Ternivka Old Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Site address
Starting at 1 Svyatkova Street (ukrposhta) head south-west along the T0202 road towards Urozhainaya Street for 1.2 km, then turn left onto Shevchenko Street and continue for 2.5 km. The cemetery can be found to the left of the road.
GPS coordinates
48.51591, 29.98863
Perimeter length
667 мetres
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
The cemetery is unfenced, although the imprint of a ditch is still visible at certain points.
Preservation condition
Unfenced Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The cemetery is large. However, it is overgrown with trees and vegetation, rendering it inaccessible after a certain point. The stones are arranged in an unusual manner, and there are visible indentations in the ground, suggesting they have been rearranged. It is unclear whether this was intentional vandalism.
Number of existing gravestones
The team were able to locate 20 stones, but there are presumably more further in.
Date of oldest tombstone
Date of newest tombstone
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. According to the Commission on the Preservation of Jewish Heritage, the cemetery was established in the second half of the 19th century, and remained in use until 1941.

The first mention of four Jews living in Ternivka is from 1765 when the region belonged to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
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 1847, the Jewish community of Ternivka numbered 611. In 1897, 2823 Jews comprised more than half of the total population of 5364. A private Jewish boys’ school operated in the early 20th century. In the early 20th century there was a synagogue and 3 prayer houses. The Jews of the town made a living through trade, shop keeping and manual labor.
Pogroms during World War I and the civil war in Russia claimed 11 Jewish victims.
After 1922, Ternivka became a part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic within the USSR. A Jewish council, a Jewish kolkhoz, and a Yiddish school for 300 students were established in Ternivka. The Jewish population of Ternivka was 3081 in 1926. All private commercial activities were quashed during the period of Soviet rule, all three synagogues were closed down in 1935.
The Germans occupied Ternivka on July 29, 1941, with a few Jews fleeing eastwards. Within a short time, the Germans had established a ghetto, forcing into it the entire Jewish population of the town. Some Jews from neighboring areas who had managed to survive the first weeks of the occupation also came to the Ternivka ghetto. Almost all the Jews of Ternovka, along with the other Jews from the region totalling 2300-2500, perished in a mass killing on May 27, 1942. The ghetto was finally liquidated on April 2, 1943. Only a few individuals managed to escape the ghetto and survived until liberation on March 12, 1944.
In 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ternivka became a part of the independent Ukraine.
The old Jewish cemetery of Ternivka was established in the second half of the 19th century, and operated until 1941. Its overgrown remains are still visible 3 km south-east from Ternivka.