Federation of Jewish Communities of Ukraine:


Chairman of the community: Semyon Belman
Tel: +38 (0462) 64-19-58
Address: Shchorsa St., 58, Chernigov

Community history
Community activities

Community history 

Jews have lived in Chernigov since the tenth century. The Jewish community consisted of the Khazars and subsequently replenished by Jews who fled from the tyranny of the rulers of the Western European states. It is supposed that in the 9-10th centuries Chernihiv obeyed the Khazar Kaganate. In the 9-10th centuries  almost half the population of Chernigov were Slavs. The first Jew in Chernigov, which is known to historians - Itza (Isaac).

The main occupations of the Jewish population in the Chernihiv province were crafts and trade. The Jews traded mainly in grain and other agricultural products. Jewish merchants from Chernigov and surrounding areas took part in the Chernigov fairs held in the city three times a year. Jews owned 70 factories (sawmills, brick, flour, distilleries and other).

Prior to the Holocaust, Jews comprised one-third of Chernigov. Those who remained in the occupied territories were shot in 1941 - 42 years. 

Jews who returned after the war were forced to live under new restrictions by the authorities along with all Jews in the Soviet Union. During the anti-religious campaign in 1959 in Chernigov last functioning synagogue was closed. All religious items were confiscated and turned into a museum. The Jewish cemetery was in disrepair and in 1961 the local newspaper printed an article against the ritual burial of Jews. In 1970 the Jewish population of Chernigov numbered four thousand people, according to census 1989: 4558 Jews in the Chernihiv and 6184 Jews in region. In the early 1990s a society for Jewish Culture was created. In the 1990s many Jews of the region immigrated to Israel and other countries. In 1993 Jewish religious community in Chernigov was reconstituted. A house of worship an evening school for adults and children (60 students) began operation.