By: Herman Rosenthal
Town in the district of Rossieny, government of Kovno, Russia. The Jewish community dates from the fifteenth century. With the transfer of the gymnasium to Kovno, in 1848, and owing to a ruinous fire in the following year, the town lost its importance. Since the building of the Libau-Romny Railroad in 1880 it has become still poorer; and in recent years many families have emigrated to the United States, Africa, and Australia.
Among the rabbis of Krozhe in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the following may be mentioned: R. Eliezer (died at Wilna 1769), teacher of Samuel b. Abigdor of Wilna, and known as an eminent Talmudist and philosopher; Abraham (d. 1804), author of "Ma'alot ha-Torah," a brother of Elijah Wilna; Uri; Mordecai Rabinowitz; and Jacob b. Menahem, who occupied the rabbinate for forty years, and died at Jerusalem.
Talmudic scholars and other prominent men of Krozhe of the same period were: Abba Rosina, called also "Abba Ḥasid" (d. 1792), brother-in-law of R. Löb of Telshi (he was a miller by trade, but corresponded with many prominent rabbis on questions of rabbinical law; Raphael ha-Kohen of Hamburg was his pupil); his son Hirsch (d. 1810); Elijah b. Meïr (Elie Krozer), a wealthy merchant, brother-in-law of the gaon of Wilna, and lived at Krozhe in the first quarter of the nineteenth century (his son Ezekiel was rabbi at Shavli, and his son Jesaiah was dayyan at Krozhe and rabbi at Salaty); Moses Hurwitz (Krozer), dayyan at Wilna, where he died in 1821. Isaac ha-Levi Hurwitz; David, rabbi at Meretz; Zebulon b. Lipman, rabbi at Plungian; and R. Jacob Joseph, who died at New York in 1902, likewise were natives of Krozhe.
In 1897 the Jews of Krozhe numbered 1,125 in a total population of about 3,500. About 40 per cent of the former are artisans, and a few are farmers and gardeners. Besides the usual charitable institutions, Krozhe has two synagogues, two prayer-houses, and about ten different circles for the study of the Bible and the Talmud.
- H. N. Steinschneider, 'Ir Wilna, Index;
- Fuenn, Ḳiryah Ne'emanah, Index;
- Ha-Ẓefirah, 1888, Nos. 173-176.