Chernigov

Cernigovas (Lithuanian), Charnihau (Belarusian), Czernihów (Polish), Tschernigow (German), Tshernigov (Yiddish), Чернигов – Chernigov (Russian), Чернігів (Ukrainian)

Chernigov is a historic city in northern Ukraine. It is the administrative center of the Chernihiv Oblast, as well as of the surrounding Chernihiv district within the oblast.

Beginning

In the first half of the tenth century, Chernihiv was part of the lands which paid tribute to the Khazar Empire. During this period, Khazar Jews settled in the city. In the XIth century, a Jewish community was established in Chernihiv. During the existence of the Principality of Chernihiv (1054 – 1239), the city was a centre of Jewish scholarship. A number of Jewish sources from the XIIIth century, for example, respons of Rabbi Yitzhak (England) mention Rabbi Itsh (Yitzhak) from Chernihiv. In 1239, the city was destroyed by the Tatar Mongols.

In 1611, Chernihiv was captured by the Poles, and Jews settled in the city again, but in 1623, King Wladyslaw IV published a decree on the expulsion of Jews from Chernihiv province because of complaints from local merchants and craftsmen about competition from Jews. However, the decree was not implemented.

Medieval Chernigov fortress