CHERKASSY (Polish, Czerkasy):
District town in the government of Kiev, Russia, situated on the right bank of the Dnieper, about 126 miles from Kiev.
The date of the establishment of the Jewish community of Cherkassy is not known. Being the chief town of the Cossacks since the beginning of the sixteenth century, including the time of Chmielnicki (1648-52), it may be surmised that only a few Jews, leaseholders, lived there. The census of 1765 gives only one Jew in Cherkassy, this one being "the farmer of taxes, who paid 10,000 florins for the general taxes and 400 florins for the saltpeter-factory." In 1789, of 561 houses, 14 belonged to Jews; and in 1797, after the annexation of Cherkassy by Russia (1795), the town had 783 Jewish inhabitants.
In 1870 there were 20,492 Jews in the district and town; which figures, by 1897, had increased to 29,982, or 9.75 per cent of the total population; and in 1898, out of a total population of 26,165 in the town alone, 5,884 were Jews. The majority of the latter are small traders, artisans, and day-laborers, while some are employed in the sugar-and tobacco-factories, and in the flour-mills. A great part of the Jews belong to the Ḥasidim, and are followers of the local "ẓaddiḳ," called by them the "gute Rov" (good rabbi) of Cherkassy.
- Semenov Geografichesko-Statisticheski Slovar, v., s.v.