Yaryshiv Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Site address
Starting at 52 Belinsky Street, drive 90 metres to the northwest, at which point the cemetery can be found to the right.
GPS coordinates
48.52527, 27.62872
Perimeter length
489 мetres
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
The cemetery is fenced only on its front face, with an old 1 metre tall masonry wall. The southwest section of the cemetery is unfenced.
Preservation condition
Unfenced Jewish cemetery
General site condition
A broken masonry wall runs along the front of the cemetery. The southwest sides of the cemetery are unfenced and the masonry wall running along the front of the site requires restoration.
Number of existing gravestones
Approximately 200.
Date of oldest tombstone
1868 (the earliest tombstone found by ESJF).
Date of newest tombstone
1958 (the latest tombstone found by ESJF).
Urgency of erecting a fence
Land ownership
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys

Historical overview

Given the oldest preserved tombstone is dated 1868, it can be inferred the cemetery was already in use by the mid-19th century.

Jews apparently started to settle in Yaryshiv in the early 18th century, when the region belonged to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In 1765, 438 Jews lived in Yaryshiv and in 1750, a wooden synagogue was built, which was ruined in 1941.
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, Jewish community of Yaryshiv numbered 947 members. In 1897 Yaryshiv’s 1499 Jews comprised more than 40% of the total population (3642). Most of Yaryshiv’s Jews were small-scale merchants or artisans. On the eve of World War I Jews dominated the economic life of Yaryshiv, owning most of the shops and leasing a mill.
After 1922, Yaryshiv became a part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic within the USSR. The ban imposed by the Soviet regime on private economic activity forced many of Yaryshiv’s Jews to search for new occupations. Many turned to agriculture. In the 1920s several dozen Jewish families of the town engaged in tobacco growing. Also in the 1920s a Jewish agricultural cooperative was established; in the late 1920s or early 1930s it became a collective farm. In the 1920s there was a Yiddish four-year school in Yaryshiv. In 1927 the town council in Yaryshiv held its deliberations in Yiddish. During the 1920s and 1930s many young Jews left Yaryshiv for larger towns and cities in search of educational and vocational opportunities. In 1939 the 509 Jews in town comprised 17.7% of the total population.
After the start of the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, a number of Jewish refugees from Bessarabia arrived in Yaryshiv. German and Romanian troops occupied Yaryshiv on July 19th 1941. On the first day of the occupation about a dozen Jewish men, unaware of the occupiers’ intentions, came out to greet the Axis troops, who shot these Jews to death. The occupiers immediately ordered the local Jewish community to hand over all the gold in their possession. In the fall of 1941 the Jews of Yaryshiv were concentrated in a ghetto. The ghetto inmates were forced to sew Stars of David onto their clothes on the chest and the back. The Jews were humiliated, beaten, and forced to perform various types of grueling labor. They were also regularly required to surrender various items to the occupiers. Each time hostages were taken to ensure the timely delivery of these items, but the hostages were often shot in any case. Most of Yaryshiv’s Jews were murdered in the vicinity of the town in the second half of August 1942. Able-bodied Jews were deported in the labor camp in Letichev, in the Kamianets-Podilskyi District, and murdered there, apparently in late 1942. Yaryshiv was liberated by the Red Army on March 21, 1944.
In 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Yaryshiv became a part of the independent Ukraine.
The Jewish cemetery of Yaryshiv contains around 200 headstones, which date from between the mid-19th to the mid-20th century.