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Kaniow (Polish), Канiв – Kaniv (Ukrainian), Канев – Kanev (Russian)

Kanev is a historic city located in Cherkassy region of central Ukraine, center of Kanev district. Kanev is located on the Dnieper River. The city’s estimated population is 25 224 (as of 2015).
In XIX – beginning of XX century it was center of Kanev Yezd of Kiev Gubernia.


Jewish settlement began in the end of the XVII century or the beginning of the XVIII.

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From 98 (including the surrounding villages) in 1765, the Jewish population grew to 1,635 in 1847 and 2,682 (30% of the total population) in 1897.

In 1910, the town had a synagogue, two prayer houses, two male and one female government-sponsored schools. Before WWI most of the petty trade in town was in Jewish hands, all groceries and textile shops as well as others.

Kanev on PreRevolution postcards:

The Jewish poor used to live in the area called  with their own Jewish cemetery. No other evidence of Jews living in this area was available.

Street in the former Jewish area Zhidovshchina

Street in the former Jewish area Zhidovshchina

The area looks just like any village now. More prosperous Jews used to live near the synagogue which survived. The buildings of several Jewish shops are still there.

In 1913 Vulf Moishevich Shteinvortsel was official Rabi.

Kanev entrepreneurs in 1913 (90% were Jews):

Enterpneurs list

Kaniv entrepreneurs in 1913. First page

Kaniv entrepreneurs in 1913. Second page

Kanev entrepreneurs in 1913. Second page

 There were three synagogues and five prayer houses in the town before the revolution.

Civil War pogroms

The Jews of On November 6, 1917, local hoodlums ransacked many Jewish properties; this happened again in the beginning of autumn 1919 by General Denikin’s soldiers.

Kanev map by 1913

Kanev map by 1913

Jewish self-defence unit was created in pogrom period. According to documents at 1922 this unit was’t disband (30 persons).

In “Book of Pogroms” Milyakov L.B. (Moscow, 2007) mentioned case than 35 Jews escaped from Kanev due to pogroms, but were caught by kozaks and looted, 3 women were killed and some women were raped.

In 1926, the Jewish population of Kanev stood at 1,395. Before the war, Jews lived in the city centre, in the area of the present-day Korczak, Sverdlov, Shkol’naya and Vorovs’kogo streets.


Jewish population of Kanev:
1765 – 98 jews
1847 – 1635 jews
1897 – 2682 (30%)
1926 – 1395 jews
2001 – 18 jews

Kanev was occupied by the Germans on August 16, 1941. In November 1941, 150 Jews were shot in Berestovetsky ravine. Those Jews who were not killed in the first massacre, tried to escape from the city and hide during the beginning of the winter of 1941/42. They were caught by local police and taken to Korsun’, where they were shot in the Kuschaevka ravine. From other source the Jews who remained were herded into one building under horrible conditions and robbed of all their property. Ater two months they were taken to Korsun and murdered in November 1941 together with the local Jews.

Kanev was liberated on February 3, 1944.

After WWII

The following Jewish families returned to the town after the war: Ginzburg, Kashvin, Eidel, Zaitsevs, Brant, Koifman, Gen’, Bobritskii.

Jews served in important positions in the local administration and government. Izrail Iosifovich Bobritskii (1912-1960) was the director of a local creamery, Eidel was the procurement manager, Gen’ was a pharmacy manager.

Former Jewish building in the center of Kanev:

A Jewish religious community was re-founded in 1993. The Jewish population of Kanev is currently 102 people.

Yelena Chervinskaia has been the head of the Jewish community since 2005.


Synagogue “Shyl”

Was built in 1908 on the place of old wooden synagogue. Synagogue was closed by authorities in April 1930. In building was established a college and after the WWII building belong to musical school.

Former synagogue in Kanev

Former synagogye in Kanev

In the 1990’s, building didn’t become a property of Jewish community because it hasn’t money for keeping it in order and authorities gave a small building not far from the building of Old Synagogue.

Berestovetsky Yar

About 150 Jews were murdered at the Berestovetsky Yar in Kanev, together with non-Jewish locals, at different time between 1941 and 1943. Edges of ravine were blowed up by nazi before Kanev was liberated. Monument was established in 1994.

From Kyivs’ka Street, walk 300 meters in the direction of Kanev and Korsun, towards the memorial in Berestovetsky Yar.

Kanev Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery was established in XVIII century and still in use. Situated in the central part of the city, near the hydro-forest-meliorative station, 300 meters to the left from the Myronivka-Kyiv road. Go along the forest road for about 100 meters, the cemetery is located 20 meters away from the lifting gate. Obviously, cemetery was vandalised in XX century.

In 2015, new fence was constructed for the cost of “Conrad Adenauer foundation”.


In 1908 Jewish community asked authorities for money from local taxes for bathhouse building. They recieved money and build Mikva.  Now building of bathhouse situated on the area of autoenterprise on the bank of Dynaec streem. I dont have photos of this building but will try to get them.




  1. Справді, Канів унікальний! Пам’ятаю своє дитинство в цьому славетному місті! В приміщенні колишньої синагоги організовувало дискотеки колишнє культучилище в кінці 70-х минулого сторіччя. А ще у статті не згадане прізвище відомого канівського єврея Краковича та членів його родини…

    • а яка у Вас інформаця є щодо Краковича?

      • Аврам Кракович жил и торговал хозтоварами из кожи и другими товарами прямо из своего дома.Дом сейчас переделали в отель и бар Старый Канев.При комунистах там был магазин продукты.Вроде до погрома 1917 успел уехать.Точно мне не известно

  2. кладбище есть это правда. и старые здания сохранились . спасибо всем кто за этим смотрит и беспокоиться

  3. Thank you so much for this article. My grandmother and her Jewish family, the Zatulovskys, lived there and left in 1907. My grandmother died 46 years ago; your article makes me feel connected to her in a whole new way. Thank you again.

    • Hi Bonnie, My ancestors were the Zatlulovsky’s from Kaniv. My Grandfather Hyman came to America in 1890’s. He was one of six children. His parents were Itso and mother was Rukhlya. Who was your grandmother. My name is Laurie Asher and I live in Williston Park, NY. My email is

  4. День добрый всем! роясь в архивах сегодня узнал что одни из моих предков прибыли в Переяславь из Канева в 1860 году. Фамилия их была Шейфер. Не сможет ли кто из вас мне помочь найти что о них, м.б. какие следы архитектурные или архивные или еще какие!
    Буду признателен вам… мой адрес:

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