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Updated December 26, 2004

Lev Agranovich
89 Needham #2344
Newton, MA 02461
United States

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Romny , city in S.W. Sumy oblast , Ukraina . The beginnings of a Jewish community date from the 18th century . In 1803 there were 127 Jews in the town , and in 1847 the Jews numbered 759 . The community developed rapidly after the opening of the Romny-Libava railway line ( 1874 ) , which became one of the important trade arteries of western Russia . From 1863 to 1901 Eliezer Arlosoroff served as the local rabbi . Tensions arising from economic competition between Jews and Christians resulted in pogroms in 1881 and , most seriously,
in October 1905 . In 1897 there were 6,378 Jews in Romny ( 28.3% of the total population ) ; on the eve of World War 1 the number was estimated at 13,400 ( 43% of the total population ) . During the war thousands of refugees from the battle areas flied to Romny . Under the Soviet regime Romny declined economically with a resultant loss of population . By 1926 only 8,593 Jews ( about 33% of the population ) remained . Jewish public life was stifled and during the Nazi occupation all the Jews who did not succeed in escaping from the town were exterminated . In 1959 there were about 1,100 Jews ( about 3% of the total population ) living in Romny .

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