Skvira

Skver, Skvir, Skwere (Yiddish Transliteration), Skwira (Polish), Сквира – Skvira (Russian), Сквира – Skvyra (Ukrainian), סקווירא (Yiddish)

Skvyra is a town in the Kiev Oblast (province) of central Ukraine. It is the administrative center of the Skvyrskyi Raion (district), and is currently a regional municipality.

First Jewish inhabitants

Jewish population of Skvyra:
1775 – 116 Jews
1847 – 2,184 Jews
1897 – 8,910 (49.5%)
1926 – 4,681 (33.6%)
1939 – 2,243 Jews
1950 ~ 1,000 Jews
1960 ~ 500 Jews
2009 ~ 120 Jews

The ancient town of Skvyra was completely destroyed at the end of the 16th century. In 1736, Skvyra was mentioned as a village (selo) leased to a Jewish tenant. According to the census of 1765, there were 124 houses in Skvyra, 51 of which belonged to Jews. In 1775, 116 Jews lived in Skvyra, in 1784 this figure rose to 204, and in 1787, to 144.

In the early nineteenth century the court of the Chernobyl Hasidic dynasty was in Skvyra. It was founded by Rabbi Yitzchak of Skvyra (1812-1885), one of the younger sons of Rabbi Motel Tversky (1770-1838). After his father’s death in 1838, he spent several years at the court of his elder brother in Chernobyl, and in early 1840 moved to Skvyra, where he founded a separate court. The Skvirsky court gathered thousands Hasidim for high holidays but Rabbi Yitzhak almost never left the town.

Skvira map, 1914-1922