Jeleniewo Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Podlaskie Voivodeship
Site address
The cemetery is located adjacent to Nos. 20-22 Suwalska Street. The cemetery area is located in the back gardens of residential blocks 20-22. The access road to the cemetery is between those properties.
GPS coordinates
54.2041606, 22.9148626
Perimeter length
217 meters
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
The cemetery is fenced with new masonry wall (0.8 - 1.2 meters high) with a metal gate.
Preservation condition
Fenced and protected Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The Jewish cemetery of Jeleniewo is located in a wooded area, surrounded by residential properties from the west side and the forest from the eastern side. The cemetery area is well maintained: there is a new masonry wall and a new gate made of steel, the bushes have been cut back and the grass is regularly mowed. There is a cemetery sign between 20-22, Suwalska Street. Some tombstones and a Holocaust memorial are present in the cemetery site.
Number of existing gravestones
Date of oldest tombstone
1765, 1794 (by ESJF)
Date of newest tombstone
1914 (by, 1881 (by ESJF)
Urgency of erecting a fence
Fence is not needed
Land ownership
Preserved construction on site
There is a memorial stone in honour of the local victims of Holocaust with the following inscription: “We remember them with love and remain alive in our memory. Dedicated to the memory of the Jews from Jeleniewo, whose final resting place is this cemetery, and the rest, deported to the places of extermination in 1939 - 1945. May they rest in peace”
Drone surveys

Historical overview

Jews likely settled in Jeleniewo in the mid-18th century. In 1921, 175 Jews lived in the village (37% of the entire population). In December 1939, the Germans deported the Jewish community to Suwałki, and then to Łomazy. Some of them were likely also deported to Biała Podlaska. All, or most of Jeleniewo’s Jews were murdered during World War II.

The cemetery is located about 200 metres southeast of the village centre, 100 metres east of Suwalska Street, and covers the geodesic plot No. 344 and is shaped like a pentagon with an area of approximately 0.39 hectares. The cemetery was likely established in the second half of the 18th century and was in use until the deportation of the local Jews in 1939. The destruction of the cemetery began during World War II and continued through the following decades. Some of the local population took part in the destruction process and the tombstones were used as building material. The cemetery has suffered extensive damange. In a 1989 Cemetery Card, in the paragraph “The General State of Preservation” the following was written:

“The condition is bad. The facility is partially overgrown with bushes and young trees. Tombstones and graves are completely invisible.”

At that time, the cemetery was enclosed with a metal mesh fence with an iron gate. In the early 1990’s, at the initiative of Herman Storick from Larchmont, the cemetery was cleaned up and fenced with a stone wall. At the entrance, a monument designed by Cecilia Storick dedicated to the Jewish community of Jeleniewo and the cemetery was unveiled. A brochure with the history of the Jews of Jeleniewo and a catalog of the tombstones was also published. There are about 30 tombstones within the cemetery. Most of them are made of fieldstone granite, the oldest of which dates to 1788. The area is regularly cleaned and maintained. This work is financed by Herman Storick and carried out in cooperation with the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage and the Nissenbaum Family Foundation. The owner of the cemetery is the State Treasury and it is listed in the Register of Immovable Monuments of the Podlaskie Voivodeship.