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EUPATORIA:

Town in the government of Taurida; on the western coast of the Crimea. It was formerly called by the Tatars "Gezelew" (in Hebrew ), pronounced "Kozlow" by the Russians; but on its annexation to Russia in 1784 it received its present name. Eupatoria is the spiritual center of the Karaites of the Crimea, and an important Karaite community has existed there for many centuries. The community, which counts now about 1,500 persons, is administered by a bet din consisting of three persons: the ḥakam, the ḥazzan, and the shammash (beadle). The authority of the bet din in religious matters is recognized by the Russian government, and its decisions have legal force for all the Karaite communities of the Crimea. Eupatoria possesses the finest Karaite synagogue of the Crimea; to it is annexed a library containing many valuable books and manuscripts on Karaite history and theology. A printing-office for Karaite religious books was established there in 1833, and many interesting works, like the "Eshkol" of Hadassi and the "Aderet, Eliyahu" of Bashyazi, were issued from its presses.

Besides the Karaite community, there exist a small Rabbinite one, consisting of several families of the old Jewish settlers called "Krimchaki," and about 150 persons newly established. The Jews of Eupatoria are mostly artisans and wine-dressers. A Rabbinite synagogue was built there in 1841.

Bibliography:
  • Syn Otechestva, 1839, pp. 1 et seq.;
  • Semenev, ii. 174;
  • Deinard, Massa' ba-Ḥaẓi ha-I Kerim, pp. 41 et seq.
H. R. I. Br.
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