Ukraine: volunteer clean-up — for a Synagogue (as well as Cemetery)

Former synagogue, Stary Sambir

Former synagogue, Stary Sambir


Summer is the season for volunteer clear up initiatives — and many are going on, in several countries. Almost all deal specifically with Jewish cemeteries, but in Ukraine, one will focus on a former synagogue building as well as on a cemetery — the former synagogue and the Jewish cemetery in the town of Staryi Sambir, not far from L’viv.

The initiative, August 8-13, is organized by the L’viv Volunteer Center as part of a project organized in cooperation with the city administration, which we posted about in February.

The clean-up will entail clearing the synagogue of debris and renovating its roof. The plans are for the building, which according to the Center for Jewish Art is a Hasidic synagogue that dates from the 19th century, to be used in the future as an “open space” where cultural events will be held, and there are also plans to install a permanent exhibit about local Jewish history and traditions.


In the Jewish cemetery, Staryi Sambir, Ukraine

In the Jewish cemetery, Staryi Sambir, Ukraine

The clean-up on the Jewish cemetery, which may date to the 17th century (the Center for Jewish Art says the earliest preserved gravestones are from the 19th century), will entail “taking photos of all gravestones with further description of them and publication in open sources.”
The site of the mass grave in nearby Ralivka, where the Jews of Sambir, Staryi Sambir and the vicinity were murdered in World War II will also be cleaned up, and participants will be taken on tours to other heritage and memorial sites in Staryi Sambir, Sambir, Dobromyl, and Turka.

Click here for the Center for Jewish Art page on Staryi Sambir

Click here for detailed architectural description of the synagogue, by Center for Jewish Art




3 thoughts on “Ukraine: volunteer clean-up — for a Synagogue (as well as Cemetery)

  1. The ornate tombstone shown above, with its unusual artistic motif of two Torah scrolls, is that of Rabbi Yehoshua Alexander Goldreich the author of the book Yeshuos Yisrael. The book is available to read online at

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