Eastern Yiddish-speaking Jewish in Romania

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

Before WWII there were more than 700,000 Yiddish speaking Jews in Romania. Over half of them died during the war. The vast majority of the rest have immigrated to Israel, the USA, Britain, Australia or other countries. Today less than one thousand are left in Romania.

Today in Romania, Yiddish is a dying language spoken primarily by elderly people and orthodox or Hassidic Jews. When a Romanian Jew moves to Israel he or she is required to speak Hebrew not Yiddish. When a Jew is born in the USA or other western nation, they will rarely learn Yiddish.

Since European Jews were often not allowed to own land, they gravitated to cities. They took jobs as accountants, physicians, lawyers, diamond cutters, bankers, and shop owners. The heart language of these Jews in Romania is Eastern Yiddish.

Where Are they Located?

Yiddish speaking Jews of Romania live in a community in the city of Brasov.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Jews of Brasov live a their own section of Brasov. They live within walking distance to their synagogue. Hassidic families intermarry and try to stay out of the spotlight in the city. Many are well educated and know many languages like Romanian, German, Hebrew, and English. Yet, their distinctive Hassidic clothing marks them as Orthodox Jews.

Hassidic Jews tend to have large families. They obey the teachings of their rebbe or chief rabbi. Their children attend their own schools. They strictly try to follow the many commandments of the Torah or first five books of the Old Testament. They eat kosher or according to the diet of the Old Testament Law, which means no pork, shellfish or unclean animals. Even the meat of clean animals has to be blessed by a rabbi before eaten.

Because of the uniqueness of their history and culture, Yiddish-speaking Jews have a strong sense of identity. Persecution of and discrimination against the Jews have been the historical reasons for their migrations and settlements in other parts of the w
What Are Their Beliefs?

The Eastern Yiddish speaking Jews of Romania are mostly Hassidic Jews. They do not want their children influenced by the values and ways of modern society. Their Holy Book is the Old Testament, especially the Books of Moses. Jewish boys must learn the basics of Hebrew and the Law for his bar mitzvah at age 13. Bar mitzvah means "son of the commandment." Orthodox Jews believe by studying and obeying the Law that they will gain God's blessing and enter into heaven when they die.

What Are Their Needs?

The Jews of Romanian need to hear about their Messiah Yeshua or Jesus and the forgiveness He offers. They must come to understand that they can only be forgiven by trusting in Yeshua alone, not on the basis of their works of righteousness.

Prayer Points

Pray that God leads the rabbis of the Romanian Jews to a knowledge of Christ.
Pray that God opens their spiritual eyes to the truth of the gospel.
Pray the Lord sends some Messianic Jews who speak Yiddish to take the gospel to Romania.
Pray that Romanian Jews will understand that Jesus desires to bless their families and communities, not harm them.

Scripture Prayers for the Jewish, Eastern Yiddish-speaking in Romania.



Profile Source:   Keith Carey  

People Name General Jewish, Eastern Yiddish-speaking
People Name in Country Jewish, Eastern Yiddish-speaking
Natural Name Eastern Yiddish-speaking Jewish
Pronunciation YIH-dish joo
Alternate Names Jew, Yiddish-Speaking; Jewish; Yiddish Jewish
Population this Country 600
Population all Countries 785,000
Total Countries 12
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 12350
ROP3 Code 104247
ROP25 Code 303368
ROP25 Name Jewish
Country Romania
Region Europe, Eastern and Eurasia
Continent Europe
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Bucharest county.   Source:  Ethnologue 2020
Country Romania
Region Europe, Eastern and Eurasia
Continent Europe
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Bucharest county..   Source:  Ethnologue 2020

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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Religion Subdivision: Judaism
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
100.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Yiddish, Eastern (600 speakers)
Language Code ydd   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Yiddish, Eastern (600 speakers)
Language Code ydd   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Yiddish, Eastern
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2024  paul prescott - Shutterstock  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Profile Source Keith Carey 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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