Sujuna Old Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Site address
Entering Sujuna from the direction of Abasha, the Sujuna Orthodox Church is on the right. Turn left and continue for 220 meters in a southerly direction. Then turn right. The Jewish cemetery is located after about 250 meters on the right.
GPS coordinates
42.19837, 42.14491
Perimeter length
230 meters
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
The cemetery is fenced with metal fencing about 1.3 meters in height and with concrete fencing about 1.4 meters in height. There is also some wire mesh fencing in certain areas. At the back of the cemetery, the fence has been destroyed in several places.
Preservation condition
Fenced and protected Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The cemetery is fenced and marked from the facade. It is well maintained. However, because of the local climate, in winter and spring parts of the cemetery are covered by water.
Number of existing gravestones
Date of oldest tombstone
Date of newest tombstone
1966, 1986
Urgency of erecting a fence
Land ownership
Property of local community
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys

Historical overview

There are two Jewish cemeteries in Sujuna, located adjacent to one another. One of them was cleaned and fenced in 2013. Private houses located around the site of this cemetery separate the territory from the synagogue, which is on a parallel street. The description at the entrance states the cemetery was in use from 1830 until 1990. However, legible dates on tombstones indicate the cemetery was actually in active use from the mid-19th century until 1966.

Sujuna is a village in the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti region in Western Georgia. According to various sources, Jews began living in the area by the 11th-12th centuries. Another source, however, states that the Jewish population came to Sujuna from Lailashi in the North-West of Georgia through Bandza at the end of the 17th century. A document dated 1770 suggests that Jewish serfs were gifted to a church in Sujuna and settled near the monastery. In the mid-19th century about 75 Jewish merchants lived in the town who played an active role in the region’s trade. According to the documents of the USSR’s Council for the Affairs of Religious Cults, the stone synagogue in Sujuna was built in 1819, and about 100 people were attending it for religious holidays in the mid-20th century.