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Yad Vashem The Story of the Jewish Community of Bălţi, Romania (today Moldova)

The History of Bălţi before the Holocaust

Educational Institutions

  • Female students at the Bălţi Hebrew Gymnasium (school) with the teaching staff, 1928
  • Students at the "Great Talmud Torah" (Di Groyse) in Bălţi with the administrative committee and staff, 1929. Seated: the teachers Schuster (right), Weinstock (second from right), Dubinovsky (eighth from right) and the principal Weinberg (center). Sadly, we only have this damaged copy of the picture
  • Bălţi Talmud Torah students receiving lunch at school
  • Kindergarten near the Hebrew Gymnasium (school) in Bălţi, 1932. Center, from right – Frida Fridman, the principal. Next to her – Lerner, the assistant
  • Elementary school next to the Hebrew Gymnasium (school) in Bălţi, under the leadership of Yeshayahu Tumarkin (middle row, sixth from right)
  • Bălţi Hebrew Gymnasium (school)
  • Students at pre-military camp in Kishinev, summer 1938. Right – Vitia Goichman, fifth from right – Yosef Mazur
  • The Romanian Gymnasium (school) for girls' in Bălţi, "Domania Alna"

Jewish education in Bălţi extended from kindergarten through elementary school up until the Hebrew Gymnasium (school), which was of a secular Jewish, Zionist character. The Jewish child was educated from kindergarten age to sing songs about Eretz Israel and to familiarize themselves – through pictures and films – with the way of life in the Jewish homeland, aided especially by the JNF. Emissaries from Eretz Israel would come periodically to Bălţi to distribute the "blue boxes" for collecting donations.

The Jewish educational system in Bălţi joined forces with the enlightened teachers, who were diligently trained and devoted to education. The Jewish teachers of the town were active in the "Tarbut" (Culture) educational network from the day it was established. They joined every committee of the network, were among the designers of the Jewish educational framework across Bessarabia, and most were also members of the JNF. The public figures in Bălţi recognized the importance of the Jewish educational system, and took pains to raise money to establish and maintain it, as well as to provide stipends for children from poor households. The parents also supported Jewish education across similar Yiddish, Romanian or Russian frameworks. The Jewish schools in Bălţi taught all subjects in Hebrew.

During the 1920s, the schools were closed periodically for a variety of reasons. The excuses given included the lack of authorization of the teachers, the absence of teaching the Romanian language, the dearth of schoolbooks in Romanian, or the existence of texts within the schoolbooks that offended the state. The Romanian government ceased financial support of the Jewish schools, and the Jews were forced to subsidize them through communal funds, fees and charitable donations. In the early 1930s, they were forced to close the Hebrew Gymnasium temporarily, but studies continued.

The online exhibition was made possible through the generous support of:

Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany

The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany works to secure compensation and restitution for survivors of the Holocaust.

Since 1951, the Claims Conference - working in partnership with the State of Israel - has negotiated for and distributed payments from Germany, Austria, other governments, and certain industry; recovered unclaimed German Jewish property; and funded programs to assist the neediest Jewish victims of Nazism.