Surveys in Ukraine

ESJF 2019/20 surveys in five European countries

Belz Jewish Cemetery

Drone survey :
Belz Jewish Cemetery
Historical map and perimeter :
Belz Jewish Cemetery

Country:
Ukraine
Region:
Lviv
District:
Sokal
Settlement:
Belz
Site Address:
The cemetery is located opposite the house at 47, Mitskevycha Street.
GPS coordinates:
50.38310,23.99170
Perimeter length:
530 metres
Is the cemetery demolished:
No
Type and height of existing fence:
Type of the fence. The cemetery is surrounded by a metal fence of 1,5 metres height.
General Site Condition:
Fenced and protected Jewish cemetery. The cemetery is severely overgrown. It requires clearing. The fence is in excellent condition.
Number of existing gravestones:
300
Date of Oldest Tombstone:
1853 (oldest found by ESJF expedition)
Date of Newest Tombstone:
1934 (latest found by ESJF expedition)
Urgency of erecting a fence:
Fence is not needed (already fenced)
Land Ownership:
Property of local community
Preserved Construction on Site:
There is an ohel outside of the cemetery fence. There are tziyunim of Rabbi Shalom (died in 1855), his son Rabbi Eliezer (died in 1882), Rabbanit Malka (died in 1853) and one more tziyun without a name.
Drone surveys:
Yes

The exact period of the cemetery’s establishment is unknown. First, it appears on Austrian maps of the 1880s, but the oldest preserved gravestone relates to the mid-19th century. The Jews were present in Belz from the beginning of the 15th century. In 1616, Jews owned 29 houses. During the Khmelnytskyi uprising of 1648-49, the Jewish community suffered hunger and plague. More than 200 Jews died. Famous Hasidic dynasties resided there from the early 19th century. In 1843, a tzadik Sholom Rokeach (1783–1855) built the Great Synagogue of Belz. In 1859, the Jewish population numbered 1,783 (51% of the total population) and continued to grow till 1910, when it reached its peak of 3,625 (60.2% of the total population). During the WWI, many Jews fled the town. The Jewish community suffered pogroms during the Polish-Soviet War. By 1921, the Jewish population declined to 2,104 (50.7% of the total population). The Joint Distribution Committee supported the Jewish community after WWI. In the interwar period, a Beit-Midrash operated. The Zionist organizations such as Noar Ahva (1926), Gordonia (1928), Ha-Noar ha-Zioni (1930) were active. In October 1939, when the Red Army troops left Belz, almost all the local Jews fled. On June 2, 1942, about 1,000 Jews were deported to the Sobibor death camp. Later that year, around 500 Jews suffered the same fate. After 1945, 220 Jews returned to Belz.