Home page The Occident and American Jewish Advocate Jews in the Civil War Jews in the Wild West History of Palestine The Occident Virtual Library


Industry of the Jews at Odessa.


We are glad to find from the “Orient,” for July 16, page 224, that the Jews in Odessa furnish another example of the praiseworthy industry with which, when opportunity is afforded them, they devote themselves to the prosecution of those useful trades and callings, which are so indispensably necessary for their prosperity as a people.

“The official lists for the year 1842, show the following number of Jewish tradesmen and journeymen:

“Twelve goldsmiths, nine watchmakers, twelve lacemakers—these employ thirty-eight journeymen; forty-one shoemakers, with eighty-eight journeymen; fourteen bookbinders and wadding manufacturers; with twenty-one journeymen; one hundred and ten tailors, with ninety-four journeymen; thirty-three capmakers, with thirty-eight journeymen; fourteen glaziers, with seventeen journeymen; eight bakers, with three journeymen; thirty-four tinmen and pewterers, with thirty-six journeymen; in all two hundred and seventy-eight masters, and three hundred and thirty-five journeymen.

“This account includes only those master-manufacturers who have got the freedom of their respective companies.

“The Jews of Odessa apply themselves also to occupations which they do not generally exercise in other parts of the empire. This proves that the Jews do not hesitate to enter upon the most laborious employment, if they furnish them with an honest though scanty livelihood. There are, for instance, those who are employed in the harbour in bringing in and heaping up the grain. Hundreds of Jews arrive in the summer from the western governments to labour for forty kopecs (a Russian coin, the hundredth part of a ruble) a day. It is a touching sight to see these labourers, for the most part aged, perform their fatiguing labours in the streets during the hottest season, endeavouring to lighten their heavy burden by the repetition of passages of Scripture, or of the Talmud. Other Jews are working in the stone-quarries outside the town, and there is no public building, not a single church, for which the Jews have not furnished the stones in the sweat of their brow.”—Jewish Intelligence.