November 29, 2018

Fencing completed at historic Buchach Jewish cemetery in Ukraine

The ESJF is delighted to announce the completion of fencing at the Jewish cemetery of Buchach in the Ternopil region of Western Ukraine.

This large Jewish cemetery has around 2,000 existing gravestones stretching back to the 1590s. Spread across some three hectares, it is the largest fencing project undertaken by the ESJF to date.

Formerly part of Poland before WWII and prior to that in the historic region of Eastern Galicia in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Jews in Buchach are mentioned in documents from 1500. The community grew notably in the 18th century.

At the end of the century Buchach became an important centre of the Jewish Enlightenment, when Pinchas Eliyahu Horowitz, author of “Sefer ha-Brit”, lived in the town).

Later, in the 19th century, a small Hasidic court was established in Buchach, led by the town’s rabbi, Avraham David Worman, a disciple of Moshe Leib of Sasov.

But especially, the community is famous for its natives of the late 19th – early 20th century. Among them are Shmuel Yosef Agnon, the Nobel Literature laureate, born in Buchach in 1887 and who spent his childhood there; Emanuel Ringelblum, a prominent Jewish historian and a chronicler of the Warsaw ghetto, born in Buchach in 1900; and the famous Austrian Nazi hunter, Simon Wiesenthal, born in Buchach in 1908.

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