History of Jews in Krystynopol

The shtetl Krystynopol was predominantly Jewish for most of the town's history.  Today there is barely a trace of the original town.  Although information regarding Krystynopol's history is scant, here is the story of the rise and fall of this community:

Feliks Kazimierz
              PotockiThe noble family of Potocki from Kraków, Poland, owned vast amounts of land in the region.  In May 1685, Feliks Kazimierz Potocki (1630-1702) bought land in the village of Nowy Dwór (New Garden).  In 1692, he founded Krystynopol on this land and made the town his home.  He named the town after his wife, Princess Krystyna Lubomirska (1640-1699). 

              Salezy PotockiLater, Feliks Potocki's grandson, Franciszek Salezy Potocki (1700-1772) built a large palace there [1].

18th Century KrystynopolJewish settlers arrived soon after Potocki founded Krystynopol.  The earliest Jewish community existed around 1740.  In 1765, there were 759 Jewish taxpayers [2].   By 1880, there were 2,747 Jews, comprising 78 percent of the total population.  The predominant Jewish business was grain trading, and Belz Hasidism dominated Jewish life [3].

The 1900 census counted 2,651 Jewish residents, 75 percent of the total population of 3,522 [4].  The census revealed these additional statistics:

Area in hectares = 1,060 (equivalent to 2,610 acres)
Number of men = 1,728
Number of women = 1,794
Number of houses = 408
Number of factories = 1
Number of horses = 57
Number of cattle = 135
Number of sheep = 1
Number of pigs = 218

During World War I, Cossack attacks, mass expulsions and the decline of grain trade caused the Jewish population to drop to 2,086 (74 percent of the total population of 2,809).  Zionist organizations gained popularity [3].

Many Krystynopol Jews settled in New York City, founding several organizations (landmanshaftn) to aid fellow immigrants (click here for more information on Krystynopol Jews in New York) [5].

Published eight years after the conclusion of World War I, the 1926/7 Poland business directory counted five synagogues in Krystynopol.  Businesses in the town included a cement factory, mills and tanneries.  The 1930 directory additionally noted sawmills and the production of chemical products [6,7].

In 1939, most Krystynopol Jews were expelled by the Germans and left with the Soviet forces.  They crossed the Bug River to be in Soviet-controlled Sokal and Witkow Nowy.  In the summer of 1940, many of these Jews were exiled to Siberia [3].  In September 1942, remaining Krystynopol Jews were deported to the death camp in Belzec.  The Jewish cemetery, founded in the 1700s, was destroyed during that time (click here for more information on the Jewish cemetery in Krystynopol).

Krystynopol became a part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.  Its name was changed to Chervonograd in 1953.  Coal mining began in the 1950s and Chervonograd's population grew rapidly, from 12,000 in 1959, to 83,600 in 2000 [1].

Krystynopol Jews in New York City:
This is a list of Krystynopol-related landsmanshaftn incorporated in Manhattan, 1848 to 1920 [5]:

Name of landsmanshaftn
Year of incorporation
Krystenopoler Sick and Benevolent Association

Krystynopolo and Austria Congregation of the City of New York 1896
Independent First Krystynopoler Sick and Benevolent Association 1902
First Krystynopoler Young Men's Benevolent Association 1906
First Krystynopoler Young Men's and Young Ladies Benevolent Society 1908
Krystonopoler Congregation of New York

Progressive Krystynopoler Young Men's Benevolent Society 1912

Founded in 1896, the synagogue Cristonopoler Congregation Brith Isaac was at 90 Columbia Street, Lower East Side Manhattan.  In 1919, its spiritual leader was Rabbi Aaron Hafner, its president was Issac Axelrod and its secretary was Leib Lustig.  The congregation had 100 members and the services were in Hebrew [8].

The First Krystenopoler Sick and Benevolent Association maintained an area at the Montefiore Cemetery in Queens, New York (block 83, gate 89/W), where there is a memorial to Krystynopol.

The following New York cemeteries have sections maintained by Krystynopol landsmanshaftn [10]:
Montefiore Cemetery
121-83 Springfield Boulevard
Springfield Gardens, Queens, NY 11412
Block 83, gate 89/W

Mt. Zion Cemetery
59-63 54th Avenue
Maspeth, NY  11378
Path 7 left, gate 5

Mt. Hebron Cemetery
130-04 Horace Harding Expressway
Flushing, NY  11367
Block 4, path 1

Wellwood Cemetery

Wellwood Avenue
Farmingdale, NY  11735
Block 60, section 3

The Jewish cemetery in Krystynopol:

According to the International Jewish Cemetery Project, the Krystynopol Jewish cemetery is located at the center of Chervonograd on Shevs'ka Street.  The original size of the cemetery was 1.5 hectares.  At the time of the survey in 1995, 0.15 hectares remained, surrounded by housing.  No grave markers exist [11].


 1)    "Chervonohrad." Wikipedia. 22 Apr. 2008. 3 May 2008 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chervonohrad>.
 2)    "Jewish Historical Institute Education." 2007. Jewish Historical Institute, Warsaw, Poland. 3 May 2008 <http://www.jewishinstitute.org.pl/en/gminy/miasto/719.html>.
 3)    Spector, Shmuel, ed.
The Encyclopedia of Jewish Life Before and After the Holocaust. New York: NYU P, 2001. 684.
 4)    Austro-Hungarian Empire. Statistischen Zentralkommision. 
Gemeindelexikon der im Reichsrate Vertretenen Königreiche und Länder, Vol. 12,_Galizien. Vienna, 1907.
 5)    Green, Ada, and Steven Siegel. "Index to Incorporations of Jewish Locality-Related Organizations of New York County (Manhattan) 1848-1920." 28 June 2004. Jewish Genealogical Society of New York. 3 May 2008 <http://home.att.net/~landsmanshaft/ajhsintro.htm>.
Księga Adresowa Polski (Wraz Z W. M. Gdańskiem) DLA Handlu, Rzemiosł I Rolnictwa; Annuaire de la Pologne (Y Compris La V. L. de Dantzig) Pour Le Commerce, L'Industrie, Les Metiers et L'Agriculture, 1926/7. Warsaw: Towarzystwo Reklamy MięDzynarodowej, 1926. 1261-1262.
Księga Adresowa Polski (Wraz Z W. M. Gdańskiem) DLA Handlu, Rzemiosł I Rolnictwa; Annuaire de la Pologne (Y Compris La V. L. de Dantzig) Pour Le Commerce, L'Industrie, Les Metiers et L'Agriculture, 1930. Warsaw: Towarzystwo Reklamy MięDzynarodowej, 1930. 683.
 8)    Schneiderman, Harry, ed.
American Jewish Yearbook 5680, 1919-1920. Vol. 21. Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1919. 467.
 9)   "The Cemetery Project." 2006. The Museum of Family History. 4 May 2008
10)  "Burial Societies in the New York Metro Area." 17 Oct. 2005. Jewish Genealogical Society of New York. 4 May 2008 
11)  "International Jewish Cemetery Project."
JewishGen: The Home of Jewish Genealogy. 30 Aug. 2005. International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies. 4 May 2008 <http://www.jewishgen.org/cemetery/e-europe/ukra-c.html>.

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