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PLEVEN (Plevna ), city in N. Bulgaria. During Byzantine rule, there was a Jewish community in Pleven. This community later included Hungarian Jewish refugees, who had been expelled in 1376, Walachian refugees who fled during the revolt of Vlad V in 1461 against Sultan Mehmed II, Jews of Bavaria who were expelled in 1470, Spanish refugees, and again Hungarian refugees, who came after the conquest of Hungary by *Suleiman the Magnificent in 1526. During the 16th century, there were Ashkenazi, Hungarian, and Sephardi communities in Pleven which united into one general community. After the great fire of 1582, a single synagogue was built, but apart from the Sephardi ritual the different communities partly kept their customs. In 1593 Michael of Wallachia rebelled against Sultan Murad III and burned the town, taking many Jews prisoner. The Jews of Pleven traded in hides and copper and also wove cloths. During the invasion of the city by the adventurer Ottoman Pazvanoğlu in 1799, the Jews took up arms in self-defense. In 1877, they fled to Sofia before the Russian invasion, but after a time, the community was reorganized. In 1910 there were 623 Jews in Pleven and in 1928, 550. After the establishment of the State of Israel, most of the Jews of Pleven, like almost all Bulgarian Jewry, immigrated there. In 2004 there was a community of around 90 Jews affiliated to the local branch of the nationwide Shalom organization.


Rosanes, Togarmah, 7 (19302), 62, 115, 221, 252–3. and passim; idem, in: Yevreyska Tribuna (1928), 120–33, 172–80.

[Simon Marcus /

Emil Kalo (2nd ed.)]

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