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The unedited full-text of the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia
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KUSTENDIL:

Bulgarian city in the north of Macedonia, near the Servian city of Nish. Jews must have settled at Kustendil before the beginning of the eighteenth century; a tombstone in the local cemetery bears the date 5509 (= 1749), and from 1680 to 1750 Samuel Haravon was chief rabbi. The rabbinical writer Mordecai Conforte, author of a collection of sermons, "Ḳol Shemu'el" (Salonica, 1787), lived here at the end of the eighteenth century. The following three chief rabbis of Kustendil belong to the nineteenth century: Baruch Halevy (1840); Abraham Meshullam (1850); and Abraham Meborak (1855).

In 1903 there were 250 Jewish families, or about 1,200 persons, in a total population of 13,000 inhabitants. The affairs of the community are administered by a synagogal committee and a school committee. Every family pays a stated sum each year, which, together with the tax on meat, serves to support the synagogue and a boys' school (150 pupils). The institutions include a synagogue, two batte midrashim, and six benevolent societies. The Jews are engaged in commerce, in the grocery trade, and as tinsmiths and shoemakers.

Bibliography:
  • Anuarul Pentrul Israelitzi, vol. xi., Bucharest, 1885;
  • Hazan, Ha-Ma'alot li-Shelomoh, p. 87.
D. M. Fr.
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