In 1913 Russian empire had reached a pinnacle of it’s economical development. The country was number one in exporting eggs, flux and butter. It was the year when Russia had started exporting grains, coal and steel.  A new layer of very reach people had shaped. Belorussian historians found out 50 most wealthy businessmen who were born of current Belorussian territory. As a results of this research 30 out of 50 businessmen turned out to be Jewish. At that time their net worse was not less than 1million rubles, which is equivalent to $500,000 USD in 1913.

mir synagogue -1 (Synagogue of merchants in shtetl Mir)

Following Jewish last names are on the list of 50 richest people of Russian Empire in 1913: Katzenelson, Trepel, Solomonov, Shereshevskiy, Galperin, Ginzburg, Lur’ye, Peselnik, Lifshits, Berlovich, Vishnyak, Polyak, Lovyanov, Vitenberg, Strugach, Russota, Levinson, Galerkin, Mnukhin, Belous, Gutman, Shteynberg, Gorlin Epshteyn, Blimovich, Kaletsky and Ratner.

Name and Surname Place of Birth Assets Owned 
1 Nison and Paltiel Katsenelson Bobruysk Trading Company «Katsenelson and Sons» (Bobruysk), timber trade for export, lumber factories in Belarussian and Ukrainian guberniyas, banking transactions.Nison Katsenelson – President of Jewish Colonial Bank (London)


2 Samuil (Shmuil),Illya (Elya),

Yerukhim Trepel

Minsk Creamery in Minsk, starch factories in Minsk and Vilno guberniyas, founders and main shareholders of Nizhny Novgorod creamery and chemical factory «Trepel and Poznyak» (Nizhny Novgorod), Joint-Stock Company «Chernomorsk Creameries» (Odessa),

Joint-Stock Companies «Moscow Creameries» (Moscow),

Wholesale trading companies in Moscow (glassware) and Tula (hardware).


3 Ber Solomonov Borisov Match Factory «Victoriya» in Borisov, founder and the main shareholder of the Match Factory «Molniya» in Mozyr’, typolithography in Minsk, property in Minsk, Borisov, Mozyr’ and Saratov 
4 Iosel Shereshevsky Grodno The main shareholder of the tobacco factory in Grodno, mills in Grodno.
5 Iosif Galperin Pinsk Banks in Libava, lumber mill and timber trade for export in Pinsk, owner of the Match factory «Progress-Vulkan» in Pinsk, owner of the phosphate extraction mines in Ukraine and Bessarabia
6 Movsha-Leyba Ginzburg Vitebsk The largest banking network in Vitebsk, timber, flax and leather trade for export, lumber mill in Vitebsk
7 Isidor (Izrail) Lur’ye Pinsk  Banking chain in Pinsk, owner of Kiev creamery «Brothers Lur’ye », owner of real estate in Kiev.
8 Aleksandr (Sender) and Leopold (Leiba) Lur’ye Pinsk Owner of match and plywood factory in Pinsk, steamship company on the river Pripyat, owner of real estate in Wien 
9 Khaya Peselnik Kopys’ Heiress to two tile and pottery factories in shtetl Kopys’, steam powered mill and steamship company on the river Dnepr 
10 Idel and Samuil Lur’ye Pinsk Banking chain in Pinsk
11 Yakov Lifshits Minsk Banking chain in Minsk, owner of granaries and bakeries in Minsk, co-owner of the company «N.Yakobson, G.Livshits and Co» (machine-building factories in Minsk) 
12 Isidor Berlovich Minsk German citizen, the largest timber trader in Minsk guberniya, owner of glass factory, towing steamship company on the river Ptich, dispatch office at the Russian-German border, bread trade, founder of Minsk wood exchange 
13 Izrail Vishnyak Vitebsk Banking chain in Vitebsk, timber trade and manufacturing, dispatching services, founder of Vitebsk merchandise exchange 
14 Moisey Polyak Bobruysk Co-owner of banking network «Veysbrem and Polyak» in Minsk guberniya, timber and bread trade, two lumber mills in Bobruysk uezd 
15 Aron and Samuil Lur’ye Minsk Match factory «Berezina» in Borisov, match factory «Dvina» in Dvinsk, owners of Minsk commercial bank, owners of brokerage office at Moscow bourse. 
16 Yankel Lovyanov Gomel Owner of paper factory in Surazh, brick factories in Brilevo, owner of peat industry, wholesale network of alcohol trade, commercial property, property in Gomel, Surazh and St.Petersburg. 
17 Menachem Vitenberg Gomel Banking chain in Dvinsk, wholesale glass, iron, sugar, fur, flax and bread trade in Belarus and Baltic region; lumber factories in Ukraine; match factory «Vezuviy» in Gomel
18 David Strugach Lida Owner of distilleries in Lida and Oshmyany, co-owner of yeast factory in Riga.
19 Fayvish Russota Grodno Co-owner of tobacco factory in Grodno, co-owner of trading house «S.Landau and F.Russota» (banking transactions, timber trade and mills in Grodno).
20 Adolf Levinson Vitebsk Owner of five breweries in Vitebsk guberniya and Pskov guberniya
21 Leyba Galerkin Vitebsk Owner of glass and crystal glass-manufacturing factories, lumber mills in Vitebsk and Smolensk guberniyas. 
22 Shmerko Mnukhin Vitebsk Owner of creamery in Nizhny Novgorod, oil refinery in Nizhny Novgorod, wholesale candle and manufacturing trade in Vitebsk.
23 Yankel Belous Slonim Owner of the largest Slonim mill and distillery in Belarus
24 Neukh and Beniamin Gutman Borisov Owners of a lumber factory, 2 mills and a distillery in Borisov.
25 Khonon Shteynberg Slonim Owner of the largest timber factory «Shteynberg» in Slonim
26 Shimon, Aron and Iosif Gorlin Borisov Co-owners of the trading house «Sh. Gorlin and Sons» (lumber factory and timber trade in Borison uezd), wholesale woodwork trade in Moscow and timber trade for export)
27 Abram and Samuil Epshteyn Minsk Co-owners of upholstery factory in Minsk, wholesale tea trade in Minsk guberniya.
28 Shaya Katsenelson Bobruysk Wholesale timber and flour trade in Bobruysk, Borisov and Kherson, steamship company on the river Dnepr
29 Solomon Blimovich and Moisey Kaletsky Minsk Co-owners of the trading house «Fransua Turnye» (fashion jewelry manufacturing in Minsk and soap factory in Minsk)
30 Ida and Illya Ratner Mogilev Banking chain in Mogilev