Ostropol, Ukraine

Stary Ostropil , Ostropolya, Ostropolia, אסטראפאער (Yiddish), Старий Острополъ (Ukr), Старый Острополъ (Rus)

Location: Ukraine, 49° 16' N 29° 32' E

Nearest City : Starokonstantinovi

Dedicated to the study of Jewish family history in the town of Ostropol, Ukraine.


Ostropol is a beautiful town on the Sluch River located in the Khmelnitsky Oblast, Starokonstantinov Raion, about 133 miles WSW of Kiev. The history of the Jewish community Ostropol is similar to that of all the other shtetls in what is now Ukraine. In fact it probably was used as the model shtetl in S. Ansky's famous play 'The Dybbuk.' Ostropol is believed to have been founded in 1576, but archaeological digs routinely find traces of much earlier habitation, as far back as the pre-Christian era (fourth to eighth centuries CE). The Jewish community of Ostropol had it's hazy origins under the Lithuanian and Polish Empires in 16th century, and then became part of the Russian Empire in 1790 under Catherine the Great. During these years it was the home of a thriving Jewish community and well known in much of Eastern Europe as a center of trade and learning. After the Russian Revolution, and after suffering horribly during the later part of WW1 it became a part of the Soviet Union. The community continued to struggle through the early part of the 20th century until it was totally destroyed during by the Nazi's the early 1940's. The Jewish population of Ostropol at the beginning of the 20th century was about 3000. Then in 1937, according to the Soviet census of 1937-39 it was down to less than 1500. Migration out of Ostropol to had begun in the mid 1800's. . Hundreds of Jewish Ostropol families came to Canada and the United States. Many of these established new Ostropol communities either formally or informally in the new world. Today the descendants of these Jewish Ostopolyers number in the thousands. This is their community site.

Painting of a day in Ostropol by Matthew Mosenkis

The Synagogue in Ostropol about 1900

Ostropol painting by Matthew Mosenkis

Painting of Ostropol by Issac Vaynshelboym