Tulchyn Old Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Site address
The cemetery is located between Ryleyeva Street and Michurina Street.
GPS coordinates
48.66503, 28.86877
Perimeter length
895 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
One side of the cemetery is protected by a 1 metre tall metal fence, but the other sides are unfenced.
Preservation condition
Unfenced Jewish cemetery
General site condition
One side of the cemetery is protected by a 1 metre tall metal fence, but the other sides are unfenced.
Number of existing gravestones
Upwards of 3,000 (due to the size of the cemetery and the extent of the vegetation growth, it was difficult to attain an accurate count of the tombstones on the site).
Date of oldest tombstone
1881 (the earliest tombstone found by ESJF).
Date of newest tombstone
2019 (the latest tombstone found by ESJF).
Urgency of erecting a fence
Land ownership
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys

Historical overview

The newer section of the cemetery is fenced and well-maintained. However, the majority of the cemetery is overgrown and neglected.

Jewish settlement was first mentioned in 1648-49 during the Khmelnytsky uprising. Around 1,500-2,000 Jews were killed. In 1765, the Jewish population numbered 452 people. In the middle of the 18th century Hasidism started to arise in Tul’chyn. There lived the students and followers of Baal Shem Tov and Dov Ber ben Avraham of Mezeritch. Among them: Dov-Ber of Lintsi (as a shokhet), Yehiel-Michel Ashkenazi, rabbi Boruch of Medzhybizh. Also living there were, Akiva Shalom Hayes, David-Shlomo son of Rabbi Shmuel & Rabbi Levi Palant, son of Yeshai-Joseph.
By the end of the 18th century it was the biggest Jewish settlement in the region. According to the census of 1897, the Jewish population numbered 10,055 people, of the total of 16,245. In the first half of the 19th century there were several Hasidic leaders in Tul’chyn. There was a community of Bratslav Hasidim, with the head being Yitzchok Sternhartz son of Rabbi Nathan. In Tul’chyn lived Rabbi Nahman Hazan.
In the late 19th century, there was a synagogue and 18 prayer houses. In 1882 the Rabbi of Talne Hasidim was Menachem-Nohum of Talne. In 1889 Tul’chyn’s Jewish community numbered 15,000 Jews. There were 14 registered spiritual directions. Jews were mostly shopkeepers and artisans. At the beginning of the 20th century there was a synagogue, 18 prayer houses, a hospital and more than 70 chadarim. The rabbi was Yakov-Yehuda Grinshpun. Jews either owned or held the lease of all the factories in the city.
In 1910, 16,476 Jews (69%) lived in the city. The Jewish community survived pogroms in 1918 and 1919, with around 519 Jews killed. There was a Jewish council, that was active until 1930 and a Jewish court, with deliberations in Yiddish that operated in the late 1920s. In 1926, there were 7,708 Jews (44%).
By 1939, the Jewish population had fallen to 5,607 people (42%).
Tul’chyn was occupied on July 23, 1941. On November 11th 1941, 3,005 Jews were deported to Pechera forced labour camp where most perished. 100 skilled laborers remained in the ghetto, they were joined by Jews from Mohyliv-Podilskyi and other places. In 1942, several hundred Jews from Bukovina and other towns were deported to Tul’chyn. In March 1943 there were around 500 Jews in the ghetto.
On September 1, 1943 there were only 7 Jews from Bessarabia and 220 Jews from Bukovyna remaining.
Tul’chyn was liberated on March 15, 1944. After the liberation, 1,303 Jews remained in the town and region In 1993, the Jewish population numbered 1,000 people. It decreased through the years. In 1994 – 500 Jews (2.5%) and in 1998 – about 350 Jews.

The exact period of the cemetery’s establishment is unknown. According to IAJGS, the Jewish cemetery was established in the 17th century. The cemetery is marked on the maps of the 1900s of the region. There are around 3,000 gravestones. The earliest gravestone found dates to 1881, the latest dates to 2019. The cemetery territory is being taken care of, but the majority of the site is overgrown.