TAURAGE (Ger. Tauroggen ), town in W. Lithuania (referred to by Jews as Tavrig). From 1795 until the establishment of independent Lithuania after World War i, it was a town in the province of Kovno within the limits of the *Pale of Settlement. In 1847 there were 410 Jews in the town; after 1850 the community increased and in 1897 numbered 3,364 (54.6% of the total population). At the beginning of the 20th century the local rabbi, Abraham Aaron Burstein, founded a yeshivah which existed until World War i. When the Jewish population was expelled from the battle zone during the war the Jews of Taurage were also evacuated (May 1915) to inner Russia, and the community ceased to exist. After the war the community did not recover its former status. In 1923 there were 1,772 Jews (32.5% of the population) and the community supported a Hebrew secondary school. In 1936 a *blood libel was circulated and riots were prevented only because of the community's *self-defense organization. When the Germans occupied Taurage during World War ii, the Jews were concentrated in a ghetto, and after a few months they were massacred. S.P. *Rabbinowitz was born in Taurage.
Lite, 1 (1951), 1221–23, 1584–85; Yahadut Lita (1959), 61.