Korosten Old Jewish Cemetery
The exact period of the cemetery establishment is unknown. It is marked on maps from the 1900s and as such it was presumably founded in the 19th century. It was closed for burials after WWII, and demolished in 1960. Not long after its closure, a school and a sports ground were built. Some of the tombstones were transferred to the Jewish sector of the municipal cemetery.
A Jewish leaseholder is known to have lived in Korosten’ (Ukr., Rus. Коростень, until the early 20th century Iskorost, Rus. Искорость, Yid. איסקערעסט) as early as 1618. A Jewish community in a larger sense only emerged in the 19th century. Korosten’ had a Jewish population of 331 in 1847 and about 1300 in 1897, which was 48% of the total population. During the Civil War of 1918–21, the community survived several pogroms. The construction of the railroad in 1902 caused rapid population growth: there were 4,322 Jews in Korosten’ in 1923, 6,089 in 1926 (51%). Zionists were active until at least 1925. A conference of 90 Ukrainian rabbis, attended by 1,500 guests, was held in Korosten’ in 1926 and a cheder continued working underground. The Soviet authorities promoted a secular Yiddish-languge culture: Korosten’ had 2 Jewish clubs, several libraries, 2 Jewish schools (one with ten grades). In 1925, Jews from Korosten’ founded 7 agricultural colonies in the Kherson District. In 1939, the Jewish population of Korosten’ was 10,991 (36%). When Germany invaded the USSR in 1941, many of Korosten’s Jews were able to evacuate. Over 6,000 Jews were murdered in 1941–42, although some 200 fought with partisan groups in the area. Jewish community life resumed after the war, with the synagogue reopened in 1946, Jews in need received financial support and the community had a shochet. The synagogue was closed in 1957. The 1970s–80s saw a revival of Jewish activism: a minyan gathered illegally, shechitah was performed. Mass emigration occurred in the late 1980s and the early 1990s, when most Jews left for Israel or the US. At the same time, new Jewish cultural and educational institutions were established. A synagogue with a mikveh and a yeshivah were opened in 1995. According to the 2001 census, Korosten’ had a Jewish population of 331.
According to the 1994–95 survey of the Jewish Preservation Committee (KSEN), the cemetery was likely founded in the 19th century. It is marked on maps from around 1900. The cemetery was demolished in 1960, and the area was built over. Some of the tombstones were moved to the Jewish part of the municipal cemetery.