Verkhivka Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Site address
The site is located in the overgrown plot of land adjacent to Vyshnevy lane, which borders Volodymyrska Street on one side and Chkalova Street on the other.
GPS coordinates
48.45418, 29.15853
Perimeter length
601 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
There is a 1.5 metre tall metal fence which protects the side of the cemetery at which the entrance is located. The rest of the cemetery is lined with support bars, presumably for a metal mesh fence which has since been stolen. There is a small gate.
Preservation condition
Unfenced Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The cemetery is well-maintained and the grass is mown.
Number of existing gravestones
Date of oldest tombstone
1904 (the earliest tombstone found by ESJF).
Date of newest tombstone
1964 (the latest tombstone found by ESJF).
Urgency of erecting a fence
Land ownership
Preserved construction on site
There is a Tziyun on the site.
Drone surveys

Historical overview

According to the Commission on the Preservation of Jewish Heritage, the cemetery was established in the latter half of the 18th century.

It is known that the original Jewish community of Verkhivka was destroyed during the Haidamak Uprising.
The Jewish community revived in the 18th century. In 1765, Verkhivka was home to 105 Jews. In 1765, rabbi Joseph Moshkovich took a census. In the 1700s rabbi Shmerl was the head of the local Hasidic community. The Jewish community grew steadily; it doubled by 1787 to 205 people.
In 1853 there was a synagogue in Verkhivka, with 389 parishioners. Alter Ladyzhenskii and Avraham Yosef Moldavskiy were the rabbis. In 1857 there were 722 Jews living in the town. According to the census of 1897, the Jewish population numbered 1094 people, which was 35% of the town. In 1889 there were two synagogues.
At the beginning of the 20th century there were three synagogues in Verkhivka. The head of the community was rabbi Meir Vernik son of rabbi Israel-Yehuda. Almost all commercial establishments of Verkhivka were owned by Jews. At the beginning of the 20th century, Israel Leib was the head of the Rabbinical court. In May 1919 the Jewish community suffered from a pogrom, 40 people were killed and dozens were tortured. In 1923, there lived 60-65 Jewish families, mostly women and children. By WWII thirty Jewish families lived in Verkhivka.
During WWII Verkhivka was in Transnistria, under Romanian control. There was a ghetto built in the town. During the summer and autumn of 1941, Jews from Bessarabia and Bukovina, including several well-known families of the Vizhnitsky dynasty were transferred to the town.
On November 7, 1941, at the order of the occupying authorities the old wooden synagogue was dismantled; the Torah scrolls were saved by the shokhet. By late autumn 1941, there were about 1,200 Jews in the ghetto. In December 1943, the Germans began the extermination of Jews, however for whatever reason it was not completed.
After the war some deported Jewish families returned to Verkhivka.
In the 1990s there were no Jewish residents remaining..

The exact period of the cemetery’s establishment is unknown. According to the Commission on the Preservation of Jewish Heritage, the cemetery was founded in the second half of the 18th century. The cemetery is marked on old maps of the region from the 1900s. The earliest gravestone found dates to 1904. There are around 400 gravestones left. The newest gravestone dates to 1964. There is an Ohel on the territory of the cemetery. The cemetery was partially demolished during the occupation. Some stones were plundered by locals for building purposes.

3D model