Russian Black Sea port and naval station, in the government of Kherson; founded in 1784; now an important commercial center. Jews began to settle in Nikolaief soon after the partition of Poland, but in 1829 their residence there (and in Sebastopol) was declared "inconvenient and injurious," and they were forbidden to establish themselves in Nikolaief; the Jews already there were ordered to leave the city. The military governor of Nikolaief, Admiral Greig, protested that this measure would deprive the city of most of its artisans, and would considerably increase the burden of taxation upon the rest of the population. Notwithstanding this the removal of the Jews from Nikolaief was carried out after two short terms of grace. To replace them the government attempted to attract Christian merchants and artisans by conceding various privileges to them. It was not until 1859 that the law again permitted Jewish merchants to settle in Nikolaief and to acquire real property there, all other classes of Jews being admitted only temporarily (for commercial purposes, for the learning of handicrafts, etc.). In 1860 discharged Jewish soldiers were given permission to reside there, and in 1861 this permission was extended to Jewish artisans.
Most of the Jews in Nikolaief are engaged in trade. In 1900 the number of merchants' licenses issued to Jews amounted to 1,289, the fees for which totaled 39,952 rubles. These included 14 certificates for commercial enterprises of the first class (important commercial undertakings), while the rest were for minor undertakings. The Jews own 494 parcels of real property (houses). There are 3,000 Jewish artisans (60 per cent of the total), and mostof the freight-handlers working in the harbor are Jews; in all there are 1,438 Jewish day-laborers. A very small proportion of Jews is found among the factory-workers (except in the case of the two tobacco-factories, where Jews are employed almost exclusively—180 Jewish hands). The Talmud Torah has 182 pupils; the government Jewish school, with industrial annex, 320; the girls' professional school, 90; the four private Jewish schools, 222; the thirty ḥadarim, about 1,500. The general schools give instruction to 825 Jewish pupils. The charitable institutions include a Jewish hospital, dispensary, cheap dining-hall, and an association for aiding the poor (organized in accordance with the regulation of 1901). Almost all of these institutions are supported, wholly or in part, by the income from the basket-tax (i.e., the tax on meat). For the period 1900-4 the income from this tax was 47,000 rubles. Nikolaief has two synagogues and twelve houses of prayer (1901); and according to the census of 1897 it has a population of 92,060, including 30,000 Jews.
- Levanda, Polny Khronologicheski Sbornik Zakonov, pp. 258, 265-267, 318, 413, 918-919, 942, 948, 1053, St. Petersburg, 1874;
- Voskhod, 1900, No. 19, and 1901, Nos. 2, 8, 24, 29, 35, 47, 48, 58.
- On Zionism in Nikolaief see Buduschnost, 1900, No. 37;
- Voskhod, 1900, Nos. 64 and 70;
- Die Welt, 1899, Nos. 35 and 38.