kehilalinks: POGREBISHCHE

Researching the Jewish shtetl of Pogrebishche, Ukraine

Cemeteries and Landsmanshaften of Pogrebishche


There are several cities where refugees from Pogrebishche settled and established a landsmanshaft to help take care of fellow immigrants and organize burial. These include:

* Brooklyn - The First Pogrebisht Benevolent Society, founded in 1911 by immigrants from Pogrebishche. "Maintained an emergency fund for needy members as well as old-age fund. Dissolve in 1970s." YIVO holds its archives, which contains the group's constitution and financial records from 1964-1972. To see various documents relating to the founding of this organization by Bernard B. Pitt, Louis Orol, Gerson Orol, Namon Gewertz, Jacob Polishook, Max Gelfman and Samuel Roth, Click here.

* Detroit - The Pogreishtcher Progressive Society and Pogrebishtcher Ladies' Society. According to an article in the Detroit Jewish News from May 15, 1959, the organization disbanded in that year, since "the group had served its purpose with the growth of a new generation," according to the group's 15-year president Naftali Zack. The article mentions that offices of the group at the time it dissolved were Naftali Zack (president), Hyman Unatin (vice-president), Abraham Turbow (treasurer), and Frist Hoffman (secretery).

* Chicago - The Pogrebishter Society had a section in Chicago's Waldheim Cemetery, section 277.

* Winnipeg

We would be happy to hear if you know of additional landsmanshaften.


Unlike many pre-Holocaust cemeteries in Ukraine, the old Jewish cemetery in Pogrebishche still has many headstones in place. This is partially because it is in the middle of a forest, with trees growing wildly around the burial plots. In 2013, Barry and Josh Skarf photographed hundreds of the remaining tombstones. For access to the photos, email the Pogrebishche Jewish Cemetery Project.

The International Jewish Cemetery Project lists 6 Jewish cemeteries in Pogrebishche:

* 11 Kotsubinskogo Street. Mass grave from 19-23 October, 1941, with a marker from 1965.

* 109 Khmelnitskogo Street. 1942 Hasidic mass grave with marker from 1965. Reached by turning off the street at a garage and passing through a parking lot in the back. Entrance behind the building in the far right corner of the parking lot.

* Gagarina St. - bottom of ravine Northwest of town. Plaque marks the grave.

* E. Molodegnaya Street, at right of the road - a mass grave from 1941. Marker from 1965.

* Mass grave in eastern part of the main Jewish cemetery.

* Main Jewish cemetery is located at NE of town, between Chapaeva and Kalinina Street. The last known Conservative Jewish burial was in 1970. The cemetery was fixed up in 1968.

Hassidic Graves

Two hassidic leaders are buried in the main Jewish cemetery. Michael Greenbaum writes in Graves of Tzaddikim in Russia (Shamir Publishing House, 1989) about restoring the graves, along with others throughout Russia and the Ukraine. The author explains that he decided to investgate the graves of the followers of the Maggid of Mezhirich. The maggid's grandson, Shalom Shachna, is buried in Pogrebishche, so that led him there. He describes Pogrebishche as a small town off the beaten track. They hiked up a hill and found a grave covered with grass and bushes. There they met an old man who spoke a mixture of Russian, Ukrainian and Yiddish, who was not Jewish but who had been paid in 1923 to guard the cemetery. The cemetery had only a few tombstones remaining, including Rabbi Shalom Shachna and his son Avrom. Until 1941 there had been an eternal flame in the monument.

It wasn't easy for the author to restore the cemetery. They ran into a lot of government officials who resisted and claimed that the area was a garden and could not be preserved. However, they persisted and were eventually granted permission to fix up the cemetery and build a small monument.

Later, other organizations fixed up the physical building in which the graves were held, adding a roof and improving its condition.