The old memory of Jews of Zvyagel

The list of surnames available HERE.

The first mention of the Jews of Zvyagel (since 1795 renamed Novograd-Volynskyi) dates back to 1488. Since 1620 official census starts and data on the Jewish families living in the city are added to the documents from year to year. In 1798, the Jewish community accounted for 55% of all residents of Zvyagel. It is these data that give grounds to believe that already from the middle of the 18th century the old Jewish cemetery began to exist in Novograd-Volynskyi.

According to the plan of the old city, one can clearly see how in its northeastern part in the alley that departs from Gutinskaya Street to the Sluch River (now Kotsiubynskyi Street) there is a place designated as a Jewish cemetery. The burials on this cemetery occurred somewhere up to the fifties of the XIX century.

Thanks to the stories of local residents, it was possible to establish that the old Jewish cemetery was located at the turn of the current land plots of House No14 and House No24, which are located along Kotsyubynskyi Street. The length of the burial ground was approximately 80 meters, and the width was 50 meters.

The only memory of the old Jewish cemetery, which has survived until our time, is in the garden of the house No22 along Kotsyubynskyi Street. It is a small tombstone that has grown densely in the ground and has become covered with a small moss. Its age cannot be precisely determined, since there are no inscriptions on it — they were erased under the influence of time.

It is known from reliable sources that just at this cemetery the first tzaddik of Zvyagel rabbi Moshe Goldman was buried. According to some reports, he died on April 23, 1831, according to others — at the end of 1830. The indigenous resident of Zvyagel, Mordechai Bonet, recalls from childhood how he visited the grave of rabbi Moshe. He accurately remembers that on the tomb that was inside the crypt, the date corresponding to the verse from the Torah was written: “And Moshe died, the servant of the Lord.” [8, p. 70]. The entrance to the cemetery passed through a metal gate with a pair of large lions, behind where that same tomb of purple brick was located. Inside it laid a tombstone, over which prayers of devout Jews often passed.

From 1930 to 1950, the territory on which the old burials were located was distributed to several indigenous families of this town. As a result, houses were built on it, gardens and orchards were arranged. Thus, the old cemetery was leveled to the ground, and only a small part of it was transferred to a new cemetery, founded around 1850.

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