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Konotop is a city in northern Ukraine within the Sumy Oblast.
Before Revolution, it was a center of Konotop Uezd, Chernigov gubernia.
Most information for this website was taken from 3 books which were published in 2000’s and provided by Emilia Ayzenshtat.
Konotop Jewish community on Facebook.


At the beginning of the 19th century, only about 80 Jews lived in Konotop, but by 1847 the number had grown to 521.
Jewish life in the town during the 19th century is described in memoirs by Pauline Wengerof, who lived there for some years. The numbers increased considerably during the second half of the 19th century as a result of the movement of Jews from the northwestern provinces of the *Pale of Settlement to the southeastern ones, reaching 4,426 (23.5% of the total population) in 1897.

Centre of Konotop, beginning of 20 century:

In 1892 there was Jewish Hospital. From the 1880 rabbi was Arie-Leib Gaft.

Konotop businessmans in 1903:

In the end of XIX – beginning XX century there were 3 synagogues and 3 heders (for 13 boys), Talmud-Tora (for 50 boys) and Jewish school for woman (25 girls). In 1913 there was mutual aid society.

During the Beilis trial, 813 rabbis of the Russian Empire signed a declaration about the impossibility of any blood usage in Jewish rituals.
Konotop’s rabbi A.N. Rahinshtein is mentioned in this list.



On April 29, 1881, the Jews of Konotop suffered from a pogrom which left one dead, and many destroyed houses. They were again attacked during the Civil War by the volunteer  army of General Denikin on September 19, 1919; six were killed, ten injured, women were raped, and houses robbed.


Konotop at the beginning of XX century.

Konotop at the beginning of XX century.

After Revolution

Most laborers in Konotop were jews in 1922 (962 persons – 52% of common number).
In 1923 all heders were closed and teachers from yeshiva were convicted. Synagogue was closed at spring 1923. In 1923-28 illegal zionist organization (Tseirey Zion and He-Halutz) sent youth to Izrael. In 1928 most Zionist in Konotop were arrested.
With the establishment of the Soviet regime, about 500 artisans were organized in cooperatives and had a savings and  loan fund. In 1925 Komzet sent 83 Jewish families (171 persons) from Konotop to farm in the Kherson Jewish colonies, they created “Land and Labor” kolhoz. And in 1926 jews from Konotop (63 persons) created “Fraifeld” colony in Krivoi Rog district.

Jewish shops in Konotop. PreRevolution photo

Jewish shops in Konotop. PreRevolution photo

In 1926 there were 5,763  Jews (17.2% of the population) in Konotop, dropping to 3,941  (8.6% of the total population) in 1939. Jewish theater worked between 1926 and 1927, jewish orphanage was existing between 1919-1922. Up to 1930th rabbi was Shimon Teiclin. In March 1930 situation with synagogues was the next: 3 was closed and 1 (for 300 persons) was working.

Mordechai Khazin (1905, Konotop - 1997, Israel), head of Hehalutz in Konotop in 1920's

Mordechai Khazin (1905, Konotop – 1997, Israel), head of Hehalutz in Konotop in 1920’s

Family photos from Konotop were rovided by Pavlo Zhuravel:


Jewish population of Konotop:
1847 – 521 jews
1897 – 4426 (23%)
1923 – 6205 jews
1939 – 3941 (8,6%)
1959 ~ 1600 (3,5%)
1979 ~ 1000 (1,2%)
1995 ~ 550 Jews
2017 ~ 100 Jews

The Germans occupied the town on September 9, 1941; in the first few days they killed 123 Jews. 95 jewish POWs were killed on 1 December 1941 in Stalag 310 in Konotop. Later registration showed 1,000 Jews in Konotop, and they were ordered to wear the yellow badge and report for forced labor. In early November they were concentrated mostly in the local prison, and shortly thereafter all were murdered.

After WWII

Jews returned there after the war. In 1959 there were 1,900 Jews, and in 1970 their number was estimated at about  250 (50 families).

Religious Jew Iosef Zalmanovich Volovik, Konotop 1962

Religious Jew Iosef Zalmanovich Volovik, Konotop 1962


Community was created again in 23 October 1993 by Grigoriy Izrailevich Aizenshtat (1939-2010). He create “Lebn” which became a first jewish organization in Konotop.
Jewish Religious Community was registered in March 1995 and minyan was organized. Also, they restored monuments in the Jewish cemetery. In July 1997 was opened monument at the grave of jews killed in Konotop during WWII (280 families ~ 1000 persons). Names more than a half of killed people were determined.

Office of Konotop Jewish community. City council provided this building to Jewish community instead of historical building of old synagogue

Office of Konotop Jewish community. City council provided this building to Jewish community instead of historical building of old synagogue

In September 1999 was open Konotop City Charitable Foundation “Hesed Ester” which became an office for all Jewish organizations in Konotop:
– “Lebn” organization (,
– community of progressive Judaism,
– “Hesed Ester”, fficial website: .

Building was provided to Jewish community by city councill instead of historical building of Konotop synagogue (see below).
Openning of the monument to Holocaust victims on Konotop Jewish cemetery, 2017:

List of WWII veterans who was members of Konotop Jewish community in the end of 1990’s:


Document in Chernigov Archive regarding Jewish community of Konotop:

Building of former Synagogue

Bureau of Standards and Metrology is in building now.

Former synagogue

Former synagogue

Address: Yarkovskaya str.

Destroyed Old Jewish cemetery

Gas station is located on this place.
Address:  from corner of Shevchenko str. and Virovskogo str. to Brother Radchenko Str.
Another Jewish cemetery was located on the site of the modern monument in the center of Konotop.
Remains of the monument in the center of Konotop:

Holocaust mass graves

  • Grave near Aviakon factory

At the time of WWII there were killed more than 1200 local Jews.There is a monument at this place which was erected in 1997 by local Jewish comunity.

Address: Ryaboshapko str., near airport

  • Grave of Jewish refugees from different places which were killed in Konotop

Former Jewish school 

Jewish school was closed in 1938. Now it is school №4.

Former Jewish school

Former Jewish school

Monument to Jews killed in shtalag

It located near the monument to killed captives.
Address: Yspensko-Troickaya Str.

Jewish cemetery

It is a part of big municapal cemetery.

Liast of most graves can be found on this website.





  1. I too would be interested in information, Thank you

  2. Is there a Jewish community today in Konotop? If yes, please send me an email address so that I can get additional information about the community for the Israel Diaspora Museum in Tel Aviv.

    • Facebook contacts of community are on the top of this article. Please read

      • Очень тягостное впечатление от этого материала, какой-то “междоусобойчик”, какой-то кооператив Озеро…
        Где информация о выдающихся евреях Конотопа? Где Герои Советского Союза Надежда Волкова (еврейка по матери) и Ефим Цитовский? Где информация о евреях, строивших Конотоп и восстанавливающих после оккупации? Где легендарный главврач роддома доктор Лев Сагалевич, проработавший до глубокой старости и лично принимавший роды в любое время дня и ночи у практически всех евреек Конотопа? И т.д. и т.п.

        • Добрый день

          Если Вы предоставите текст на русском со всей информацией, которую считаете нужной добавить в статью, я с удовольствием его переведу и обновлю статью о евреях Конотопа.
          Заранее бошое Спасибо!

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