In the period of the
former Polish Republic, Shershev belonged to the Volevodshaft of Brisk-Litovsk.
Jews are already mentioned
being in Shershev in 1583. In agreement with the resolutions of the Lithuanian Council of
the Land of Lithuanian in 1623, Shershev belongs to the Krayz ("circle") of the
Brisk Galil (Area).
In 1766 there were 973
Jews in Shershev. In the census of 1847 the Jewish community of Shershev numbered 3,773
souls. In the census of 1897 Shershev had 5,079 inhabitants, of whom 2,553 were Jews. In
1910 there was a Talmud Torah in the town (From the Russian Jewish Yevreyskaya
Entsiklopedia of Brokhaus-Efron, vol. 16, p. 14). In the chapter titled "The textile
industry in Bialystok up to 1880", which Avrum-Shmuel Hershberg published in the
second volume of Pinkes Bialystok (New York, 1950) are given, among other things, the
following facts about textile factories in Shershev.
In the Krayz of
In the town of Shershev
was a wooden building, rented from a local inhabitant, the factory of the merchant of the
first guild Shaul Levin. It was set up in 1818 as a weavers shop with five looms. In
1828 it produced dark-green, blue and black cloth of quality higher than that used for
soldiers uniforms: 190 pieces, 4,750 arshin [a measurement]; beyke [a kind of cloth] and
flannel 22 pieces, 730 arshin; woolen blankets, each of them three arshin in length: 850
pieces. These wares were sold in various Russian towns. The number of workers was 41 of
both sexes fray gedungene [literally freely bargained for, hired; this must refer to a
labor practice]. Among them were 21 Jewish men and 12 Jewish women.
In the same town, Yosl
Tukhmakher [the surname literally means "cloth-maker"] set up in 1828, in a
rented house, a weavers shop with one loom. In 1828 it produced cloth in dark-green,
blue and black of quality higher that that used for soldiers uniforms: 8 pieces, 184
arshin; beyke, flannel: 15 pieces 525 arshin; blankets: 500. The merchandise was sold in
various Russian towns. The number of workers was 16, including the pakhter [someone who
rents a property], Yosl Tukhmakher himself, who was the master. All the workers were Jews,
8 men and 7 women.
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