views updated


IVYE (in rabbinical literature, איווי; Pol. Iwje ), small town in Grodno district, Belarus. Jews settled there in the first quarter of the 17th century. In 1720 there was already a well-established Jewish community in Ivye, which is often mentioned in the record of the Lithuanian Council with regard to taxation (see *Councils of the Lands). The Jews of the town and its immediate vicinity derived their livelihood from innkeeping, the distillation of brandy, the lease of estates, hawking, and the management of dairies. There were 804 Jews in Ivye in 1847. In 1891, following the outbreak of a fire in which some 100 Jewish houses were damaged, many left the town, and by 1897 only 573 remained (total population 3,653). In this period the Jews were engaged in wholesale trade in grain, flax, and other agricultural products as well as and petty trade, crafts, and some farming. In the mid-19th century, Rabbi Solomon David Grodzenski established a yeshivah in the town. A Ẓe'irei Zion circle was organized in 1917. In 1921, after the town was annexed by Poland, the Jewish population of Ivye numbered 2,076 (c. 76% of the population). It grew to around 3,000 by 1938. During the 1920s a Hebrew *Tarbut school, a national-religious Yavneh school, and a Jewish elementary school for girls were established. From summer 1933 until September 1939 the "Beit Yosef " yeshivah was active. Among the well-known personalities originating from the town were R. Moses Ivyer, a friend of the Gaon of Vilna; Ḥayyim Ozer *Grodzinski; Isaac b. Jacob Ashkenaz, the author of Berit Olam (1820); the family of Izhak *Ben-Zvi; R. Isaac Kosovsky, and Shakhne Epstein, who was editor of Der Emes in Moscow in the 1930s and in 1942–45 secretary general of the *Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee and editor of Einikeit.

[Arthur Cygielman /

Shmuel Spector (2nd ed.)]

Holocaust Period

During the period of Soviet rule (1939–41), Jewish communal institutions were dissolved, activity by Zionist parties and youth movements was banned, and the Hebrew Tarbut School became a state school in Yiddish. With the outbreak of war between Germany and the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, Jewish youths were mobilized into the Red Army; others attempted to reach the Soviet interior. On July 1, 1941, the city was captured by the Germans and one month later, on the Ninth of Av (August 2, 1941), approximately 225 members of the Jewish intelligentsia were murdered. In September 1941 the Jews were concentrated into a special quarter of the town. Jews from the surrounding towns were brought in and the population swelled to around 4,000. On May 8, 1942, the ghetto was surrounded by the German army and police and on May 12 an Aktion took place in which about 2,550 people (1,424 women, 500 men, and 626 children and infants) were murdered. Subsequently an underground organization arose, which began to acquire arms, and attempted to make contact with the partisans in the nearby forests. One group left the ghetto and reached the partisan camp of Tuvia Bielsky. At the end of 1942 and the beginning of 1943 the systematic murder continued. On Jan. 20, 1943, 1,100 Jews were transferred to Borisov (near Minsk) and perished there shortly after. In March a small group was sent to the Lida ghetto, in August 70 were transferred to a labor camp near Smolensk, and the last Jews were sent to the Sobibor and Majdanek death camps in September 1943. The city was declared " Judenrein." Jewish communal life was not renewed after the war. Most of the survivors left the U.S.S.R. for Poland and went from there to Israel or other countries.

[Aharon Weiss /

Shmuel Spector (2nd ed.)]


S. Dubnow, Pinkas ha-Medinah (1925), index; M. Kaganowitz (ed.), Sefer Zikkaron li-Kehillat Ivye (Heb. and Yid., 1968). add. bibliography: pk.

About this article


Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article