Sachkhere Oldest Jewish Cemetery
Sachkhere is a town in upper-Imereti, Western Georgia. Its history dates back to the Bronze Age. As a settlement, Sachkhere was first mentioned in the historical records in the 17th century as a strategic trading point on the Kvirila river.
While it is not known when and from where the first Jewish settlers came to Sachkhere, 19th century Georgian historian Zakaria Chichinadze believes the Jewish population came to Sachkhere from Kartli. On the other hand, there are sources which refer to the mutual migration process of Jews between Sachkhere and Kutaisi. Some of Sachkhere’s Jews were serfs during the feudal period. While most of Sachkhere’s Jewish population traditionally were involved in trade, some worked in agriculture. Most sources regarding Jewish life in Sachkhere date to the 19th century, which note that the Jews of Sachkhere did not have any separate district and lived throughout the town. As a result, there were 4 synagogues in the town, each in a separate district. Sachkhere’s synagogues date to the 19th century. According to archival documents from 1946, the wooden synagogue was built in 1901 and later the stone one in 1903. Most likely the Sachkhere’ Jewish cemetery was established around the same time.
The oldest Jewish cemetery in Sachkhere is located in the village of Zeda Skhvitori, on the road towards the Todadze fortress. The cemetery likely dates to the 19th century. The gravestones are illegible and the majority are covered by soil.