Jewish Heritage Europe

Heritage & Heritage Sites

GENERAL & REGIONAL

GENERAL HERITAGE SITES 

U.S. Commission Survey of Jewish Cemeteries, Synagogues and Mass Graves

Downloadable PDF file of what is one of the most extensive surveys of Jewish heritage sites in Ukraine. It was carried out between 1995 and 2000 and covers around 1500 sites, including some 731 cemeteries and 495 mass graves.

Our Legacy: The CIS Synagogues, Past & Present

Online version of a 2002 book by Michael Beizer about the history of synagogues in the countries of the former Soviet Union, including Ukraine, as well as an examination of the restitution and restoration process after 1991.

Ukraine SIG (Genealogy Special Interest Group)

Genealogy web site with extensive resources on Jewish heritage, heritage sites and resources in Ukraine.  The web site is oriented around more than 800 Town and District Pages, with each Town Page serving as a portal to all the information known about for that town, from JewishGen.org and other web sites.

Galician Traces

Extensive photographic documentation by Charles Burns of Jewish heritage sites, mainly in parts of Poland, Romania and western Ukraine, with a focus on Jewish cemeteries, including many images of individual gravestones. Dozens of towns are included.

Gesher Galicia

Extensive information on Jewish heritage and resources regarding western Ukraine and southeastern Poland (the former Austrian province of Galicia). There are pages of individual towns, plus maps, photos and many other resources.

JGaliciaBukovina.net

Links, photos, documents, and other material regarding the regions of Galicia and Bukovina, including on Jewish heritage sites

Jewish Heritage in Poldolia region (in Ukrainian)

SYNAGOGUES & BUILDINGS

European Historic Synagogues

Click on the interactive map for Ukraine, or use the search function.

Survey of Synagogues in Galicia

Extensive online documentation, including photographs and architectural measured drawings, of synagogue buildings in Galicia, carried out by the L’viv Center for Urban Studies, in cooperation with researchers for the Center for Jewish Art in Jerusalem.

Synagogues, prayer houses and other sites documented include those in the following towns — click on the name to access:

Berezhany;  Boryslav;  Budaniv;  Bukachivtsy;  Burshtyn;  Ezupil; Hlyniany;  Horodenka (Beit Midrash);  Husiatyn;  Hvizdets;  Ivano-Frankivsk;  Kolomyia; Kosiv;  Kulykiv;  L’viv;  Melnytsia Podilska;  Pidhaitsi Pidkamin; Pidvolochysk;  Rohatyn;  Skala Podilska;  Tlumach; Velyki Mosty;  Zhovkva

JEWISH CEMETERIES

European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative

An NGO set up in 2015 with German funding whose core objective is “protecting and preserving Jewish cemetery sites across the European continent through delineation of cemetery boundaries and the construction of cemetery walls and locking gates.”

Lo-Tishkach Database

A searchable database on thousands of Jewish cemeteries, hundreds of them in Ukraine. Some have addresses and GPS coordinates.

International Jewish Cemetery Project Ukraine Page

INDIVIDUAL SITES

There are hundreds of Jewish heritage sites in Ukraine. Basic information on most of them can be found via the links listed above. Here below we provide links to places for which there are more extensive web resources and sites. We also suggest that you consult resources that are in our Tourism and Genealogy section.

BEREHOVE (BEREGSZÁSZ)

Located in western Ukraine close to the border with Hungary, the town has a large Hungarian ethnic minority. Its Grand Synagogue was encased in a modern “shell” in the 1960s and serves as a culture center. The mikveh building is now a bank. The small Orthodox Synagogue still functions as a house of worship  and undergone restoration, partly financed by the Hungarian Foreign Ministry. The Jewish cemetery has been restored and all gravestones photographed, and there are plans to establish a Museum of sub-Carpathian Jewry in an upper floor of the synagogue.

Shalom Foundation of Beregszász/Berehove

4 Mukachivska street
90202, Berehove
Zakarpatska oblast, Ukraine
Tel: + 380 (3141) 42440; +1 917 387 3189 (USA number)
Email: shalom.beregszasz@gmail.com

Foundation established in 2000 to oversee the restoration of the synagogue and Jewish cemetery and develop the Museum of Sub-Carpathian Jewry. The web site describes the projects and includes links and photos.

Shalom Foundation Facebook Page

JewishGen KehillaLinks Page for Berehove/Beregszász

This page has a link to photographs of all gravestones in the Jewish cemetery, with names of deceased.

BOLEKHIV (BOLECHOW)

Abandoned synagogue, originally built in 1796 on the site of a wooden synagogue, then significantly rebuilt in 1908; used as a workers’ club in Soviet times. Reconstruction of the synagogue roof was completed in 2012. Longterm plans are to restore the building to house a Museum of Bolekhiv Jews. Historically important Jewish cemetery, where the 18th century wine merchant and memoirist Dov Ber Birkenthal is buried.

Bolechow Jewish Heritage Society web site

Extensive resources, with photos, videos and links to other web sites and archival information

The Society’s Facebook Page

Bolechow Jewish cemetery preservation project 

Bolekhiv Jewish cemetery – map; photos of all gravestones, with names & dates

Documentation from Jewish Galicia & Bukovina field research in 2013-14

Flickr feed of photographs of gravestones in Jewish cemetery

Gesher Galicia page on Bolekhiv

CHERNIVTSI (CERNAUȚI; CZERNOWITZ)

Numerous Jewish sites, including synagogues (in use) and several former synagogue buildings, as well as an extensive Jewish cemetery and the Jewish National House, which hosts offices and a Jewish Museum.

General resources

Jewish Sites in Chernivtsi

An interactive map, put together by Chabad, that shows more nearly 90 Jewish sites in Chernivtsi.

Czernowitz: A Town with a Jewish Past

Online exhibition and collection of resources, on the web site of the Museum of Family History 

First Yiddish Language Conference 1908-2008

Extensive web site with links and resources on Chernivtsi and its Jewish history and heritage

Jewish Museum

Chernivtsi Museum of the History and Culture of Bukovinian Jews

Central Palace of Culture
(former Jewish National House)
Teatralna square, 5
Chernivtsi, Ukraine, 58000
Tel: +38 0372 550666
E-mail:jm.chernivtsi@gmail.com

The museum web site has many resources and also a video tour of the exhibits.

Jewish Cemetery

Zelena street (across the street from a Christian cemetery)

New Jewish Cemetery

Web page with links to a variety of resources on the vast New Jewish Cemetery, established in 1866, which extends over about 11 hectares and has about 50,000 graves and a domed Ceremonial Hall that is currently undergoing restoration to become a Holocaust Museum.

The links on the web site include maps, photographs, progress reports on restoration projects, information on death registers, and more. The satellite photo dramatically shows how the cemetery is largely overgrown with vegetation.

Jewish Czernowitz with emphasis on the New Jewish Cemetery 

Interactive presentation by Christian Herrmann uploaded in 2012 that shows Jewish sites in the city

Synagogues

There are several former synagogue buildings in the city. These include the once-magnificent Tempel synagogue, now a movie house, the Kino Theater Chernivtsi. The map and list of Jewish sites in Chernivtsi prepared by Chabad gives their addresses and current use, as do the listings for Chernivtsi on the Historic Synagogues of europe web site.

Korn Shul Synagogue

str. Sadovskogo, 11
Chernivtsi, Ukraine
58000
Tel: +38 (0372) 58-51-92
Fax: +38 (0372) 58-52-80 fax
Email: info@jewishczernowitz.com

Built in the late 19th century, in honor of the Mordko and Taub Korn family. Used after WW2 to house an electric transformer; refurbished as the Chabad Jewish cultural and religious center, which opened in 2011, and is now called the Israel and Zelda Mayberg Synagogue.

Interactive video tour of the synagogue

Read an article about the restoration of the building

 Beit-Tfilah Benyamin Synagogue

53 Kobylytsi Street

Built in 1923, the synagogue is still a functioning house of worship. It is lavishly decorated with important wall and ceiling paintings that have been fully documented by Boris Khaimovich of the Center for Jewish Art in his book: The Work of Our Hands to Glorify: Murals of Beit Tfilah Benyamin Synagogue in Czernowitz (Kiev, 2008).

Zodiac on the ceiling of the Beit Tfilah Benyamin synagogue in Chernivtsi

DROHOBYCZ

One-time center of Galician oil industry. There are two stand-alone synagogue buildings and a Jewish cemetery, as well several synagogues and prayer houses that have been converted for other use and other formerly Jewish buildings.

Synagogues

Choral (Great) Synagogue

Pylypa Orlyka street

A monumental synagogue whose facade features a tall, rectangular arch over the main portal, perhaps the largest synagogue in eastern Galicia; built in 1842-1865 and the most impressive of the circa 20 synagogues that once stood in the town. Used as a furniture warehouse in Soviet times, it was returned to Jewish ownership in 1993 but long stood empty and derelict.  It was rededicated in June 2018 following a $1 million restoration funded by the Russian billionaire Viktor Felixovich Vekselberg, who was born in Drohobych and who heads the board of trustees of the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow.

 

Osei Hesed Progressive Synagogue

Corner of Mazepy and Shalom Aleichem streets

Built in 1909. Long used as a sports hall after WW2;  now empty.

Article about synagogue architecture in Drohobycz by Joseph Gelston (in Russian)

Dorhobycz-Boryslaw memorial web site

Part genealogy, part commemoration, part heritage preservation.

 Drohobych page, Historic Synagogues Europe

Lengthy, detailed article about the synagogues and former synagogues in Drohobycz, by Vladimir Levin of the Center for Jewish Art, 2000

HORODENKA

The Great Synagogue, a rectangular building with arched windows, is currently used as a sports hall. It bears a commemorative plaque to the destroyed Jewish community on its outer wall. The former Beit Midrash/Jewish School (also marked with a plaque) stands abandoned. A former mikvah also remains. There is an extensive Jewish cemetery in a forest outside town; is has a monument marking a WW2 mass grave.

Photo documentation of the Great Synagogue, former Jewish quarter and Jewish Cemetery

On the “Return to Galicia” Web site

Photo documentation and architectural drawings of the Beit Midrash (L’viv Center for Urban History web site)

KHARKIV (KHARKOV)

Choral Synagogue

12 Pushkinskaya Street
Kharkov, 310057
Tel: +38 057 731 35 26, +38 057 731 19 71, +38 057 731 60 31
Email: chabad@kharkov.com

Inaugurated in 1913; designed by the St. Petersburg architect Yaakov Gevirz, who won a design competition. Noted for its large dome; Moorish-Romanic-Byzantine style. Closed and nationalized in 1923 by the Soviet regime and ultimately turned into a sports complex. Returned to the Jewish community in 1990 and refurbished in 2003. Now center of an active Jewish community led by Chabad. Centennial celebrations kicked off in late 2012.

Jewish community web site

L’VIV

Center for Urban History of East-Central Europe

The Center’s web site has extensive resources about L’viv, its architecture and its history, including an interactive map of the city. It also has a database on synagogues in Galicia and other resources on Jewish heritage in Lviv and surrounding areas.

Digital reconstruction of the Turei Zahav (Golden Rose) Synagogue

Built in 1582 for Izak Nachmanowicz (Yitzhak ben Nachman) a leading member of the Jewish community, the synagogue was destroyed in World War II and today remains a ruin. The reconstruction was prepared by Sergey R. Kravtsov of the Center for Jewish Art, the leading authority on the building.

A private prayer room with painted decoration of lions flanking the tablets of the Ten Commandments was discovered  in 2012 in the basement of a building at 71 Ivana Franka St.

MOGILEV PODOLSKI

Photo gallery of Jewish heritage sites, by Marla Raucher Osborn: Jewish cemetery, the small Shoah Museum, the synagogue, town scenes

NOVOSELITSA

Built in 1918-1920 and designed by an unknown architect, the synagogue in this town near Chernivtsi was used during Soviet times as a Pioneer (youth group) house. In 2008-9, researchers led by the Ukrainian art historian Julij Livshits discovered that the important wall and ceiling paintings, which had been white-washed over, survived almost totally intact. Restoration work is under way and as of 2013 conservators had cleaned about 500 square meters or surface, revealing extraordinarily vivid paintings.  The simple, boxlike building, constructed without foundations, is in very poor condition and needs reconstruction.  (Photo here is by Christian Herrmann, published under Creative Commons license BY-NC-SA 4.0.)

Web site for the synagogue and restoration campaign

Set up by the Association of Jewish Organization and Communities of Ukraine, the site provides a history of the building and details of what needs to be done to save it and the murals. Includes photos of some of the paintings as well as photos of the damage, as well as links where people can donate.

Click here to see full photo galleries of the paintings

ROHATYN

Remnants of two Jewish cemeteries exist in this small town in western Ukraine. There is an ongoing project of restoration and commemoration, including retrieving stones used for construction and other purposes and returning them to the Jewish cemeteries, with plans to build a memorial. The project also work with local people on cultural and educational initiatives.

Rohatyn Jewish Heritage web site

SADHORA (SADAGORA)

Palatial seat of the Friedmann Hasidic dynasty, built in the 1860s-1880s by Rabbi Abraham Yakov Friedmann, son of the flamboyant Tzaddik Israel Friedmann (1797-1850). Restoration work began on the complex in 2011. The tombs of the rebbes are protected by a large modern ohel in the vast Jewish cemetery.

UZHGOROD

Moorish-style synagogue with large front arch, built in 1911 and restored for use as Philharmonic Hall, with much of the lavish decoration intact.