Russian town in the government of Minsk. The first mention of Jews in connection with Novogrudok dates back to 1484, when King Casimir Jagellon leased the customs duties of the place to Ilia Moiseyevich, Rubim Sakovich, Avram Danilovich, and Eska Shelemovich, Jews of Troki. Novogrudok is next mentioned in two documents of the year 1529. On Jan. 21 of that year the Jews there were made subject, with those of other Lithuanian towns, to the payment of a special military tax. On March 4, in the same year, King Sigismund ordered the waywode of Novogrudok to render all necessary aid to the farmer of taxes Michael Jesofovich in the collection of customs duties throughout the waywodeship. In a document of Nov. 27, 1551, Novogrudok is mentioned among the cities which were exempted from the payment of the special tax called the "serebschizna." In 1559 the city authorities of Novogrudok were ordered by the king to place no obstacles in the way of the Jewish leaseholders Jacob Ikhelovich of Brest-Litovsk and Nissan Khaimovich of Grodno in their work of collecting customs duties. By an edict dated Sept. 24, 1563, King Sigismund ordered the Jews of Novogrudok to settle in the lower part of the town on the streets Wilna and Trumko on the farther side of the castle, and to cease erecting new buildings on the street Podlyaskaya. The Jews were not prompt to comply with the new regulations, for in the following year the burghers of Novogrudok complained to the king that the Jews had failed to remove from houses on the street Podlyaskaya. In response to this complaint the Jews were ordered to pay a fine of 1,600 ducats, and to remove from buildings on that street. In 1565 the customs duties were farmed out to David Shmerlovich and his partners, all Jews of Brest-Litovsk. On July 20, 1576, King Stephen Bathori renewed the charter of privileges of the Novogrudok Jews. Among the prominent merchants of the town at that time was Lazar Shmoilovich.

The Jewish sources give but little information on the history of the Novogrudok community. The gravestones in the old cemetery have been weathered until the inscriptions are no longer legible. Of the older cemetery, on the north side of the city, all traces have disappeared. Novogrudok is mentioned in one of the responsa of Solomon Luria (d. 1575). The prosperity of the community has decreased since the last Polish revolution. Albert Harkavy, the Orientalist, besides other members of that family, was born at Novogrudok. The following rabbis, among others, officiated there during the nineteenth century: David ben Moses (1794-1837; author of "Galya Massekta," responsa, halakic notes, and sermons, Wilna, 1848); Alexander Süsskind; Baruch Mordecai Lipschütz (author of "Berit Ya'akob," etc.; d. Shedlitz 1885). Novogrudok has a total population of 13,656, of whom 8,137 are Jews (1897).

  • Russko Yevreiski Arkhiv, vol. i., Nos. 4, 130; vol. ii., Nos. 104, 184, 196, 202, 222, 249, 268;
  • Regesty i Nadpisi;
  • Ha-Ẓefirah, 1887, No. 280.
H. R. J. G. L.
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