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Jewish Cemetery in Kalarash

The Jewish Cemetery in Kalarash

The old Jewish Cemetery in Kalarash is located on a hill in the center of town, which rises behind buildings on the main street. Reports on the number of gravestones range from 1,000 to 5,000. A visitor to Kalarash in 1993 said that at least part of the cemetery looked to have been restored. Many of the gravestones were in good condition and some were surrounded by metal fences. However, in the photograph below, the grounds are wilder and there are tombstones that are broken or askew. Some of the gravestones are said to date from the 19th century; perhaps they are in the less-manicured section pictured below. There also is a Jewish section in the non-sectarian town cemetery, which is where most Jewish burials take place today.

Jewish Cemetery in Kalarash

In his book Carved Memories: Heritage in Stone from the Russian Jewish Pale (Rizzoli International Publications, 2000), photographer David Goberman included pictures of two gravestones from the old section of the Jewish cemetery in Kalarash (pp. 148-150). One gravestone, said to be from the 1850s, is dedicated to "the daughter of (illegible)" and has carved upon it a lion catching a butterfly. A second gravestone, said to be from between 1850-1900, memorializes "a young man Eliahu Eleazar" and has upon it hands arched in the priestly blessing. For reasons relating to copyright, the photographs are not reproduced here.

Photo of the cemetery. Courtesy of Olga Sivac, Kishinev, Moldova, Librarian at I. Manger Jewish Public Library.

Credits: Text and page design copyrighted © 2007-2008 by Helene Kenvin. Top photograph copyrighted © 1993 by Miriam Weiner Photo Archives; used with permission, courtesy of Routes to Roots Foundation, Inc., Secaucus, NJ. Bottom photograph: copyrighted © Miriam Weiner Photo Archive; used with permission. We are grateful to Miriam Weiner of the Routes to Roots Foundation for information about the condition of the cemetery in 1993. Page created by Helene Kenvin. All rights reserved.