Abandoned Jewish tombstones found in Ternopil region

08 July, 15:28
Abandoned Jewish tombstones found in Ternopil region - фото 1
In the village of Zaliztsy in Ternopil region, more than 20 Jewish tombstones were found, which were used for decades as steps of a local outpatient clinic.

This is reported by Ukrinform.

Half of the saved tombstones with Yiddish epitaphs engraved on them were dismantled and taken to the local Jewish cemetery.

On their Facebook page, employees of the Zaliztsy Museum of Local Lore express satisfaction with the work done.

“The team of our Zaliztsy Village Council worked perfectly! The tombstones were taken away and returned to their historical and just place! Soon, new stairs will be made to the clinic, with the support of relevant Jewish organizations. This “baton” is already being passed directly to the hospital!” the message reads.

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The salvation of the tombstones was also joined by Rabbi Israel Meir Gabay (the representative of the organization “Oaley Tzaddik”).

Vasyl Ilchyshyn, Director of Zaliztsy Local Lore Museum, an archaeologist and coordinator of the campaign for the improvement of historical and cultural monuments, told about the whole program for the improvement of cultural heritage objects.

“Zaliztsy Village Council initiated the improvement of cultural heritage sites on the territory of Zaliztsy and in the surrounding area. One of these is the local monuments of Jewish culture. In particular, these are matzevas from the cemetery, which in the Soviet period were used as a building material and scattered throughout the entire village. Also, during the dismantling of the stairs beside the clinic, more than 20 tombstones were identified and dismantled,” Ilchyshyn said.

In addition to these Jewish tombstones, others have been found that paved the path and threshold to the old toilet.

From the found tombstones will later make an installation, because according to Jewish customs, you can not disturb the land where there are burials. Specialists from the national reserve “Castles of Ternopil region” have already joined the study of the finds. They have to decipher the fragments of inscriptions found on the gravestones.

The first mention of Jews in this area dates back to 1606. In 1900, almost 2,400 Jews lived in Zaliztsy, but after two wars, the Jewish community significantly decreased.