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Jewish cemetery in Ovruch, Ukraine

Ovruch is a city in the Zhytomyr region of Ukraine, where Jews have lived since the 18th century. In 1918, their share in the population was 66%. By the end of the 1970s, it had dropped to 7%. In the 21st century, several dozen Jews lived in the city.

According to sources, there were two Jewish cemeteries in the city at the beginning of the 20th century. One has been in effect since the 18th century. It has not survived. The second was founded in the 1930s. The Jewish community of Ovruch has created a website, which still has information on the first rows of the old and new parts of the cemetery.

Burials in the cemetery are cataloged. There are 1467 graves in the electronic register. 181 of them did not fully preserve the chronological and anthroponymical data. Early burials date back to the 1930s. Of these, chronologically, the very first is the grave of Geifman Aizis Borisovich (1893-1933).

Late ones date back to 2010. These are the burials of Belyavsky Ilya Borisovich (1950-2014), Belyavsky Roman Mykhailovych (1922-2014), Rozman Bela Solomonovna (1950-2014), Olevsky Efim Arkadievich (1926-2015) and Feldman Olga Borisovna (1946-2017).

The grave of the Narodich Rebbe (Rabbi Shulman Motl) without dates has been preserved at the cemetery.

There are also several collective graves. In particular, the burial of the Grishpon family with an inscription on the slab: "Here are buried Grishpon Gersh Khaimovich, Grishpon Roza Davidovna, Grishpon Ida Grigorievna, who were shot by the German fascists in 1941."

Another grave of those who perished during World War II with an inscription on the plate: "You were with me all my life, my dear ones: Father Shlema Issokharovich 1898, sisters Bronya 1925, Maria 1934, brothers Joseph 1928, Vladimir 1930. Tragically died in 1941." On the same site, there are the graves of Pinsky Issokhar Shlemovich (1922-1989) and Pinsky Riva Borisovna (1922-1996).

The cemetery in Ovruch is interesting with various symbols on the gravestones of men and women. If the Star of David is found on the graves of men, then the image of the menorah is typical for female burials. For example, the Star of David is painted on the grave of Unik Izrail Mikhailovich (1890-1961), and the menorah is on the slab of the grave of Unik Khana Peisakhovna (1893-1961).

There are also images of the menorah on the slab of the grave of Ilibman Nehaly Monches (1844-1962). There are also inscriptions in Hebrew and Russian. The epitaph reads: “Sleep well, tireless toiler, eternally alive and beloved mother. From deeply grieving husband, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren."