Dnipro Old Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Site address
The site of the former cmetery is located at the intersection of Darwin Streets, Kurgan Streets and Povitova Streets. The entire Tovstikova street was also build on part of the cemetery.
GPS coordinates
48.44998, 35.04066
Perimeter length
967 мetres
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
No fence
Preservation condition
Demolished and overbuilt Jewish cemetery
General site condition
Built up with private houses and other buildings.
Number of existing gravestones
No tombstones preserved.
Date of oldest tombstone
Date of newest tombstone
Urgency of erecting a fence
Fence is not needed
Land ownership
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys

Historical overview

The exact period of the cemetery establishment is unknown. The Russian Jewish Encyclopedia states that there was a Jewish cemetery and that Karaites were buried nearby. The oldest monument to the Karaites, installed on the grave of the founder of the Karaite colony of Dnipro, dates back to 1843. Thus, it can be assumed that the cemetery emerged no later than the first half of the 19th century. The cemetery is marked on the city plans and maps of the second half of the 19th century. There is no information available about the period of the demolishing.

The earliest known Jewish community of Dnipro was established in the late 18th century. In 1800, there was a synagogue, which was burned down in 1833. In 1805, there were 376 Jewish residents. By 1853, a stone synagogue had been built. It is said that there was both a Jewish cemetery and a Karaites cemetery. According to the census of 1847, the Jewish population numbered 1,699 people. In 1864, there was a state secondary school, a Talmud Torah, 15 chadarim, and 5 synagogues and in 1879, a Karaite school was opened (23 students).

The Jewish community survived a series of severe pogroms in 1881, 1884 and 1886. Despite this, the Jewish population continued to grow. By 1881, it had grown fourfold to 6,700 people. In 1884, a branch of Hibbat Zion was opened, the head of which was Mihl Maidansky. In the 1890s a drama group of Bryanchinsky was active in the city. According to the census of 1887, the Jewish population numbered 41,420 people, with 359 karaites among them, out of the total of 112,000.

Between 1898—1904 the rabbi was Sh. Levin, the headman of the choral synagogue was M. Karpas and the senior cantor of the Karaite community was S. Shigit. The Jewish community suffered from pogroms on July 20th and October 21st 1905, in which 126 Jews died. Between 1904-1917, the state rabbi was Mendel Leibovich Brushtein. Between 1908-1921, the rabbi was Pinhos Gelman. Between 1907-1939, the rabbi was the father of Chabad-Lubavitch Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson, Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic rabbi Levi Yitzchak Schneerson.

The Jewish community were mostly engaged in small-scale trading and tailoring. By 1910, there were 21 synagogues and 2 Jewish cemeteries in Dnipro. Three years later, in 1913 there were 38 synagogues, a kenesa, Jewish hospital, a Karaite school, a state school, 3 Talmud Torahs, a Jewish women gymnasium, dozens of chadarim in the city.

In May 1919, around 150 Jews were killed during a pogrom. In the early 1920s the rabbi was I.-L. Levin.
By the late 1920s and early 1930s, almost all synagogues in the city were closed, including the choral synagogue. At the same time there was an underground Lubavitch yeshiva, under the leadership of N. Labkovsky, Aba Pliskin, Mordkhe-Tzvi Kharitonov and Menachem Mendel Futerfas. By 1939, the Jewish population had grown to 89,529, out of the 232,000 who lived in the city.

Dnipro was occupied on August 25th 1941 and 179 Jews were murdered in late September. Between October 13th-14th 1941, 13,000-15,000 Jews were executed. 2,000 more Jews were murdered between late 1941 and early 1942. In total, more than 27,000 Jews from Dnipro and the area were killed.

Between 1946-47, the stone synagogue was returned to the Jewish community. From 1946 until 1953, the rabbi was I.-L. Levin. In 1959, were 53,400 Jewish residents. In 1970 there were 57 karaites among the 50,422 Jews, who comprised 5.8% of the total population. In the late 1980s, the Jewish community life began to revive, however by 1989, the Jewish population had dropped to 37,869. Since 1991 a yeshiva, the largest Jewish school, the International Humanitarian and Pedagogical Institute “Beit Khan” (formerly the Women’s Pedagogical Institute) have operated in the city. In 1995, the Shaarey Khesed and information center were opened. Since 1990, the chief rabbi of Dnipro has been Shmuel Kaminetsky. In 1997, the building of the Choral Synagogue was returned to the Jewish community and in 2000, the Golden Rose Synagogue was opened. On October 16th 2012, work started on the Menorah center, a cultural and business center of the Jewish community. Nowadays the Dnipro Jewish community is one of the biggest in Ukraine.

The exact period of the cemetery establishment is unknown. It is stated in the Russian Jewish Encyclopedia that there was a Jewish cemetery, and a Karaites cemetery. The oldest monument to the Karaites dates to 1843. Therefore it can be assumed that the cemetery emerged no later than in the first half of the 19th century. The cemetery is marked on the city plans and maps of the second half of the 19th century. There is no information as to the demolition of the cemetery, however it is now over built with buildings.