Novohrad Volynskyy Old Jewish Cemetery
The cemetery is marked on the plan of the city from the late 19th century. The perimeter is drawn according to this plan. According to the Commission on the Preservation of Jewish Heritage, it was demolished and overbuilt in the late 1920s-1930s. According to the Commission on the Preservation of Jewish Heritage, it was in use until 1917. There are testimonies that the Jewish cemetery was established in Novohrad-Volyns’kyy in the late 17th century.
The first Jews mentioned in Novohrad-Volyns’kyy (Ukr. Новоград-Волинський, Rus. Новоград-Волынский, Yid. זװיל, until 1795 Zwiahel – Ukr., Rus. Звягель) are three tax farmers from Lutsk in 1488. In 1620, Jews owned 7 houses in the city. No large Jewish community existed until the late 17th century, after the Chmielnicki uprising of 1648–49. In 1765, there were 577 Jewish taxpayers in the city and in the neighbouring communities. The city became a major Hasidic centre. The Zvhil dynasty of Hasidic rebbes originated here. The Jewish population was 3,139 in 1847 and rose to 9,378, which was 55% of the total population in 1897. The community maintained: a synagogue, 23 prayer houses, a hospital, an old people’s home, a loan fund, a talmud-torah, a yeshivah, Jewish schools and a library. Zionists and the Bund became active in the early 20th century. During the Civil War of 1918–21, the Jews of Novohrad-Volyns’kyy suffered from pogroms and epidemics. Jewish self-defense groups were formed to defend against looters. Between July & August 1919, about 1,000 Jews were killed and the city was burned to the ground. In 1923, there were 5,757 Jews in Novohrad-Volyns’kyy, just over half of the pre-war population. The Soviet authorities closed all the Jewish religious institutions and demolished the old cemetery. At this time however, two Yiddish-language schools were opened in the city. Novohrad-Volyns’kyy had a Jewish population of 6,839 (29%). During the German occupation, the Jews who had not managed to flee, were confined in a ghetto. The majority of them, over 3,000, were murdered in August–September 1941. Some Jews had managed to escape and joined the partisans. Some 3,000 Jews returned after the war. The synagogue was reopened in 1945. In the 1960s, the congregation was officially disbanded, although a minyan gathered in private homes. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 brought about a revival of Jewish religious and cultural life. Most of the Jews, however, emigrated to Israel or the US. According to the 2001 census, the Jewish population of Novohrad-Volyns’kyy was 188.
The cemetery was likely founded in the mid 18th century. It is marked on a city map from 1798. The cemetery apparently fell into disuse in the mid 19th century. It was gradually built over in the 1930–50s. The inscription on the only surviving matzevah is illegible. The ohel over the grave of R. Moshe of Zvhil was demolished around 1950. A new one was built in 2011.