Yizkor Book of Our Birth Place: Bendery (Bender, Moldova): Translation of Kehilat Bendery; Sefer Zikaron (Hardcover)
Located along the Dniester River, control of the town of Bendery changed over the course of several hundred years: from the Ottoman Empire to Russia (as part of Bessarabia); from Romanian then Nazi occupation to Soviet control. Since 1992, Bendery is a city within Moldova under de facto control of the unrecognized Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (Transnistria). Surrounded by rich farmlands with excellent market transportation, in the early 1900s it was also rich with scholars, musicians, and other artists among its over 10,000 Jewish residents. Visiting cantors, opera troupes and theater companies added to the depth of the cultural life. It was a notably benevolent - kind - community, providing a wide variety of social services. Visiting Jewish soldiers always knew that by standing outside of one of the many synagogues on Friday evening they could end up with a place at a Shabbat table.
During that time period and across several decades, the close knit Jewish community in Bendery began to find themselves at great risk, with oppression descending into pogroms in cities and villages around them. Impressively, the Jewish young people in Bendery organized themselves for self-defense to neutralize anti-Semitic threats against their people. Over time, strong Zionist beliefs led many to make Aliyah to the Land of Israel. Those left behind suffered greatly at the hands of Romanians, locals, and Germans during the Holocaust. In this book you will find "documents and testimonies, descriptions and images of outstanding personalities and ordinary folk, public institutions, Heders, synagogues and academies, schools and libraries, youth movements and sports clubs, choirs and drama groups. They all contributed a great love for Jewish culture and tradition, the Land of Israel, Renaissance and pre-revolutionary Russian literature and culture."*
* M. Tamari - Bendery Yizkor Book, The Book, pg. 5.