The Jewish community of Pyryatin emerged in the early 17th century and was destroyed during Khmelnystky Uprising of 1648-49. It reemerged in the 18th century, reaching a peak Jewish population of 5,692 in 1910. In the mid 19th century, Reb Menachem Tuvia, a prominent student of the Zemach Zedek, was rabbi of the city. Today there are around 100 tombstones remaining on the site, dating from 1894 to 1968.
After exposed bones were found lying about at this vandalized Jewish cemetery, ESJF and Geder Avos arranged for their immediate reburial.
In April 2017, ESJF began a mass project of surveying and monitoring the current state of all Jewish cemeteries in Ukraine. While doing so, ESJF site monitors located acts of vandalism and desecration at the Jewish cemetery in Pyriatin, in the Poltavska Oblast.
ESJF was immediately in contact with Geder Avos who reached out to the nearest Jewish community in Kremenchug. Thanks to the energetic efforts of Kremenchug Rabbi Shlomo Salamon and the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Kremenchug-based charitable foundation БО “БФ “Хесед Хаим”, Yevgeniy Leshchinskiy, a minyan was hastily arranged and a reburial of the bones took place on Sunday, May 21st, 2017, in full accordance with Jewish tradition.
ESJF issued a statement expressing its gratitude for assistance and cooperation to: Rabbi Salamon; the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Kremenchug-based charitable foundation “Hesed-Haim,” Yevgeniy Leshchinskiy; to the Deputy Mayor of Pyriatyn, Ihor Shykerynets; to the head of the Jewish community of Pyriatyn, Larysa Shevchenko; and to Geder Avos Jewish Heritage Group for all of its assistance in facilitating this urgent reburial.
In 2019, ESJF with the support of Geder Avos and American Jewish philanthropic organizations, cleared the site and erected a fence around the cemetery.
Also completed in 2019 was the demarcation, sanctification and marking of the mass grave on the outskirts of the town where Pyryatin’s Jews were murdered in 1942. The mass grave marking project was completed by Geder Avos in cooperation with the Center for European Rabbis and Oholei Tzadikim.
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