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 3/7/2021  Two new articles about Life in Kishinev today

Two new articles about today's Jewish community in Kishinev are available at the Life in Kishinev Today section

 9/15/2019  Update on Kishinev Jewish Cemetery Project

These are the latest news posted by Yefim Kogan

- Sector 5, photographing is done, indexing is at the last stage. New 2,700 burial records with photos will be added shortly in September-October of this year
- Sector 1, 3, 6 - photographing is in progress

 8/27/2019  Moldova’s dwindling Jewish community reopens synagogue seized by Soviets

See original article published on on August 26, 2019.

Rabbi Shimshon Izakson, second from left, prays with congregants at the Wooden Synagogue in Chisinau, Moldova, Aug. 26, 2019. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

CHISINAU, Moldova (JTA) — Jews in this city reopened a synagogue in its former home, a building seized by Soviet authorities nearly 80 years ago.

The Wooden Synagogue, or the Lemnaria Synagogue, was reopened Sunday in the cellar of the Kedem Jewish Community Center. About 300 people attended the ceremony under the auspices of the Limmud FSU biannual conference of Jewish learning in the center of Chisinau, also known as Kishinev.

The original synagogue was established in 1835 and nationalized in 1940. In 2005, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee opened the JCC in the building that once housed the synagogue. But the building did not have a synagogue until Alexandar Bilinkis, president of Jewish Community of the Republic of Moldova, donated the funds.

The local Jewish community is dwindling due to emigration and assimilation. Moldova has about 19,000 people with a Jewish grandparent and 3,000 citizens who are Jewish according to Orthodox law, or halacha.

With the Wooden Synagogue’s reopening, the community now has four synagogues. It had more than 80 before the Holocaust, according to the rabbi of the Moldova Jewish community and the Wooden Synagogue.

“Exactly because of the factors weakening the community, it’s especially important that institutions like the Wooden Synagogue be built,” said Chaim Chesler, co-founder of Limmud FSU.

Moldova, a landlocked country of about 3 million people, is sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine. It is widely believed to be Europe’s poorest nation, with a median monthly income under $340.

 4/5/2019  Update on Kishinev Jewish Cemetery

The following message was posted on the Bessarabia SIG discussion group.

Dear researchers,

Here is an update for the Bessarabia SIG projects for the month of March 2019. See also at What's New
at Bessarabia SIG website. There are a number of projects we made a good progress on, like Revision
Lists, Miriam W.'s Archival material, but this time I am only going to updates at the Kishinev Jewish

Kishinev was a main town in Bessarabia, and later in the republic, part of the Soviet Union,
and now it is a capital of independent state Republic of Moldova. The cemetery we are talking about
is one of the largest in the region, but this is counting that about half of the cemetery was destroyed,
and a park was built on the territory. Also when some smaller cemeteries were destroyed during
60-70s, a number of people moved the graves of their loved once to Kishinev Jewish cemetery. In my
family was such a case in 1970s, when my uncle moved grave of his mother from Kaushany Jewish
cemetery (cemetery was destroyed in 1970s) to Kishinev.

Jewish Cemeteries. Updates:

Completed photographing and indexing sector 4 in Kishinev Jewish Cemetery and sent to JOWBR 1517
burial records with 1371 images and 33 images of Unknown graves can be viewed at Bessarabia SIG
website at Kishinev Jewish Cemetery Report
( ).
or directly at Kishinev Jewish Cemetery Unknown graves

I want to add that we received a set of photos from Sector 5 (about 3000!), and part from sector 3.
Planning to get all photos from 3, 6 and 7 this year, and remaining 1, 8 and 9 will be photographed
next spring.

Kishinev Jewish Cemetery events report (end of 2018 to February 2019).
( )

Aerial view of Kishinev Jewish Cemetery after major cleaning in December of 2018:

Damaged tombstones after major cleaning in December of 2018 (100+ monuments were damaged or

If you have any problems with the links,
take the whole string up to ")", and put it into a browser and it should work. Also if you have access to
Kishinev Jewish Cemetery Report, you can go from there to all other pages on the list above. If you still
have problems, please email me directly.

All the best,
Inna Vayner, Yefim Kogan
JewishGen Bessarabia SIG Leaders and Coordinators

 3/11/2019  Update on Kishinev Jewish Cemetery

This is a message posted by Yefim Kogan on the Bessarabia SIG discussion group.

Dear Researchers,

I am not sure if you get this email, but I want you to know the situation at the Jewish Cemetery in Kishinev, Bessarabia/Moldova.

You remember the story that the Prime Minister of Moldova "...demanded a plan to restore the Jewish cemetery in Kishinev", and I should tell you that there are good news, but also very bad news from that cemetery:

The cemetery was cleaned up in the fall of 2018, and you can see from a photo how large is the cemetery, and as people on the ground are saying, it was cleaned up.

Aerial view:

The bad news are that a number of tombstones were damaged.

Now, I am getting information that there will be no construction of a new building at the cemetery (museum or so), but there is going to be build a memorial probably to the victims of the Holocaust...

If you have issues seeing the images, or questions, please email me at

Yefim Kogan
JewishGen Bessarabia SIG Leader and Coordinator

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