Jewish cemetery in Chernivtsi
Jews have been settling in Chernivtsi since the 15th century. The existence of the first Jewish cemetery has been known since the 18th century. The preserved Jewish cemetery was founded in 1866 by a decision of the municipality. The city authorities allocated a small plot and the Jewish community of Chernivtsi had to raise money to buy additional land.
In 1905, Beit Kadishim was erected at the cemetery, designed by architect Funkel, with four rooms: a farewell hall, a morgue, an office and a ritual shop.
After World War II, during the Soviet occupation, the cemetery became the property of the state. In 2018, hundreds of matzevahs were discovered at a military base near Chernivtsi, which Soviet soldiers used as building material in the second half of the 1940s. The Ukrainian military handed over the matzevah to the community. At the entrance to the cemetery, a wall was created from partially destroyed matzevahs.
In 1995, the Chernivtsi city council decided to include the territory of the Jewish cemetery in the historical and cultural reserve Cemeteries on Zelena Street. In 2016, volunteers cleaned up the cemetery.
The Jewish cemetery covers an area of over 14 hectares. It is a closed garden and park complex of more than 130 rectangles. There are about 50 thousand graves in the cemetery. There are four mass graves:
• Jewish soldiers who served in the Austrian army during the First World War.
• Muslim soldiers of the Austrian army of the First World War, whom the Jewish community at one time allowed to be buried in the cemetery.
• Romanian population killed in 1941.
• Victims of the Holocaust in Chernivtsi.
There are several types of monuments at the cemetery: crypts of famous community figures located closer to the entrance, matzevahs depicting various subjects, stelas and obelisks. The materials used for the gravestones are marble, granite, sandstone, gabbro, cement.
The gravestones bear inscriptions in Hebrew, German and Russian.
The Jewish cemetery in Chernivtsi is one of the top 10 mystical places in Ukraine and is considered one of the largest preserved Jewish necropolises in Central and Eastern Europe.