Skala-Podil’s’ka Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Ukraine
Region
Ternopyl
District
Borshchiv
Settlement
Skala-Podil’s’ka
Site address
Skala-Podil’s’ka Jewish Cemetery
GPS coordinates
48.84974, 26.19783
Perimeter length
231 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
yes
Type and height of existing fence
Type of the fence
Preservation condition
Jewish section
General site condition
The cemetery is well-maintained but a 20-metre section of the fence is broken.
Number of existing gravestones
134
Date of oldest tombstone
1581 (oldest according to Yizkor), 1840 (oldest found by ESJF expedition)
Date of newest tombstone
1936 (latest found by ESJF expedition)
Urgency of erecting a fence
Fence is not needed
Land ownership
Property of local community
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys
Yes

Historical overview

The exact period of the cemetery’s establishment is unknown. The cemetery was mentioned and marked on a map in Yizkor book “Sefer Skalah” issued in 1978. According to a memorial tablet on the entrance to the cemetery and Yizkor book, it already existed in the 1580s. The cemetery was fenced in 1997.

Jews settled in Skala-Podils’ka in 1570. In the 18th century, the Jewish population was engaged in tenancy, trade and crafts. The first synagogue was built in the late 18th century. The Hasidic courts of Vizhnitz, Chortkiv, Ottynia, Strusiw and other trends were present in Skala-Podils’ka. Ten Hasidic prayer houses operated in the town. The Jewish population reached a peak of 3,449 (56% of the total population) by 1880. In the late 19th century, an association named “Dorshey Madda” (Pursuers of Knowledge) was opened. By the same time, the Zionist organizations were active in the town. In 1908, a Saffa Berura Hebrew school and a library were founded. In a 1911 fire, the old synagogue was burned. During WWI, many Jews were expelled by the Russian army. In the war period, the Jewish community suffered attacks of the Petlyura troops, the Bolsheviks, and the Polish army. In the 1930s, antisemitism was widespreaded. The Jewish population dropped to 1,460 in 1931. By the same year, Hevra Kadisha founded a home for the aged. During the Hungarian and German occupation, the local Jews were deported to the Janowska transit camp, Belzec death camp and Borschiv ghetto. Around 150 Jews of Skala-Podils’ka survived.