Kareli Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Site address
Starting at the intersection of Chavchavadze Street and Tamar Mepe Street, turn left onto Tamar Mepe Street and continue a further 350 metres before turning right onto Aghmashenebeli Street. Continue for 550 metres and turn right at the end of Aghmashenebeli Street before driving a further 80 metres, at which point the cemetery can be seen to the left.
GPS coordinates
42.01618, 43.89606
Perimeter length
342 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
The cemetery is protected by 3 types of fence: one concrete, one metal, and one metal mesh, ranging from 1.5 to 2 metres.
Preservation condition
Fenced and protected Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The cemetery is relatively well-maintained, although it is partially overgrown with small bushes and tall grass.
Number of existing gravestones
Date of oldest tombstone
Date of newest tombstone
Urgency of erecting a fence
Fence is not needed
Land ownership
Property of local community
Preserved construction on site
There are two ohel-like structures on the site.
Drone surveys

Historical overview

Kareli is a town in Shida Kartli, Georgia, located on the right bank of the Mtkvari River. Kareli was first recorded as a village in documents from 1715 and was a property of the Tsitsishvili noble family. In 1981, it received town status under the Soviet government. Since 1939, it has been the administrative centre of the Kareli district. According to Eldar Mamistvalishvili, Jews lived in Kareli for a long time, however, there is scarce recorded information about their life and occupations until the 19th century. Zakaria Chichinadze stated that Jews moved from Zovreti to Kareli in the 16th century. At the beginning of the 20th century about 400 Jews lived in Kareli, they had a synagogue and a Hakham (rabbi). In the 20th century, the migration of the Jews of Kareli to Gori and to Tbilisi, and later to Israel, led to the almost complete disappearance of Kareli’s Jewish community.

There were two Synagogues in Kareli. The first synagogue was built in the 19th century and was rebuilt in 1990 after the fire. Today the synagogue is no longer active. The second synagogue was built in 1902 by Rabbi Abram Tsitsuashvili. It suffered some damaged following an earthquake in 1940, after which it was rebuilt and used as a matzah bakery. The Jewish cemetery in Kareli dates to the 19th century and was active until the second half of the 20th century, before the period of Aliyah (Jewish immigration to Israel). While most burials in the Kareli Jewish cemetery date to the 1970’s, the earliest legible tombstone is from 1906, and the most recent tombstone is from 1998.