Centrul de Apel Republic of Moldova official page Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration banner Turism în Moldova Investiţii în Moldova E-services Registru Chamber

Embassy address:
38 Rembrandt St.,
Tel Aviv, 64045

Phone: +972-3-5231000
Fax: +972-3-5233000

E-mail: tel-aviv@mfa.gov.md

Modern Jewish Community in Moldova

Following the establishment of the independent state in August 1991, Jewish life in Moldova began to flourish with the emergence of a new free and democratic society.

Today Jewish population of Moldova numbers according to several estimations approximately 20000 – 25000 people, most of them live in Chisinau. Substantial communities also exist in Bălţi, Bender, Soroky, Rybnitsa, Orhei and Tiraspol. There are as well smaller communities in at least 45 villages across Moldova. It decreased substantially since proclamation of independence in 1991 due to high levels of emigration, predominately to Israel.

The following organizations have been established in Moldova since 1992: Kishinev Jewish Library, Organization of Jewish Veterans of World War II, Organization of Former Refugees, Women’s organization HAVA, Society of Jewish Culture, Association of Former Prisoners of Concentration Camps and Ghettos, Federation of Jewish Religious Communities, Educational University of Jewish Culture, TV program Af der Yiddisher gas (“On the Jewish Street”), Radio program Yiddish lebn (“Jewish Life”), and many others.

Chabad Lubavitch maintains synagogues in Chisinau and Tiraspol and is active throughout Moldova. The movement runs one of the two Jewish day schools (lyceums) in Moldova – the Jewish School #15, and two pre-schools. In addition, Chabad runs several welfare and supplementary education programs.

Agudath Israel, operates the yeshiva high school, where up to 200 boys and girls are separated into two programs. The Yeshiva is located in the same building as the once famous synagogue and yeshiva of the pre-World War II era that was headed by Rabbi Leib Yehuda Tsirelson.

Jewish School №22, established in 1991, educates more than 300 students. This school was established by the Israeli government’s Lishkat Hakesher (Nativ) as part of its Maavar (Tsofia) program. World ORT established technology and media centers within the school in 2001. This Jewish school is funded in part by the Moldovan government and the Israeli Cultural Center. At least eight Jewish Sunday schools operate throughout Moldova – three in the capital, and one each in Bender, Soroky, Balti, Rybnitsa and Tiraspol.

The Moldova Jewish Congress. In June 2003, under the initiative of a group of Jewish business people, the Moldova Jewish Congress was formed. The Congress proclaimed its primary tasks: development of the local Jewish community, representing its political, economic, social and other interests, support of welfare and cultural projects, Jewish tradition.

The Association of Jewish Organizations and Communities of Moldova founded in 1989 and led today by Alexander Bilinkis and Alexander Pinchevsky consolidates Republican Societies of Ghetto and Concentration Camp Survivors, War Veterans, Jewish Women, Refugees, etc., and also local urban Jewish Communities. In 2003, Moldovan Jewish Congress entered the Association as a collective member.

“Dor le Dor”. At the end of 2002, another group of Jewish business people created a charity fund “Dor le Dor”. The goal of the organization is taking care of the Jewish cemeteries in Moldova. “Dor le Dor” is the founder of Evreiskoe Mestechko (‘Jewish Shtetl') newspaper that has a circulation of more than 3000 copies.

Buhara and Caucasian Jews Community “Juhur” established in 2002, unites about 100 people and expresses the interests of this group of Jews. The Community takes part in all-republican events and Jewish holidays.

The Center of Training and Professional Development (CTPD) functioned as, first, AJJDC’s training department and, then, the Jewish Communal and Welfare Workers’ Institute. Now the Center works as a community organization that provides high-qualified training for the various community structures. The Center develops and runs training programs for professionals and volunteers of welfare and community structures. Participants discuss strategy and planning issues, share their experiences and respond to challenges. Some of the seminars are organized with the assistance of specialists from the United States and Israel.

The Jewish Family Service “NES”. The goal of the Jewish Family Service is to become a link between the needs of the Jewish families and the organizations capable of satisfying them. It is trying to develop a more holistic approach and help them “see the bigger picture” with the assistance of the caseworkers network.

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee Office in Moldova (JDC) or simply Joint is a subdivision of AJJDC. The main goal of JDC’s activities is rendering help to the local Jewish communities and organizations throughout the world. In FSU JDC's top-priorities are Welfare programs for the needy, disabled, Nazi victims, and Righteous citizens. Also are functioning renewal programs, Community centers, Hillel Youth Club, Family programs, etc.

Having received a green light from the Moldovan authorities to develop a whole range of programs, the JDC opened an office in Kishinev in 1993. Beginning with 1993 the JDC created and facilitated the development of a number of social, educational and cultural programs, such as: JCCs and Jewish Welfare Centers in five towns, “Hava” Jewish women's organization, Jewish schools, veterans' and survivors' organizations, Judaic department in the Academy of Sciences, etc. Thanks to the JDC support more than 6000 needy people receive welfare services and around 12000 have the possibility to get Jewish education, read and learn about Jewish history and tradition, participate in sport, art and other cultural activities. Several dozens of people received professional and leadership training in Moldova, Israel, the FSU, and the USA.

The Israeli Embassy’s Israeli Cultural Center operates in Chisinau and other regions throughout the Republic. It provides information about Israel, its culture, history and traditions. It supports some programs, youth clubs, Hebrew classes, musical programs, computer classes, etc.

Jewish Agency for Israel, also known as Sohnut, was opened in Moldova in 1991, and became one of the first Israeli based organizations that started its activity in Moldova. Main tasks of the Sohnut are promotion and development of Jewish education and strengthening of Jewish self-identification, assistance in return to Jewish roots and traditions and also assistance to Jews and their direct relatives who want to repatriate to Israel. Sohnut has its offices in all main cities in Moldova, and also in several smaller localities, where Jewish population lives. Jewish Agency operates youth clubs for underage children, teenagers and students, conducts seminars, winter and summer camps, Hebrew classes, and many other educational programs on culture, history and traditions.

More generally, Jewish programs are included in Moldovan university curricula. Also, recently was adopted a decision to create and to publish a Jewish Encyclopedia of Moldova, for that task took the responsibility the Academy of Sciences of Moldova.