Yaruha Old Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Site address
Starting at 99 Lenin Street 99, procees 12 metres east then turn right and continue for 35 metres before taking another right and carrying on for 45 metres, at which point the cemetery can be found to the right.
GPS coordinates
48.32633, 28.05888
Perimeter length
315 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
The cemetery is surrounded by a damaged masonry wall.
Preservation condition
Fenced and protected Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The cemetery is severely overgrown with dense acacia bushes.
Number of existing gravestones
Approximately 200. There may be more tombstones, but they are inaccessible due to the vegetation.
Date of oldest tombstone
1908 (the only legible stone ).
Date of newest tombstone
Urgency of erecting a fence
Land ownership
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys

Historical overview

According to Commission on the Preservation of Jewish Heritage, the cemetery was established in the early 19th century. The last burial is dated 1940.

The town of Yaruha was first mentioned in 1617. From 1569 the region belonged to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In the mid 17th century there were apparently 40 Jewish households. In 1765, there were 63 Jewish residents. In 1748, Yaruha had 14 Jewish households with more than 60 people, the community included Jews from the surroundings and numbered 126 people; in 1787, 55 Jews in 16 households lived in Yaruha.
In 1793, after the Second partition of Poland, Yaruha came under the control of the Russian Empire, and became a part of the Podolia Governorate (Podolskaya Gubernia). At that period the main Jewish business was wine making. In 1847, the Jewish community of Yaruha numbered 224. In 1853, a stone synagogue and a wooden prayer house, for 171 people, were built in the town. In 1897, the Jewish population of Yaruha comprised half of the town’s total population: 1271 of 2506.
The Jewish population of Yaruha suffered greatly during World War I and the civil war in Russia. In December 1919, a pogrom in Yaruha claimed a number of victims.
After 1922, Yaruha became a part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic within the USSR. A Jewish school and Jewish council (soviet) were in operation from the mid-1920s to the late 1930s. In 1926, the Jewish population was 1833. Most Jews earned their livelihoods in a Jewish kolkhoz (151 families in 1939) which continued to exist for a while after the liberation in March 1944. Wine production and tobacco cultivation were other important sources of income.
The Germans captured Yaruha on the 18th-19th July 1941, in September it was included in the Transnistria Governorate. Under Romanian administration, a ghetto was established and over 1000 Jews deported from Bukovina and Bessarabia arrived in the town. In spring 1942, a hospital and a free canteen were established in the ghetto. Some Jews from Yaruha were murdered while others were deported to Mohiliv-Podilski and shared the fate of the Jews there.
In 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union,Yaruha became a part of the independent Ukraine.
The old Jewish cemetery of Yaruha, established in the early 19th century is situated at the eastern outskirts. Today it contains around 200 matzevot and fragments, with the only legible dating back to 1908.