Murafa — a bit of a living memory

The list of Burials and their photos available HERE

The town of Murafa is the very place where a large Jewish community has settled since the first half of the 17th century. At that time the town in Shargorodskyi district of Vinnytsia region had a good fortification and served as a connecting link in the commercial tract. It was quite large and in 1629 there were 607 houses. The first official mention of the Jewish community in Murafa dates back to 1647 and sounds in the text of the complaint of Rabbi Abraham Cohen Rappoport and the community to the informer Bar. Since then and until the middle of the twentieth century, practically all manufacture and trade is carried out by Jews.

By 1914, Murafa had 180 families of Jews, but the civil war made itself felt and by 1923 there were only 1,229 representatives of Jewish nationality here. It was in this town that the Jewish community survived the years of occupation. And only after the war, Jews began to leave the village in large numbers, moving to the city, and with the independence of Ukraine at all went abroad. Since 2012, the Jews no longer live in the town of Murafa.

On the slope of the mountain opposite the Klekotin river, the remains of the only memory of the Jewish people who lived here once were preserved. It was the Jewish cemetery. The burial ground covers an area of ​​about three hectares. All its burials date back to the XVIII-XX centuries. At the moment the cemetery is in a depressing state. Most tombstones and monuments lie just on the ground, many have broken edges and deep cracks. To read the inscriptions on many tombstones is simply impossible — nature has done its job.

Now it is more like a grass field, where sometimes the remains of Jewish graves in the form of small pebbles with inscriptions in Hebrew fall under their feet. But in the photographs of the 70–80’s one can clearly see how proudly stand the monuments on the slope, how neatly some graves are surrounded by low metal fences, how carefully the entire cemetery is surrounded by a stone fence, in the center of which there are wooden gates. What a pity that the human indifference allowed to collapse all this beauty and all that the Jews erected for decades.


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