A Jewish community was organized in Satanov in the second half of the 16th century, after Podolia was incorporated into the kingdom of Poland. Jews in Satanov were involved in the import of goods from the east, leasing of estates and customs dues, manufacture of alcoholic drinks, and goldsmithery.
The town was periodically attacked by the Tatars and Cossacks, including combined attacks in 1651 and from the Cossacks in 1703. The synagogue in Satanov was built as a fortress to allow the Jews to defend themselves in such attacks.
In the 18th century Satanov was Podolia's leading community. In 1756 its dayyanim (religious judges) held a trial of the Frankists. In 1765 there were 1,369 Jews paying the poll tax in Satanov. The Jews there were involved in international commerce, traveling to fairs in Leipzig, Breslau, and Frankfurt, until 1793, when Satanov was incorporated into Russia.
The Hebrew writer and maskil Isaac Satanow lived in Satanov, and was active there in the latter half of the 18th century. Him, Menachem Mendel Lefin, and Alexander b. Ẓevi Margaliot, all of whom also lived in the town, were among the pioneers of the Haskalah movement. From the end of the 18th century and during the 19th, Satanov was an important center of Hasidism.
Until 1862 the Jewish settlement there was restricted by the authorities, because of Satanov's closeness to the Austrian border. The Jewish population was 2,848, 64% of the total, in 1897. In 1919, Jews in Satanov underwent pogroms by Ukrainian nationalists. In 1926 Satanov probably had 2,359 Jews, then declining to 1,516, 40% of the total population. A rural Jewish council existed in the Soviet period. On 6 July 1941 the Germans entered Satanov, and on 14 May 1942 they locked 240 Jews into a cellar, letting them suffocate. Throughout 1942, 210 Jews were shot. 800 people were officially murdered by the Germans, most of whom were Jews.
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- "Sataniv". Regions of Ukraine. Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
- [dead link] "Статистичний збірник "Чисельність наявного населення України на 1 січня 2011 року" (Statistical Yearbook "The population of Ukraine on January 1, 2011")" (in Ukrainian). State Statistics Committee of Ukraine. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
- Kirshenboim, Shimshon Leib; Spector, Shmuel (2007). "Satanov". In Berenbaum, Michael; Skolnik, Fred. Encyclopaedia Judaica 18 (2 ed.). Macmillan Reference USA. p. 73.