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MOINESTI (Rom. Moineşti ), town in Moldavia, E. central Romania. Tombstones from 1740 and 1748 prove the existence of a Jewish settlement predating the foundation of the town (1781) and dating back to the discovery of oil in the vicinity. There were 42 Jewish taxpayers in 1820, 500 families in 1885, and 2,398 individuals in 1899 (50.6% of the total population). The community was organized in 1885 and had five prayer houses, a ritual bath, and a primary school for boys (founded in 1893) as well as one for girls (1900). The locality played a prominent role in the history of the colonization of Ereẓ Israel. Jews from Moinesti were the founders of Rosh *Pinnah. In 1881 a group of 50 families was organized which sent David *Schub as a delegate to Ereẓ Israel. He purchased the plots of land where 22 families settled in the summer of 1882, together with several families from other Moldavian cities. The Moinesti Jews addressed a call to all the Romanian Jews; the pre-Zionist movement Yishuv Ereẓ Israel was subsequently established. Between the two world wars the number of the Jews decreased to 1,761 (26.6% of the total). After emancipation (1919), there were Jewish members on the municipal council and in 1930 Moinesti even elected a Jew as deputy mayor. Tristan *Tzara (Sami Rosenstein), a founder of the Dadaist movement, was born in Moinesti.

In World War ii the Jews of Moinesti were expelled to Botoșani. About 80 families returned after the war. The Jewish population numbered 480 in 1947, 400 in 1950, and about 15 families in 1969.


pk Romanyah, 177–9; E. Schwarzfeld, Impopularea, reîmpopularea si íntemeierea tîrgurilor si tîrgușoarelor în Moldova (1914), 40, 44, 85; I. Klausner, Ḥibbat Ẓiyyon be-Rumanyah (1958).

[Theodor Lavi]

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