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IVANOVO (Pol. Janów Poleski ; in Jewish sources Janovi al-Yad Pinsk ), town in Brest-Litovsk district, Belarus. The first Jews settled in Ivanovo during the 1620s. The Jews of Ivanovo were subordinated to the jurisdiction of the community of *Pinsk. Prior to the *Chmielnicki uprising (1648–49) the Jewish population already had community status. The Jews presumably earned their livelihoods from trade, leasing of estate lands, and production of alcoholic beverages. According to the 1765 census there were 422 Jews living in and near the town. At the beginning of the 19th century the Ḥasidim of the *Stolin and Lubieszow dynasties gained adherents among the Jews of Ivanovo, although the majority remained *Mitnaggedim. In 1847 the 1,283 Jews of the town formed about 56% of its population. The wealthier ones then began to engage in the acquisition and sale of forest products. By 1897 the number of Jews in Ivanovo had increased to 1,875 (about 62% of the total population). In the second half of the 19th century, Jews were engaged in petty trade and crafts, mostly as tailors, shoemakers, carpenters, furriers, etc. Their rabbi was Joshua Aryeh Leib, author of Miẓpeh Aryeh and son of R. Samuel Avigdor of Karlin. At the beginning of the 20th century Jews established flour mills, a large lumber mill, an oil press, a tannery, and a small electric power station. Zionist societies were active from the beginning of the 20th century. The Hebrew educator and teacher Israel Judah (Jesse) Adler and the Hebrew poet Berl *Pomerantz lived in Ivanovo.

In the early 20th century there emerged a class of Jewish salaried workers employed in construction, carpentry, and the processing of hides, hogs' bristles, and furs. The 1921 census recorded 1,988 Jews (65% of the population) in the town. A great fire which broke out in 1929 destroyed 75 houses belonging to Jews; 120 Jewish families were left homeless. Damage to Jewish property amounted to the sum of 1,500,000 zlotys. In the early 1930s the Jewish quarter was completely renovated. Between the two World Wars a *Tarbut school operated in the town as well as a branch of the Bet Yosef yeshivah of Pinsk (except between 1929 and 1935). A highway running between Pinsk and Brest and passing through the town promoted the export of wood, grain, and cattle to central Poland and the West via Danzig.

Holocaust Period

After two years of Soviet rule, when all Jewish businesses were nationalized and Jewish institutions and organizations were closed, the Germans entered Ivanovo on June 25, 1941. On August 5 an ss cavalry unit murdered around 420 Jewish men. The chairman of the Judenrat, Alter Diwinski (former head of the community), successfully organized the supply of food and medicines to the community; he was later murdered by the Nazis because of his opposition to further "selections" from the Jewish population. A ghetto was established on Passover eve, 1942, where living conditions were extremely difficult – 60 persons to a small house. Outside the ghetto boundaries some 300 youths worked at a lumber mill and 50 others were employed in railroad maintenance. The ghetto was liquidated two days after the Day of Atonement, on September 24, 1942, when most of the Jews in Ivanovo were massacred. Those working at the lumber mill were murdered on September 25, 1942, and 62 artisans were killed in mid-October. A few dozen Jews, mainly young ones, succeeded in escaping to the forests, where they joined partisan units. About 100 Jews survived; all left for the West, most of them for Israel. No Jews were living in Ivanovo after World War ii.


M. Nadav (ed.), Yanov al-yad Pinsk, Sefer Zikkaron (1969); S. Dubnow (ed.), Pinkas ha-Medinah (1925); Z. Rabinowitz, Ha-Ḥasidut ha-Lita'it (1960), 10, 146; B. Wasiutyński, Ludność żydowska w Polsce w xix wieku (1930), 83. add. bibliography: pk.

[Arthur Cygielman /

Shmuel Spector (2nd ed.)]