Novohrad Volynskyy New Jewish Cemetery
The exact period of the cemetery establishment is unknown. It emerged no later than the mid 19th century, as the earliest tombstone dates to 1855. The writer Mordechai Zeev Feerberg was buried here in 1899.
The first Jews mentioned in Novohrad-Volyns’kyy (Ukr. Новоград-Волинський, Rus. Новоград-Волынский, Yid. זװיל, until 1795 Zwiahel – Ukr., Rus. Звягель) are three tax farmers from Lutsk in 1488. In 1620, Jews owned 7 houses in the city. No large Jewish community existed until the late 17th century, after the Chmielnicki uprising of 1648–49. In 1765, there were 577 Jewish taxpayers in the city and in the neighbouring communities. The city became a major Hasidic centre. The Zvhil dynasty of Hasidic rebbes originated here. The Jewish population was 3,139 in 1847 and rose to 9,378, which was 55% of the total population in 1897. The community maintained: a synagogue, 23 prayer houses, a hospital, an old people’s home, a loan fund, a talmud-torah, a yeshivah, Jewish schools and a library. Zionists and the Bund became active in the early 20th century. During the Civil War of 1918–21, the Jews of Novohrad-Volyns’kyy suffered from pogroms and epidemics. Jewish self-defense groups were formed to defend against looters. Between July & August 1919, about 1,000 Jews were killed and the city was burned to the ground. In 1923, there were 5,757 Jews in Novohrad-Volyns’kyy, just over half of the pre-war population. The Soviet authorities closed all the Jewish religious institutions and demolished the old cemetery. At this time however, two Yiddish-language schools were opened in the city. Novohrad-Volyns’kyy had a Jewish population of 6,839 (29%). During the German occupation, the Jews who had not managed to flee, were confined in a ghetto. The majority of them, over 3,000, were murdered in August–September 1941. Some Jews had managed to escape and joined the partisans. Some 3,000 Jews returned after the war. The synagogue was reopened in 1945. In the 1960s, the congregation was officially disbanded, although a minyan gathered in private homes. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 brought about a revival of Jewish religious and cultural life. Most of the Jews, however, emigrated to Israel or the US. According to the 2001 census, the Jewish population of Novohrad-Volyns’kyy was 188.
The cemetery was founded in the 1850s and the oldest surviving matzevah is that of R. Yechiel Michl Goldman of Zvhil (1855). The victims of the 1919 pogroms were buried in mass graves in this cemetery. During WWII, the Germans demolished some of the tombstones and used them for construction. The remains of Holocaust victims from several nearby villages were reinterred in the Novohrad-Volyns’kyy cemetery in the 1950–60s. The grave of one of the first modern Hebrew writers, Mordechai Zeev Fayerberg, was rediscovered in 2005. The cemetery was renovated in 2015, the new fence was financed by Bank Hapoalim (Israel).