Ovruch Oldest Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Site address
The cemetery is located at the intersection of Stepan Bandera (Gorky) and Shalom Aleichem streets.
GPS coordinates
51.31826, 28.80232
Perimeter length
196 мetres
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
No fence
Preservation condition
Demolished and overbuilt Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The cemetery was demolished. The territory has been overbuilt with private houses.
Number of existing gravestones
No tombstones preserved.
Date of oldest tombstone
Date of newest tombstone
Urgency of erecting a fence
Fence is not needed
Land ownership
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys

Historical overview

The exact period of the cemetery’s establishment is unknown. According to the Commission on the Preservation of Jewish Heritage, the cemetery was demolished in the 1920-1930s, and overbuilt with private houses. It is not marked on maps.

Jews in Ovruch (Ukr., Rus. Овруч, Yid. אָווריטש) are first mentioned in 1629. In the 18th and 19th centuries Ovruch was a major Hasidic centre. The Jewish population of Ovruch rose from 607 in 1765, (including neighbouring smaller communities) to 1,173 in 1847, and had grown to 3,445 Jewish residents (47% of the town) by 1897. The Jewish community maintained a synagogue, several prayer houses and chadarim, a talmud-torah, a private school, an elderly care home as well as 2 cemeteries. During the Civil War of 1918–21, the Jews of Ovruch survived several pogroms. Zionists were active until at least 1925. A Yiddish-language school operated in the 1920s. A Jewish collective farm was established near Ovruch. In 1939, the Jewish population of Ovruch was 3,862 (33%). In 1941, many of the Jews were able to flee the advancing German army. A pogrom was staged even before the arrival of the Germans. The majority of the Jews who remained in Ovruch were murdered. After WWII was over, the Jewish community reemerged. In 1970, the Jewish population of Ovruch was around 1,600 (12%). Most of the Jews emigrated to the USA or Israel in the late 20th century. As of 2001, there were 103 Jews living in Ovruch and the neighbouring area.
It is not known when the cemetery was founded. According to the 1994–95 survey of the Jewish Preservation Committee (KSEN), it was demolished in the 1920s–30s.