BIRZHI (Polish, Birze):

District of Poniwiezh, government of Kovno. The population of 1,500 includes 600 Jews, the majority of whom are engaged in handicrafts. The traditional Jewish charity is here developed in the highest degree; the philanthropic institutions including a hospital, and the following societies: Malbish 'Arummim (for distributing clothes among the poor), Po'ale-Ẓedeḳ (for mutual help), Gemilat Ḥesed (for advancing loans without interest), and a Talmud Torah, attended by eighty-eight children. The Jews in the neighborhood of Birzhi are engaged in agriculture on rented land, either cultivating it themselves, or with the help of others. For the history of the Jewish community of Birzhi, see the articles Kovno and Lithuania.

  • E. Tyszkiewicz, Monografije Birze, 1869.
H. R. S. J.
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