views updated


KOROSTEN (or Iskorost ), Zhitomir district, Ukraine. Although a Jewish leaseholder is mentioned in 1618, the Jewish community began to develop only in the 19th century with the increase of traffic through the railroad junction. The 331 Jews in Korosten in 1847 had grown to 1,299 (49% of the population) in 1897. When convoys of troops passed through the town in 1919, the Jews suffered severely and in that same year they were the victims of a pogrom perpetrated by the forces of Simon *Petlyura in February 1919, and by the Red Army on March 13, 1919. In 1926, 6,089 Jews (50.7% of the population) lived in Korosten. In October 1926 a gathering of 90 Ukrainian rabbis and 1,500 guests was held there, headed by R. Shlomo Zevin (later a well-known rabbi in Jerusalem). Jewish workers were employed in an iron foundry, and furniture and porcelain factories. They also worked on the railroad and in nine artisan cooperatives. There were two Yiddish schools with an enrollment of 1,000 in 1934. In 1939 Jews numbered 10,991 (35.7% of the total population). The Germans occupied the town on August 8, 1941. Most of the Jews were evacuated or fled. The Germans murdered 770 Jews in September 1941 and about 1,000 in March 1942. After the war, when the town was rebuilt and enlarged, many Jews took up residence there and in 1959 they numbered 6,800 (17.9% of the population). Most left in the 1990s, but a yeshivah and day school were active.

[Yehuda Slutsky /

Shmuel Spector (2nd ed.)]