Pages Navigation Menu

Pereyaslav

Pereyaslav
  • German
  • Polish
  • Russian
  • Ukranian

Pereyaslav-Khmelnitskii (Pereyaslav by 1943) is a city of Kiev region, Ukraine.
It was first mentioned in the chronicles in 906 and joined the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1569. It was incorporated into the Russian Empire in 1654.

In the XIX-early XX centuries, it was a centr of Pereyaslav Uezd of Poltava gubernia.

Most information for this article was taken from the book of Tsilya Gehtman “Jews of Pereyaslav”.

Beginning

Jews have been living in Pereyaslav-Khmelnitskii since the XVII century. In 1620, the Polish King received complaints from his citizens about a large number of Jews in the town and their active participation in trade. Jews were prohibited to trade and own breweries, malt houses, and distilleries.

In 1623, the town council and the local Jews entered into an agreement about giving the Jews equal rights with other citizens. During the pogroms of 1648, the Jewish community of Pereyaslav-Khmelnitskii was destroyed.

Pereyaslav entrepreneurs list from Russian Empire Business Directories by 1903

Pereyaslav entrepreneurs list from Russian Empire Business Directories by 1903

In 1855, three 2nd guild merchants, 209 3rd guild merchants, and 972 other merchants were registered in Pereyaslav. In 1859, five synagogues including Khasidic ones and a Jewish college were operating in Pereyaslav-Khmelnitskii. On June 30 and July 2, 1881, two pogroms took place in Pereyaslav-Khmelnitskii. Yosef Katkovskii (1841-?) was appointed a rabbi in Pereyaslav-Khmelnitskii in 1887. In 1900, the town had a society for the support of the poor.

Jewish population of Pereyaslav:
1801 – 66
1847 – 1519 Jews
1859 – 3363 Jews
1897 – 5754 (39,3%)
1913 – 7380 (38,6%)
1926 – 3590 Jews
1939 – 937 (11,3%).
2000 ~ 100 Jews
2017 ~ 40 Jews

During the pogroms of 1648, the Jewish community of Pereyaslav-Khmelnitskii was destroyed.

In the summer of 1835, a stone matseiva was discovered on the territory of merchant Novyi’s garden. It bore the following inscription: “This was erected above rabbi Mordokhei’s head for his descendants to remember him in 4946. Let his soul rest in sweet paradise”. The data refers to the Jewish calendar which is 1237 AD.

In 1855, three 2nd guild merchants, 209 3rd guild merchants, and 972 other merchants were registered in Pereyaslav. In 1859, five synagogues including Khasidic ones and a Jewish college were operating in Pereyaslav-Khmelnitskii. On June 30 and July 2, 1881, two pogroms took place in Pereyaslav-Khmelnitskii. Yosef Katkovskii (1841-?) was appointed a rabbi in Pereyaslav-Khmelnitskii in 1887. In 1900, the town had a society for the support of the poor. In 1905, there was a pogrom in Pereyaslav-Khmelnitskii, with all Jewish stalls were destroyed as a result. A temporary committee which helped the Jews who had survived was working in the town until September.

On this site was located the house of Sholom Aleihem parent's.

On this site was located the house of Sholom Aleihem parent’s.

In 1864, a Grade 1 state Jewish training school was established in Pereyaslav. It had 26 students. In 1865, a synagogue, four religious schools, 114 stables, two bars, one hotel, three canteens, four restaurants, and 15 inns were functioning in the town.

Former building of commercial secondary school

Former building of commercial secondary school

On June 30 and July 2, 1881, two pogroms took place in Pereyaslav-Khmelnitskii. Yosef Katkovskii (1841-?) was appointed a rabbi in Pereyaslav-Khmelnitskii in 1887. In 1900, the town had a society for the support of the poor. In 1905, there was a pogrom in Pereyaslav-Khmelnitskii, with all Jewish stalls were destroyed as a result. A temporary committee which helped the Jews who had survived was working in the town between September 25,1905 an April 10,1906.

Group of students in Sheftel secondary school

Group of students in Sheftel secondary school

Israel-Ber Rizberg (1858-?) opened a Kheder, offering Hebrew lesson in Pereyaslav in 1892. In 1914-1917, he was teaching at the Pereyaslav commercial college named after Ya.S.Sheftel. In 1917-1920 – at a Jewish school.

In 1899, there was the Lensky and Vurman’s printing house at the house of Naidis.

The state restrictions on the number of Jews admitted did not apply at the Pereyaslav private women’s gymnasium so a half of its students were Jewish.
There was a Jewish foundation school with a course in locksmithing in Pereyaslav. An honorary resident Yuda Rozen was in charge. There was also a private commercial college. Doctor of Medicine Yakiv Solomonovich Sheftel was one of the trustees. After college, its students could enter further education.

Site of the former poor Jewish neighborhood in Pereyaslav. Old wooden houses were demolished in 1970's - 1980's

Site of the former poor Jewish neighborhood in Pereyaslav. Old wooden houses were demolished in 1970’s – 1980’s

Here is the information about some synagogues in Pereyaslav in 1900:
Khevre Mishnayus” – Chair – honorable citizen Moisey Khatskelev Berliavskiy, scholar – Yosip Volkov Kotkovskiy, treasurer – Itsko Yevnov Kaplan;
Bes Hamedrash” – Chair – merchant Bentsion Berov Naidis, scholar – Yankel Veniaminov Krasnopolin, treasurer – ItskoKabachnikov.
SevkheTsedek” – Chair – Gershko Izrailev Zlobinskii, scholar – Osip Davidov Fastovskiy, treasurer Peisakh Moiseiev Minskiy.
Bes-Hamedrash” – Chair – Sadia Vulfov Gurovich, scholar – Gershko Itskov Kaganov, treasurer Samson Meyerov Berstein.
“Visikon” – Chair Elia Ruvinov Berstein, scholar – Meyer Yankelev Yasnogorodskii, treasurer – Meyer Moiseiev Gorodetskii.

Building of the Big Synagogue in Pereyaslav

Building of the Big Synagogue in Pereyaslav

The Chair of the local Jewish prayer house “Khevre Mishnayus” merchant Moisey Khatskelevich Berliavskii and the secretary of the society that helped poor Jews Naum Mironovich Gruvman were awarded the title of “Honorable Resident” of the town in 1900. The head of the Jewish trades college Yuda Veniaminovich Rozen was awarded the same title in 1906.

A two-storied central synagogue was built around 1908-1910. Outside the building has survived until now, the interior completely transformed after a direct bomb hit in 1943.

In 1910, there were eight synagogues, a small technical school for boys, a Talmud-Torah, and a Jewish cemetery in Pereyaslav-Khmelnitskii. In 1912, Jewish savings-and-loan societies for petty traders were functioning in the town. In 1913, Pereyaslav-Khmelnitskii had a society for the support of the Jewish poor, an almshouse, and a night shelter at the synagogue. In 1914, the local Jews owned a delivery company, two pharmacies, four pharmacy warehouses, two sweet shops, a bakery, the only teahouse in town, two photo workshops, two watchmakers, 126 small stalls, and a large number of shops including 39 grocery shops, 29 jewellery stalls and a jewellery maker.

There were 17 synagogues before Civil War.

Civil war pogroms

On 15-19 July, 1919, ataman Zeleny’s band carried out a pogrom in Pereyaslav-Khmelnitskii. On 7 August, 1919, the next pogrom was carried out by ataman Lopatkin’s band. The third pogrom was perpetrated by the detachments of the Volunteer Army.

During the Civil War a Jewish self defense unit was formed in the town.

Between the Wars

When the Soviet rule was established, a mill worker Khaim Notkovich Avrutis was elected in 1928-1930 to become the head of the Executive committee of the local council.

In 1922, a committee that helped the victims of famine was founded by the Jewish community in Pereyaslav-Khmelnitskii. In 1924, the last kheder was closed. In 1925, five families from Pereyaslav-Khmelnitskii moved to the “Lenin Ccollective Farm” (kolkhoz) in the Kherson region. Yegoshua-Zelig Diskin was the rabbi.
In 1926, a Sholom-Aleichem Jewish school was opened in the town. More than 200 students were enrolled there. B.I.Brun was its principal. Yu.Shlikhmovich, G.Reiter, S.I. Likhotinskii, N.O. Dontsova, Rozenblum, Kh.Ya.Lokshin, B.M. Kanevsk, Dovgopilska were the teachers. The school was closed in 1938.
The main synagogue was closed in 1926. A stone single-story synagogue was located not far from the main one. It was closed in 1937-1938.

List of Jews from Pereyaslav who died in 1932-1933 and can be considered as Holodomor victims:

By 1937, a local seven-year Jewish school named after Sholom Aleichem was opened. It was situated in Himnaziyna street in Pereyaslav-Khmelnitskii.Then, the No 3 secondary school moved there, and now it houses the editorial office of the local newspaper “Pereyaslav Council”, an internet cafe, and a local branch of the Socialist Party. In 1944-1945, school No 1 was located there.
Now there is a memorial stone dedicated to the school’s principal Esther Aronivna Dikinstein who was perished during the Holocaust. It was erected on July 3, 2009.

Former Jewish school named after Sholom-Aleichem

Former Jewish school named after Sholom-Aleichem

Memorial stone to principal of Jewish school Ester Dikinshtein

Memorial stone to principal of Jewish school Ester Dikinshtein

List of Jews from Pereyaslav who were arrested in 1930’s:

In 1938-1939, the Jews were banned from celebrating religious holidays in synagogues and private houses were used instead.

Holocaust

It was very difficult to evacuate from Pereyaslav because of its location: two kilometers away from the harbour and 28 km away from the railway station. About 200 Jewish people were called up to the Red Army, most of them killed in action.
The Nazis occupied Pereyaslav on September 16, 1941. All Jews were ordered to gather in the yard of the former factory with their belongings on October 4. About 600 people came. They were made to dance, sing, jump, hit each other, lie down and stand up. After that, they were driven outside the town and shot near the cemetery on the road to the village of Karan. Women and men were shot first, then the children were thrown alive into the pit and covered with soil. Those who were captured later were murdered in the same location. There were about 200 people.

Holocaust mass grave in Pereyaslav

Holocaust mass grave in Pereyaslav

Memorial plate on Holocaust mass grave

Memorial plate on Holocaust mass grave

On May 19, 1943, the following eight Jewish women who married Ukrainians Pesia Bukhanovska, Anna Vatsenko, Katerina Butnik, Bronislava Kerlikh (Polishchuk), Polina Serdiuk, Math teacher Semen Isayovich Khabad, and an older woman Doba Volkina Kutsovska were murdered. Volko Izrailevich Astrakhan was killed by the Nazis in the village of Demyantsi.

Mass grave of 8 Jewish woman in New Jewish cemetery

Mass grave of 8 Jewish woman in New Jewish cemetery

Mass grave of 8 Jewish woman in New Jewish cemetery

Memorial on the mass grave

The following Jews escaped capture and survived the occupation: Anna Grigoryevna Finkestein, Liza Volkovna Polinker, Polina Yankelevna Karlinskaya, Khana Aronovna Kutsovskaya. Roza Isakovna Prosianikova (?-2004, Israel) was rescued from the throng of Jews driven to their death.
Nearly 1,000 – 1,500 Jews were killed in Pereyaslav during Holocaust. The first list of the Jews who were murdered was compiled by Berta Klimovitskaya and included 50 names. It was completed in 1991 due to the work of the following people: L.Goliand, M. Levakova, Ye. Koroliova, Ts. Gekhtman, T. Barabash, V. Likhovid, A. Poltavets, N. Nesterovskaya, V. Rudenko.

Photos of Holocaust victims in Pereyaslav:

 

List of Jews who were killed in action:

Only 10% of the pre-war Jewish population survived the war.

List of Righteous among the nations in Pereyaslav and in district:

After the WWII

After the war the following Jewish families came back to Pereyaslav: Gekhtman, Kolodna, Kerper, Naidis, Zhitnitskii, Tartakovskii, Goliand, Khabad, Podolskii, Zaeveliov, Makhanovskii, Gershonok, Litmanovich, Finkelstein, Berliand, Arnopolin, Olshanskii, Abraham Kontorets, Epstein, Kutikoa, Ostrovskii, Dashevskii, Levakov, Berzon, Rudovskii, Iskin, Mezheritskii, Breitbur, Gurevich.

Jewish WWII veterans who lived in Pereyaslav after the war:

More detailed information about post-war Jews of Pereyaslav was collected and published in Tsilia Gekhtman’s book.
The Jewish community was registered on December 17, 1991. Its founders were Tsilia Gekhtman, Nina Zakharchuk and Sophiya Shnaider.

 

In the 2000s, 109 people were registered in the community. In 1994, a room in the former synagogue was allocated for the use of the community. In the 1990s-2000s, the Jewish community was highly active in Pereyaslav. Loca Jews celebrated all religious holidays; they held memorial services to commemorate the anniversaries of mass shootings.
However, younger people started to leave for Israel. The older generation slowly passed away and the number of local Jews fell drastically. In 2017, only 10-20 people gathered to celebrate Jewish holidays.

In 1978, a museum of Sholom Aleichem was opened. In 1895, Nokhum Rabinovich moved to Kiev, sold his house to his namesake, and his belongings to the local Jews. A lot of his personal possessions were displayed at the museum.

Some Jewish houses were repossessed after their owners were taken away in the Stalinist purges. There was a house in Mazepa street where a children’s dental clinic used to be before the war. Nearby there is a house of a rich Jew, now there are several flats in it. A house of a large Jewish family is still standing in Kievskaya street (former Sholom-Aleichem street). It was partly restored.
The main synagogue was built in the early 20th century. It is in Skovoroda street (former Pioneer street). Since 1943, a factory named after B.Khmelnitskii has been operating in it. Since 1994, the office of the Jewish culture society has been located in one of the rooms on the ground floor.

Memorial plate on the building of former Big Synagogue

Memorial plate on the building of former Big Synagogue

Old Jewish cemetery

An old Jewish cemetery was destroyed during the war. Only one landmark from 1886 was preserved. It was the grave of Sima Meyefert (born in 1818). It was defaced by German bullets during the war. In 2005, it was turned into a symbolic memorial. Its erection was financed by Aleksandr Borisovich Feldman.

Memorial on the site of Old Jewish cemetery in Pereyaslav

Memorial on the site of Old Jewish cemetery in Pereyaslav

New Jewish cemetery

In 1956, a plot of land at a local cemetery was allocated for burying Jews.

New Jewish cemetery in Pereyaslav

New Jewish cemetery in Pereyaslav

Famous Jews from Pereyaslav

Solomon Naumovich Rabinovich, better known under his pen name Sholem Aleichem (1859, Pereyaslav – 1916, New York), was a leading Yiddish author and playwright.

Itskhak Kaganov (1881-?) – a public figure; in 1918 –a representative of Zionist Histadrut in Ukraine, since 1921 – in Poland; a representative of association of refugees from Russia and Ukraine; since 1932 – in Erez-Israel.

David Lazarevich Sigalov (1894, Pereyaslav – 1985, Kiev) – a pediatrician.

Khanok-Genekh Rapoport (1921, Pereyaslavl – 1983, Jerusalem), a rabbi. He studied at the underground Liubavich Yeshivas in Berdichev, Klintsi, Zhitomir. In 1938 -1940 he was heading a
Yeshiva in Kursk. In 1940, he was arrested. In 1940-1947, imprisoned. Moved to Israel in 1972. Rapoport formed the organization which assisted the Jews who arrived from the USSR.

David Abramovich Cherniakhovskii (1939, Pereyaslavl  – 2000) – a psychiatrist, psychotherapist.

Comments

comments

Напишіть відгук

%d блогерам подобається це: