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 1/17/2021  New article about Ukraine restoring Jewish Memory

Check the article on the Kiliya Today Section

 5/16/2017  Project to declare Kiliya's Jewish Cemetery a historial and cultural protected area

The director of the Odessa Holocaust Museum, Pavel Kozlenko, is working with the town authorities to get the cemetery a status of historical and cultural heritage protected area. That is very important and will change a lot.

The Odessa Holocaust Museum together with JewishGen and the Bessarabia SIG, have presented to the authorities a "Socio-economic justification for establishing such zone."

The full text of the document is the following (automatic translation from Ukrainian by Google)

In Ukraine, an appropriate legislative and regulatory framework has been established that regulates the role of the state, special authorities for the protection of cultural heritage, regional authorities, cities, rural settlements, land users, legal entities and individuals, regardless of the form of ownership in which objects and monuments of cultural heritage are located . In particular, the laws of Ukraine "On the Protection of Cultural Heritage", "On the National Program for the Preservation and Use of Cultural Heritage Objects", "On the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage", "On the Basics of Urban Development", "On Territory Planning", "On Architectural Activities". The Law of Ukraine approved the General Scheme for Planning the Territory of Ukraine. The European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage (revised), the European Landscape Convention, the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage, the Convention on the Protection of the Architectural Heritage have been ratified. In order to strengthen the responsibility for the preservation of the monuments inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, MKT proposed to include in the draft Law of Ukraine "On Protection of the Architectural Heritage" a separate section concerning the protection of monuments of the world cultural heritage.
Now in Ukraine there are more than 60 historical and cultural reserves of state and municipal property. Over the years of independence, the network of historical and cultural reserves of Ukraine has significantly increased and expanded. New historical and cultural reserves were opened
World experience and practice now show that the decline of culture, indifference to the spiritual development of the nation, disregard for the cultural heritage lead to irreparable losses in all spheres of public life - economic, political, social.

Historical and cultural reserves of Ukraine play a particularly important role in preserving the achievements of the past, in the spiritual development of the nation, in the development of its statehood. They are hotbeds of active research and educational activities; Bring up high feelings of patriotism, responsibility for the destiny of the country. At the educational-scientific level in the language of exhibits and monuments, historical and cultural reserves tell about the history of the past and modern achievements. Thanks to the activities of such historical and cultural reserves, the connection of generations, our sense of involvement in history, is never interrupted.
Historical and cultural protected areas (hereinafter referred to as "protected areas") are created as zones of a special regime for the protection and use of historically developed territories of cities and other settlements, landscapes that are functionally and planly not delimited in the structure of a settlement, with the purpose of preserving and restoring their historical appearance.
If special measures are required to prevent destruction or damage to monuments and other cultural heritage sites of protected areas, special funds may be allocated under Article 27 of this Law to finance the protection of cultural heritage.
Land plots within the territory of a historical and cultural reserve are not subject to withdrawal from state or municipal property in favor of third parties, as well as privatization.
The issue of preserving the historical and cultural heritage is also relevant for the Odessa region.
It should also be noted that historical and cultural reserves are of great importance for the development of tourism in the region. Tourism, in particular, is a factor in the growth of paid services as a source of funds for preserving the historical and cultural environment.

The goal - the establishment of on-site existing Jewish cemetery of historical and cultural protected area of local importance.
1. Ensuring the safety of the Jewish cemetery as an object of cultural heritage. Inventory conducting.
2. Creation of conditions for the preservation and display of monuments of the history and culture of Jews in the Kiliya district of the Odessa region.
3. Formation of tourist infrastructure in historical territories where Jews lived.
4. Ensuring the accessibility of information on the historical and cultural heritage of the Odessa region of Ukraine.

Kilia is a small port city in South Bessarabia on the banks of the Danube. Like other Bessarabian cities, Kilia leads its history from the ancient Greek settlements on the Danube, but the more authentic time of the city's foundation is the 15th century, when the principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia fought for variable success with the occasional participation of the Hungarian kingdom. In 1465 the Moldavian prince Stefan the Great once again conquered the lower reaches of the Danube, destroyed the old fortifications on the right bank of the river (Kiliya-Veke) and erected a new fortress on the left bank, where the modern city is located. However, the construction of the fortress did not help the Moldavians, because only 20 years later, in 1484, the Turks came and everyone was expelled, and Kiliya for 300 years became part of the Ottoman Empire. The Turks did not introduce a complete ban on Christianity, therefore, Orthodox churches appeared in Kiliya, and at the beginning of the 18th century Old Believers fled here, as well as in neighboring Vilkovo.During the Turkish rule, Kilia was the center of the lower Danube region: a large and prosperous city with a powerful fortress, numerous mosques, synagogues and several Orthodox churches.
At the turn of the XVIII and XIX centuries, Kilia went through all the vicissitudes of the Russian-Turkish wars, after which Russia and Romania belonged, and after the Second World War became part of the Ukrainian SSR.
Jewish Heritage: The Kilie was a big, strong Jewish community, thanks to which the city was able to check out and develop, after Russian destroyed it in the capture of the fortress Kilia. Jewish society rebuilt the center of the city. These buildings are still used today. Jews created shops and factories, developed trade.
Before the Second World War, more than 2,000 Jews lived in Kiliya (about 10% of the population). The main occupation of the Jewish population in the 19th century. - Crafts and trade. In the year 1895, The rabbi in Kilia after the death of his father, Shabataya-Sheptil Gurvich, became Eli-Chaim-Joseph (1856-?). In the year 1910. In Kiliya there were 4 synagogues, 2 men's Jewish schools, a benefit package for poor Jews, a Jewish cemetery. In 1912 The Jewish Savings and Loan Association operated. In 1913 Jews owned the only pharmacy, 2 warehouses of chemist's goods, a single bakery, 2 hairdressers, a single laundry, 2 bookstores, 2 music stores, 25 shops (including all 3 haberdashery, all 3 tobacco shops); Among the Jews there were 4 timber merchants, a dressmaker. In the end. 1917 In Kilia, there was a pogrom, during which the city suffered significant material damage. In 1931 In Kiliya worked a Jewish school and children. Garden with teaching in Hebrew. Since 1930. The rabbi was Nathan Landa (1880-1940). In the 1920-30's. In Kiliya there were branches of various Jewish parties and organizations. After the war, there were practically no Jews left, and the synagogue was destroyed already under Soviet rule. At the end of July 1941. B. The Jewish population of Kiliya was shot by soldiers of the Romanian army (a monument was erected on the site of the shooting). In August 1941 The remaining Jews were placed in the camp and in October 1941 deported to Transnistria.
At the moment, there is a small Jewish community in Kiliya.

The Jewish cemetery.
Places of Jewish settlements always accompanied the cemeteries belonging to the communities. On the territory of the Kiliya district of the Odessa region there is a unique Jewish cemetery. The cemetery is the quintessence of local history. The Jewish cemetery is the endless world of matzo stones. The architectonics of matzahs ​​is extremely laconic, the images are whole subjects - messages from the past to the future. Creating a monument, the master knew a lot about the deceased and captured it in stone. These matzevs were preserved in the Jewish cemetery of Kiliya. Even in one cemetery, you can see many different schools of stone-cutters, representing the national Jewish culture, in our region is practically unexplored and not used. Only in the XVIII century. It reached its peak: the proportions used were ideal, the stelae were luxuriously decorated, and had rich architectural plastics. On each stele there is an epitaph in Hebrew, created mainly on the generally accepted principle, in which they tried to show what kind of person was in life, to emphasize his best human qualities and to perpetuate the memory. By compositional properties, Matseva was divided into two parts: in the upper part was a relief image, and in the lower epitaph, sometimes it could be combined. The epitaph was written only in the Torah language - in Hebrew, because this language for Jews is sacred and can not be used in conversation. The relief plane of the epitaph was made protruding, voluminous (these letters were cut out in the 16th-end of the 18th century), or in-depth (beginning of the XIX - XXI centuries).
The historical and cultural heritage is gradually recognized as a specific resource of the territory, it acts as a new active phenomenon of economic life.
The oldest burials here date back to the 14th-15th centuries. They are located near the cliff and are showered. Let's notice, that Jews live in Килие almost from first centuries of our era. At the end of the XIX century, there were 2,200 people (the third largest community after the Ukrainian and Moldovan, there were fewer Russians).
In the cemetery is the mass grave of the Jews of Kilia, who died at the hands of the Romanian-German invaders in 1941-1944.

Despite all the problems, Ukraine is rightfully proud of its reserves, which form part of the cultural heritage of all mankind. And there is no doubt that it is the reserves of Ukraine as cultural, educational and research institutions that will continue to make a significant contribution to the implementation of the state's cultural policy, to educate visitors with a high sense of interest in intellectual achievements and patriotism.
In Ukraine, the historical and architectural reserve "Cemetery on Green Street" in the city of Chernivtsi, Lychakiv cemetery in Lviv and Lukyanovskoye in Kiev.
The cultural heritage of Ukraine is an integral part of the world cultural heritage. Its preservation and augmentation is a priority direction of state policy in the sphere of culture.
One of the most interesting bearers of culture of each people is a cemetery. After all, the cemetery is the bearer of history, customs, culture, tradition, evidence of what happened on the territory of our land - historical events, outstanding people.
Thousands of Jewish graves are not visited by anyone and are not protected. They are in serious condition - their destruction continues. Neglect, urbanization, vandalism, thefts and inept attempts at restoration can destroy what is often the only source of knowledge about the Jewish communities of the pre-war period that has survived to this day. Without immediate intervention, many of them can, simply, disappear forever.
The historical continuity of the development of culture, embodied in the monuments, and the awareness of their living connection with the present, are the main motives of the social movement in defense of the cultural heritage.
Therefore, to preserve the unique Jewish cemetery Chilia as the creation of historical and cultural reserve will be a carrier of a certain historical significance, witnessed the people's fate, and thus serve Education of generations, stopping national unconsciousness and depersonalization.

The document was signed by
Pavel Kozlenko, director of the Odessa Holocaust Museum
Avraham Groll, director of JewishGen
Yefim Kogan, JewishGen, Bessarabia SIG coordinator
Ariel Parkansky, JewishGen, Member of the boards of Bessarabia SIG and Ukraine SIG, Kiliya Town Leader

 4/8/2017  Pesach Trip To Kiliya

Hi everybody

The Odessa Holocaust Museum, whose Director is Pavel Kozlenko, organize travels all around Odessa oblast, helping to restore Holocaust Monuments and Jewish cemeteries.

This Sunday Passover around 30 people will arrive in Kiliya.

The plan is the following:

1. Departure from Odessa at 7.00 by bus "Ikarus" - 30 people.

2. Approximate arrival to Kilya at 11.30.

3. At the entrance to the town we will be meeting with Boris Arkadievich Shvartsman, the head of Jewish community, and then will go to the place where used to be large synagogue in Lenin street, and where Jews were killed.
We will hold a rally. Pavel will tell about the tragedy of the Jews of Kiliya, they will light the candles and put the pebbles. The head of the district council and the mayor of the city will arrive. After the rally, three people will stay to paint the fence near the monument and the rest of them will go to the cemetery.

4. At the cemetery we paint the gate and the fence along the facade, remove the dry branches, trees and stuff. The mayor of the city will send us workers.

5. On the outskirts of the cemetery, where it slides into the precipice, they will plant 20 trees (oak). So that they strengthen the cliff.

6. They will hold a rally at the grave of killed Jews, light candles and lay stones. Need to order another marble tablet, instead of the one lost and order it in Odessa.

7. Working meeting with the leadership of the district and city on the status of the cemetery (we want for the cemetery to have a special status).

8. We will distribute packages with Matzah to the local Jewish community (18 people) and congratulate with Pesach.

9. Departure from Kiliya 16.30

All materials have already been bought, and a new lock on the gate.
A personal donation of 1700 UAH by Pavel Kozlenko will allow to have guard at the cemetery for half a year.

I find these actions most inspiring.

I encourage you to visit the facebook page of the Odessa Holocaust Museum at

Ariel Parkansky
Kiliya Town Leader
JG Bessarabia-SIG

 3/12/2016  Kiliya activists restore the Jewish cemetery

A new article about the restoration of the Jewish Cemetery by a Kiliya public organization is published here

 3/4/2016  All Kiliya Database and other news

Hi all,

I've created a searchable database with Kiliya related persons extracted from several collections (cemetery, Yad Vashem, Ellis Island, USHMM, Business Directories...).

The database contains already more than 1500 records and I expect it will grow in the future.

It is accessible on the kehilalinks site under the research menu or directly at the All Kiliya database Home page

Additionally, in the Jewish Landscapes of the Image Gallery you'll find some very rare images I've found in different sources.

I remind you that you can propose your images, articles, document or people data to be published on the site. This will help to make it grow.

Also, you can provide records of your family tree to be added in the Akkerman Database.

Thanks and enjoy,

JewishGen, Kiliya Town Leader

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