Novovitebsk Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Site address
Driving from the village of Zheltoye towards the village of Novovitebsk to the west, after 850m the cemetery will be located.
GPS coordinates
47.97309, 33.88787
Perimeter length
433 мetres
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
The moat is clearly visible.
Preservation condition
Unfenced Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The cemetery was partially demolished. There are non-Jewish burials in the cemetery. The surviving part of the Jewish cemetery is covered with dense seasonal vegetation. Apparently, this was a Jewish cemetery, however there are many non-Jewish burials. None of the locals knew that this was a Jewish cemetery. The moat is clearly visible, seasonal overgrowth is present.
Number of existing gravestones
There are 5 gravestones.
Date of oldest tombstone
1885 (the earliest tombstone found by ESJF).
Date of newest tombstone
1909 (the latest tombstone found by ESJF).
Urgency of erecting a fence
Land ownership
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys

Historical overview

The exact period of the cemetery’s establishment is unknown. The cemetery emerged no later than the second half of the 19th century, as the earliest preserved tombstone dates to 1885.

There is not much information available about the Jewish community of Novovitebsk. It was established as a Jewish agricultural colony and in 1868, there were 501 inhabitants. Between the 1840’s-1860’s, the rabbi was Benjamin Knyazhik. In 1868 a synagogue was opened.

In 1887, there were 56 Jewish households, out of the total 64. According to the census of 1897, the Jewish population numbered 849 Jews, which was 86.6% of the town. The Jews of Novovitebsk were involved in agriculture. By 1916, there were 2 synagogues, 4 chadarim, and a Jewish school. The Jewish population suffered from the pogroms during the civil war.
In 1929, the kolkhoz was organised. In 1938, a normal school, with 140 students, and the Yiddish secondary school were closed.

Novovitebsk was occupied in August 1941. 277 Jews were moved to a ghetto. On April 13th, those found capable of manual labour were transferred to the labour camp. The remaining Jews were executed in May 1942.

There is no information on the modern Jewish community of Novovitebsk.

The exact period of the cemetery’s establishment is unknown. It is likely that it was founded no later than in the second half of the 19th century. The earliest found gravestone dates to 1885. The most recent gravestone dates to 1909. The cemetery is partially demolished and there are only 5 remaining Jewish gravestones.

3D model