Tuesday, Birlad, Romania
Yesterday, we drove from Focsani to Birlad and then on to Iasi. During the day, I was texting back and forth with one of my friends from Romania and she was asking me how it was going. I texted her, “Looking for synagogue.” Then “Found cemetery.” She answered, “Well if that’s not the shortest summary of Jewish life here in Romania now, I don’t know what is! Sad.”
We never did find the synagogue. But here are some pictures from the cemetery.
Birlad is in the Moldavian region of Romania and very different from other Romanian cities we’ve visited. It was not nearly as “modern” as cities such as Cluj and Bucharest.
Historically, Birlad had a thriving Jewish community, with eight synagogues a Jewish hospital and various Jewish schools leading up to the Holocaust. There were also active Zionist groups. The Jewish population grew to as high as 5,883, but as of 2005, there were only 46 Jewish individuals.