Novhorod-Sivers’kyy Old Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Ukraine
Region
Chernihiv
District
Novhorod-Siverskyi
Settlement
Novhorod
Site address
Novhorod-Sivers'kyy Old Jewish Cemetery
GPS coordinates
52.00707, 33.29828
Perimeter length
284 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
yes
Type and height of existing fence
No fence
Preservation condition
Demolished Jewish cemetery that has not been built over
General site condition
Demolished Jewish cemetery that has not been built over. The cemetery site is now derelict.
Number of existing gravestones
No tombstones preserved
Date of oldest tombstone
Date of newest tombstone
Urgency of erecting a fence
Low
Land ownership
Private
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys
Yes

Historical overview

The exact period of the cemetery’s establishment is unknown. It cannot be found marked on old maps of the region. The cemetery most likely dates to the mid 19th century. According to the “Ukrayinika” organisation, the cemetery was demolished in the 1950s. After this, many of the tombstones were stored in the Base of Young Naturalist’s yard until 1962 and gradually removed by locals for use as a construction material. No visible traces of the cemetery or its boundaries remain today.

The first mention of a Jewish settlement in Novhorod-Sivers’kyy was when a residence permit was granted to the townspeople by King Sigismund III Vasa of Poland (1587-2632). According to the permit, Jews were forbidden to sell meat in the town, except in the courtyard of the synagogue. During the Khmelnytsky Uprising of 1648 many were massacred. The community was renewed only in the late 18th century. According to the 1847 census, 1,336 Jews were registered in the community. By 1897, the number had risen to 1,956 (32% of the population). In 1892, there were six private Jewish schools and a state Jewish school in Novhorod-Sivers’kyi. The rabbi was Haim Bogin. The Jewish community survived a wave of pogroms in 1905 and 1918. In the beginning of the 20th century there were 5 synagogues and a Jewish secondary school in the town. There were 2 Jewish cemeteries. In 1914, Jews owned the only pharmacy, all 4 pharmaceutical stores, both bakeries, all 3 hotels, the only photostudio, the watchmaker workshop, and 35 shops and stores (all 10 groceries, all 4 factories, and the only jewellery store). The Jews were also timber merchants. Between 1924 and 1935, the rabbi was Zelman Abramovich Khurgin. In 1926, there were 2,089 Jews (22.8% of the population), and by 1939 it had dropped to 982 (8.56%). Novhorod-Sivers’kyy was occupied from August 26th, 1941 to September 16th, 1943. Most of the Jews were able to evacuate. Frrom November 7th-8th, 1941, 174 Jews were shot by the 10th Infantry Regiment unit of the first mechanised infantry brigade of the SS. The last of the local Jews were killed in concentration camp, along with more than 17,000 Soviet captives between 1942 and 1943. The Jewish community was officially reestablished in 1990. Between 1998 and 2002 there was a working Chessed canteen. The Head of community wass Etya Kaufman. Zino Davidoff (Zusele-Meer Davidov son of Gilel), tobacco merchant, was born in Novhorod-Siverskyi in 1904. The exact period of the cemetery’s establishment is unknown. It cannot be found marked on old maps of the region. The cemetery most likely dates to the mid-19th century. According to the “Ukrayinika” organisation, the cemetery was demolished in the 1950s. After this, many of the tombstones were stored in the Base of Young Naturalist’s yard until 1962 and gradually removed by locals for use as construction materials. No visible traces of the cemetery or its boundaries remain today.