Borzna Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Ukraine
Region
Chernihiv
District
Borzna
Settlement
Borzna
Site address
The cemetery site can be found in the woods at the end of Luhova Street.
GPS coordinates
51.26688, 32.39566
Perimeter length
616 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
yes
Type and height of existing fence
No fence
Preservation condition
Unfenced Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The cemetery is severely overgrown with trees and bushes, and is divided into male and female sections. There are two graves surrounded by fences, but the gravestones are missing.
Number of existing gravestones
32
Date of oldest tombstone
1941
Date of newest tombstone
2004
Urgency of erecting a fence
High
Land ownership
Property of local community
Preserved construction on site
There are remnants of a foundation, which was most likely a Beit-tahara.
Drone surveys
No

Historical overview

The exact period of the cemetery’s establishment is unknown. Given it appears on Russian maps from the 1870s, it can be inferred it was founded in that era. The oldest preserved tombstone dates to the mid 20th century.

The Jewish community in Borzna was destroyed in 1648 and Jews did not return to the town until the mid-18th century. In 1736, 3 Jewish families lived there. According to the census, the town was home to 447 Jews. In 1863, a synagogue operated in Borzna. In the 1890s, the rabbi was Izhok-Dovid Vidrevich. According to the census of 1897, the Jewish population has tripled tp 1,516 (12.1% of the total population). Jews in the town worked primarily in garment manufacturing and trade. In the 1920s, the Jews of Borzna collected money for the construction of a new mikvah. According to JOINT records, in 1924 there was a Jewish orphanage which homed 25 children. In the 1920s and 30s. the rabbi was a Lubavitcher Hasid, Avrohom-Yitshok Glazman. The Jewish community withstood several pogroms, the first of which took place in 1881. In the summer of 1919, the Red Army started its first wave of pogroms: on August 25, 1919 two Jews were killed by soldiers from Denikin’s Volunteer Army. In September, numerous pogroms were organized by the Volunteer Army, during which the synagogue was destroyed and 20 Jews were killed. Borzna was occupied by the German army from September 11th, 1941 to September 7th, 1943. A number of Jews were shot in November 1941 in an unknown location. Approximately 119 people were shot (according to published sources). According to a study from the 1990s the number was actually 168. In February, the Jews of Borzna were massacred in Shapovalivka. The Jewish community was officialy re-established in 1995. As of 2018, the Jewish population of Borzna numbered between 11 and 100 Jews (of a total population of 10,054). The cemetery was established in the 19th century. The site is severely overgrown with trees and bushes, and is divided into male and female sections. There are two graves surrounded by fences, but the gravestones are missing. The earliest preserved tombstone dates to 1941, while the latest dates to 2004. There are remnants of the foundation of another structure on the site, most likely a Beit-tahara. Rabbi Glazman is buried on the site.

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