Polna, Polonnoje, Polonna, Polonne, Polona (Yiddish), Połonne (Polish), Полонне (Ukrainian), Полонное – Polonnoe (Russian)

Polonnoe, city (from 1938) in the Khmelnitski (Proskurov) district, Ukraine.


Jews were mentioned in 1601, and by the middle of the century it was an important community in Volhynia.

In 1648, the time of the Chmielnicki massacres, when the Cossack armies approached the town about 12,000 Jews found refuge in its fortress, defending themselves, together with Poles, against the enemy. When the Cossacks overran the town about 300 Jews gathered in the bet hamidrash and, led by the kabbalist R. Samson Ostropoler, they wrapped themselves in their tallits and met death with a prayer on their lips. The number of dead in the town was estimated at 10,000.

Jewish population of Polonnoe:
1847 – 2647 jews
1897 – 7910 (48,5%)
1910 – 15 257 (45,7%)
1923 – 5080 jews
1926 – 5337 jews
1939 – 4171 (30,2%)
1995 – 142 jews
2013 – up to 60 jews

At the end of the 17th century, in 1684, the small Jewish community received from Countess Lubomirskaya, who controlled the city, permission that allowed them “to build nice houses and buildings in the central part that was called ‘Volia'”. For a famous reward that went to the Christians, Jews freed themselves from military service except “General obligation in case of a war”. They were granted the right to sell and also trade goods, with the condition that they pay the taxes, as were specified by the kingdom. This helped to increase the numbers of the Jewish population and developing with it, active participation of much needed businesses. Thanks to that, already at the beginning of the 18th century, the city became a large trade center on Volinsky land.

Hasids on the grave of Rabbi Jacob Joseph. End of 1980th.