Jewish cemetery of Chisinau
Jews have been settling in Chisinau since the 18th century. Since that time, the charter of the Jewish funeral society has been preserved. By the end of the 19th century, Jews made up over 46% of the city's population. More than 50 thousand people lived here.
Sources report three Jewish cemeteries that existed before the early twentieth century:
• Cemetery on Izmailskaya Street is marked on the plan of Chisinau, drawn up in 1871. In Soviet times, a multi-storey residential building was erected in its place.
• Cemetery on Skulyanka (the area of modern Chisinau). No data about the time of its foundation has been preserved. Demolished in Soviet times.
• Cemetery in the Riscani district, dating back to the 17th-18th centuries. Demolished in Soviet times.
In the 21st century in Chisinau, one Jewish cemetery has been preserved on Milano Street in the Buiucani district. The city authorities assigned it to the cemeteries of the second category. The burials on it date back to the beginning of the 19th century, although, according to the preserved official documents, it has been officially operating since 1887.
A diagram of the cemetery dating from 1918 has been preserved, in which nine sectors are marked. In the sixth sector, a ritual structure is indicated on the plan. In the second half of the twentieth century, the territory of the cemetery decreased. In 1958, the authorities assigned part of the cemetery to an agricultural market. Two years later, the eastern part of the cemetery was demolished. The graveyard slabs were used to build a fence in the western part and paths in the park, which was erected on the site of the demolished part.
There is a description of the cemetery from the 2010 report of the American Commission for the Preservation of American Heritage Abroad titled “Jewish Heritage and Monuments of Moldova”. According to the report, the area of the cemetery is 100 hectares. It is surrounded by a stone wall with a gate. There are about 20 thousand graves in the cemetery. The headstones are made of sandstone, marble, granite, limestone and slate. Some of the graves have decorative structures in the form of mausoleums. Some of the graves are fenced off with metal bars. There are ruins of a funeral home on the territory.
The cemetery has:
• Mass grave of victims of the plague, in which Christians and Jews are buried.
• Tomb of Yehuda-Leib Tsirilson - rabbi of Bessarabia.
• Monument to the victims of the Chisinau pogrom.
• Monument to the victims of the Holocaust.
The latter suffered from vandals in 1999. In 2002, 50 graves were destroyed as a result of an act of vandalism. In 2013, the graves suffered from unauthorized felling of trees.
In 2019, the territory was cleaned and the cemetery was partially restored.