was MARCU RAITER,
owner of 50 ha of vineyards and 4 crops of cereal on Prut and Danube.
With 4 crops on cereal on the Danube and Prut and a warehouse in Galati,
plus 18 ha of vineyards had the society OVICI, KREIMER & STEIMBERG.
Other important merchants: NACHIM OSIAS, FRISHOF BEILA, BROCHMAN MOISA
(librarian), ZELIGZON ITZHAK (cinema), SCHROTTER ZAHARIA (gas warehouse)
and the BRANDT pharmacy.
Jews had at Husi a cultural society name "FRATERNA" and a library
"CULTURA", set up for the whole city.
After World War Two, during the communism, all the properties of Jewish
business men and their homes and shops were confiscated. The exceptions
were the homes of the ones not considers "enemy of the people" or
"exploiter". Only the little shops got away, but these to were forced to
join workers guilds. This way the emigration of the Jews was forced.
The lack of funds from donations made that the city synagogues and other
constructions of the community to fall apart and only one synagogue
remained, that is only open two times a year. The graveyards were kept
and, thanks to an initiative of the Community of Jews, money were
gathered from the people from Husi that live in Israel, for the repairs
needed by the cemetery. Even if the sum wasn't big, it was enough for
repairing the fence and the mortuary chamber. The cemetery in Calarasi
st. is one of the oldest in the country.
Now, 26 Jews live in Husi, and only 5 of them are less than 50 years