Federation of Jewish Communities of Ukraine:


Chairman of the community: Isaak Beznos
Tel: +38 (0372) 58-52-80
Address: Raysa St., 12, Chernovtsy

Community history
Community programs
Community activities

Community history

City of Chernivtsi is the Center of Bukovina region and one of the largest cities in western Ukraine with a rich Jewish cultural heritage and a history spanning for 600 years. The first documented mention of Jews in Chernivtsi refers to 1408. In 1727 kagalnoe base management is set in Chernivtsi. In the 60s of the 18th century Jews had the right to own property. Most Jews lived near Chernivtsi synagogues and shopping areas around which the old Jewish quarter grew which was the most populous part of Chernivtsi. In 1774, when Bukovina fell under the patronage of Austria, there were about 560 Jewish families. The Jewish quarter kept the historical name - Jewish Quarter (Judenstadt). The main street of the Jewish city was Sinagogengasse where in 1710 the first synagogue of Chernivtsi was built. 

The massive construction of Chernivtsi began with the mid-19th century. When Jews allowed to buy land in the center and build houses. So on the streets and entire neighborhoods of the city a well known in Europe Chernivtsi Temple - the Choral Synagogue, the Jewish national home, the house of the Jews - disabled, nursing home of the Jews and many other buildings appeared.

In the 19 century the Safa ort special training school for girls and boys opened. Across the river Prut in Sadgora which had a separate community the Chassidic house (Ravinergof) of zaddik Yisrael Friedman strengthened. In 1850, Rabbi Yisrael died and was buried in the Sadgorskoe cemetery. Yisrael Friedman founded a dynasty: his six sons were rabbis. 

In 1910, out of 59 lawyers 45 were Jews and out of 69 doctors – 40 Jews. 

In 1941 the Jewish population in Chernivtsi reached 50 thousand people. The early days of Nazi massacres they killed 600 Jews. 6,000 Jews were shot those days in Chernivtsi. Jews who survived the massacre, were forced to live up into ghettos. By the end of the war only 40% of the prewar number were still alive. 

In Soviet times "Jewish life" came to a standstill.  The Jewish people's home, a Jewish cultural center, a Jewish school did not resume any activity. Out of the 50 synagogues that were operating before the war only one preserved. 

Currently an active role in the revival of Jewish life in Bukovina is played by the Chernivtsi Jewish religious community. An interesting and detailed information about the history and modern Jewish community in Chernivtsi can be found in the book one of the most active participants in the Jewish community S. Berezin. The book was published recently.