Jewish Heritage Europe

Heritage & Heritage Sites

GENERAL

JewishGen Bessarabia/Moldova Special Interest Group 

Very important source of information on Jewish history and heritage in Moldova. There are particularly rich resources for Jewish Cemeteries, which are being constantly photographed and indexed, with information uploaded to the SIG web site at the JOWBR. There are also links to articles and photographs, as well as to documentation and other cemetery projects in nearly 60 Jewish cemeteries — including photographs and transcriptions and translations of inscription on stones.

JewishGen Online Burial Registry – JOWBR

The JOWBR Searchable Database includes many Jewish cemeteries in Moldova (you need to register and login to access these resouces).

As of April 2018, it listed 46 cemeteries, with 47698 burials and 42873 photos, arranged by Region and City/Town/Village.

Jewish Memory Moldova

Comprehensive web site on Jewish history and heritage in Moldava, with pictures and information on a number of synagogue buildings, Jewish cemeteries, Holocaust memorials in towns and cities around the country and in Transnistria, in its “Stone Heritage” section — on the web site, click on the photos or town name to find details: Beltsy, Bendery,  Briciani, Calarash, Chisinau, Cimishlia, Dubossary, Gershunovca, Lipcani, Nisporeni, Orhei, Otaci, PapeniRashkov, Rybnitsa,  Soroca, Zguritsa

U.S. Commission Survey of Jewish Heritage Sites and Monuments

Comprehensive inventory of Jewish heritage sites all over the country; synagogues, cemeteries, Holocaust sites, etc. Also historical background. Published in 2010.

Jewish Cemeteries in Bessarabia and Moldova: History, Current state, Indexing, Photographing

Article by Yefim. A Kogan, Bessarabia SIG leader and Coordinator, July 2014

Video documentary on Jewish cemeteries in Moldova:

INDIVIDUAL SITES

You can find information on most Jewish heritage sites in Moldova through the general links listed above. Here below, as on other country pages, we provide information on various individual Jewish heritage sites  that have their own web sites or other web resources. 

CHISINAU (Kishinev)

Synagogues

Chisinau page on History Synagogues of Europe web site, with information on present and former synagogue buildings

Among them are:

Lemnaria (Timber Merchants’) Synagogue

5 Diorditsa str. 
Chisinau
2012 Moldova
Tel: +373 (0) 22 509 668
Fax: +373 (0) 22 509 605

Built in 1835,  so named because of the wood shops and stockpiles around it.  Until the Choral Synagogue was built in 1913, it was the largest synagogue in the city. It was nationalized in 1940, and though returned to Jewish ownership decades later, by that time only the facade and basement remained of the original structure. It was renovated and since 2005 houses the Kishinev Jacobs Jewish Campus, run by the JDC, which includes a JCC, Jewish Museum, and many other facilities.

See Centre for Jewish Art documentation

Rabbi Tirilson Old Age Home/Synagogue

8-10 Rabbi Tirilson St.

Extensive ruins of a complex that was built in the 1920s. It is listed as a local architectural monument.

Jewish Cemeteries

Old Jewish Cemetery

Strada Milano

Vast Jewish cemetery dating back to the 17th century and including more than 20,000 graves. The largest Jewish cemetery in Moldova, it was listed as a historic landmark in 2012 but is long-overgrown and neglected despite occasional clean-ups.  It has a ruined ceremonial hall and surrounded by a wall. According to the U.S. Commission survey, “Gravestones and markers are made of marble, granite, limestone, sandstone, slate and other materials. Some graves are marked with ornate structures in the form of mausoleums. Many graves have metal fences around them; others have portraits applied to the stones, as well as other decorative items.”

See an extensive photo gallery of the cemetery on Facebook

Doyna Cemetery

189 Doyna Street
MD 2001 Chisinau

Jewish section of the main St. Lazarus cemetery.

JewishGen PDF pages on  Doyna cemetery, with map and other information

RASHKOV (RAŞKOV) (in Transnistria)

Situated on the left bank of the Dniester River, Raşcov is currently part of the unrecognized Pridnestrovian Republic (Transnistria), which split from Moldova in 1990–92. However, historically Raşcov belonged to Podolia (now a part of Ukraine) and its Jewry was integral part of Podolian Jewry. There is a spectacular ruined Synagogue (with other buildings) and an extensive Jewish cemetery.

Synagogue

Probably built in 1749, during the rabbinical tenure of R. Yaakov Yosef, the synagogue was ruined in 1930s, during an anti-religious campaign in the USSR. It was a monumental masonry edifice under a saddle roof, shielded by a shaped gable on its main, western front. Today, only the roofless walls remain. Near the Great Synagogue ruins are also the two smaller prayer houses that made up the shulhoyf, both used for other purposes.

JHE article on the ruined synagogue, detailing its architecture and history, by Sergey R. Kravtsov and Vladimir Levin

Detailed Center for Jewish Art documentation, 1993

Rashkov Rebirth — NGO

An NGO aimed at fostering the restoration of the ruined Great Synagogue and making it available for visitors

Jewish Memory page on Rashkov synagogue

Historic Synagogues of Europe pages on Rashkov

Jewish Cemetery

Dating from the early 18th century, the cemetery includes as many as 5,000 burials and is surrounded by a ruined wall. Many of the earlier stones feature richly carved ornamentation,

In the summer of 2017, researchers from the Sefer Center cleared and documented the cemetery, photographing headstones, determining their size and decor features, fixing them and drawing up a detailed cemetery map showing the location of individual stelae. According to their report, the researchers “documented more than 950 monuments of the early XVIII – mid XIX centuries. The earliest of them date back to 1700s – 1720s., i.e. to the beginning of the flourishing of the Rashkov Jewish community. In this case, not only the texts of the epitaphs are of special interest, but also the rich carved decor in the form of an ornament or images with traditional Jewish symbols adorning most of the tombstones.”

See Report by the Sefer Center on their research

See our JHE post on the Sefer Center’s research

See PDF file of information on the Jewish cemetery, by Yefim Kogan.

 

ORHEI

There’s a mid-20th century synagogue, at Lupu str., 62, used by the Jewish community.

 Jewish cemetery

The vast Jewish cemetery, on a hillside off Uniria str., has about 15,000 grave markers whose earliest date from the 18th century. Many feature beautiful carving. The cemetery is threatened by erosion and land slippage. There is also a memorial to Holocaust victims and Jewish soldiers.

See photos of the Jewish cemetery

See report and photographs (2016) by Christian Herrmann

TIRASPOL (in Transnistria)

Jewish Cemetery

JewishGen comprehensive report on the Jewish cemetery — PDF

VADUL RASHCOV (RAŞKOV)

Large and dramatically situated Jewish cemetery on the bank of the Dniester River, in Moldova proper, opposite the town of Rashkov (see above).  There is information about the town and cemetery in the video embedded on this page. According to the Pinkas HaKehillah, there were once seven synagogues in the town. 

Photos by Dan Gutu from March 2018

Photos and text by Christian Herrmann from 2016