Dreams come true — the main thing is to believe

In the vicinity of the Lviv region in the town of Staryi Sambor one of the oldest Jewish burials in Ukraine is located. It is this memo to the Jewish people that can be seen among the 15 science centers and museums of the history of Judaica all over the world. The burial places are located slightly to the south of the city, on the right side of the H-13 highway.

The date of the foundation of this cemetery falls on the middle of the 16th century. It was in these years that the Jewish community in Staryi Sambor was the main part of the population of this town. There was a large Synagogue on the territory of the settlement. Among the representatives of this nationality there were a lot of noble and respected people who led trade and were known not only in their city, but also far beyond its borders. They had their own shops, owned small businesses. The Jewish community existed for more than four centuries, until it was completely destroyed by the First Reich during the Second World War.

During all four hundred years of the existence of the Jewish community, the cemetery of the Old Sambor grew and was built up with new monuments and tombstones. These were works of art. However, after the death of the last Jew during the war, there was no one to look after the burial ground, and it began to overgrow and collapse. And in the days of the existence of the Soviet government one considered it unnecessary and the bulldozer “mowed” the remains of the cemetery.

From 1998 to 2001, on the initiative of a small dreamer and a native citizen of the Old Sambor Jack Gardner, the association “Ukraine-Israel” and its volunteers, the Jewish cemetery was renewed. As a result, in addition to 150 surviving monuments and tombstones, it was possible to restore about 850 more. Now there are at least 900 monuments and tombstones at the Old Sambor Jewish cemetery, which age is at least 2–3 centuries. Nowadays, the cemetery is surrounded by a special fence, which separates it from the road. At the entrance to the cemetery a monument was built, for the opening of which came not only the residents of the Old Sambor, but also guests from Poland, the US and various parts of Ukraine


Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store