Jews renovating Ukrainian Jewish cemetery accused of damaging tombstones


JTA – A Jewish group renovating a Jewish cemetery in Ukraine has caused damage there, Jewish heritage experts have said.

Dispute over works at Sataniv’s cemetery near Ternopil in western Ukraine, website says Jewish Heritage Europe reported Tuesday.

In recent months, Agudas Oholei Tzadikkim has carried out what the Orthodox group has called renovation work on some of the oldest parts of the cemetery. The Jews built a synagogue to Sataniv as early as the 16th century.

According to the Jewish Heritage Europe report, ancient gravestones were erected and planted haphazardly in parts of the cemetery, away from the graves whose locations they mark.

Part of the cemetery has been “irreversibly damaged,” Ilia Rodov of the Bar-Ilan Jewish Art Department in Israel told JHE. “Many tombstones have been grossly renovated and misplaced.”

Boris Khaimovich, chief curator of the Russian Museum of Jewish History, told JHE: “I think it’s a crime.

Ukraine has no laws to effectively regulate Ohalei Tzadikkim-type renovation work, according to the report.

The group did not respond to emails and phone calls from the Jewish Telegraph Agency on Friday for comment.

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