Jewish settlement began in Kaniv towards the end of the 17th century. By 1897, the Jewish population had grown to 2,682 (30% of the total population). In 1910, the town had a synagogue, two additional prayer houses, and three government-sponsored schools (two male and one female). Kanev was occupied by the Nazis on August 16, 1941. In November 1941, 150 Jews were shot in the Berestovetsky ravine. Those Jews who were not killed in the first massacre tried to escape from the city and hide during the beginning of the winter of 1941/42. They were caught by local police and taken to Korsun’, where they were shot in the Kuschaevka ravine.
The cemetery was established in the 18th century and is still in use. It is situated in in the central part of the city, near the hydro-forest-meliorative station, 300 metres to the left of the Myronivka-Kyiv road. It can be accessed another 100 metres along a forest road. The site was found to be unfenced and overgrown.