This webpage is designed to help preserve the Jewish heritage in Romania. Jewish life thrived in Romania before World War II, with about 800,000 Jews living in the three provinces (Wallachia, Moldova and Transylvania). These Jews came from different places and settled here at different times, which means the Jewish heritage in Romania is extremely varied (a chronology of the Jewish presence in Romania is available at http://www.romanianjewish.org).
Now there are less than 8,000 Jews left, and the Jewish communities are less and less able to care for their properties, particularly in localities where there are few Jews, or no more Jews. Therefore this valuable heritage can only be saved by involving the local actors (population and authorities) in its preservation and by gaining your own interest in coming to see it.
This site contains information on two small towns where the only standing proofs of the once flourishing Jewish life are the cemeteries: Podu Iloaiei and Targu Frumos. These cemeteries are also the resting place of victims of the Romanian Holocaust, as they host the mass graves of the “death trains”, which carried away the survivors of the Iassy pogrom of June 1941 (details are available in the subsequent sections). The importance of their preservation is thus double: they are a reminder of both the life and the death of Jews in Romania.
You will find on this page general geographical, historical and statistical data, references to population and trades, social institutions and education, Jewish presence, synagogues and cemeteries, but also mentions of Jewish personalities of the two localities, press cuts from the turn of the century, useful bibliography and links, interviews and a vast picture gallery including old and new images of the Jewish heritage in this area.
The two localities are part of the Jewish trail in Europe. This is an invitation for you to visit them. Those who are in search of their East European roots, or simply wish to see the places where Jewish life bloomed before World War II, will find here a good example.
Welcome to Jewish Podu Iloaiei and Targu Frumos.


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