Murafa Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Site address
The cemetery is located across the street from the house on 20 A Pushkin Street.
GPS coordinates
48.78612, 28.22764
Perimeter length
554 мetres
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
The cemetery is partially surrounded by a broken masonry wall.
Preservation condition
Unfenced Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The cemetery site is overgrown. Apparently, the cemetery was once divided into two sections: for older and newer burials. A broken masonry wall runs around the site.
Number of existing gravestones
Approximately 3,000 tombstones.
Date of oldest tombstone
1762 (the earliest tombstone found by ESJF).
Date of newest tombstone
2016 _(the latest tombstone found by ESJF).
Urgency of erecting a fence
Land ownership
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys

Historical overview

According to IAJGS, the cemetery was established in the 16th century.

The town of Murafa is first mentioned in 1432. From 1569 the region belonged to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Jews first settled there no later than in the early 18th century. At that time Murafa was already divided into two parts: Old Murafa and New Murafa. In 1735, the Haidamaks murdered several Jews, and ten Jewish homes were burned. In 1765, the Jewish population was 509.
In 1793, after the Second partition of Poland, it came under the control of the Russian Empire, and became a part of the Podolia Governorate (Podolskaya Gubernia). In 1897, Old Murafa was almost totally Jewish: 1350 of the total population of 1361. New Murafa seems to have had a few Jewish families as well. In 1905, Murafa had 4 prayer houses.
After 1922, Murafa became a part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic within the USSR. In 1926, the Jewish population was 1421, with a Jewish council and Yiddish school in operation.
The Nazis occupied Murafa on 22 July 1941. After it was annexed by Transnistria in early September, an open ghetto, Judenrat, and Jewish police were established. Thousands of Jews from Bessarabia and Bukovina were deported to there, with 2605 remaining on 1 September 1943. Hundreds were sent to different camps and perished. In 1946 the Jewish population of Murafa was 600.
In 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Murafa became a part of the independent Ukraine.
The Jewish cemetery of Murafa is believed to have been established in the 16th century. Today it has around 3000 headstones, which date back to the mid 18th century, and is still in use.