Thursday, November 27, 2008

Russia: Oryol Jewish cemetery to be restored

The Federation of Jewish Communities of the CIS reports that the Jewish cemetery in Oryol, located in the vicinity of a gypsum mill, plans to restore the site, including , a high fence to deter vandalism occurring over the past few years.

The Oryol region is located in the southwestern part of European Russia, bordering the Kaluga, Tula, Bryansk, Kursk and Lipetsk regions. Oryol means eagle in Russian.

Semyon Livshitz, chair of the local Shalom Center Jewish community, said this cemetery was used for Jewish burials from 1836-1960. Now closed, it is a constant vandalism target, including the knocking over and damaging of gravestones and even digging up graves.

The ‘Shalom Center’ Jewish community of Oryol was established September 13, 1999. That same year, it became a member of the expanding Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia and remains a member of this comprehensive country-wide organization through to this day. Livshitz was elected as chair and remains its leader.

Funding for the restoration and preservation will come from the Federation of Jewish Communities in Russia.

From Wikipedia:

While there are no historical records, archaeological evidence proves that a fortress settlement existed between the Oka and Orlik Rivers as early as the 12th century, when the land was a part of the Grand Principality of Chernigov. The name of the fortress is unknown; it may not have been called Oryol at the time. In the 13th century the fortress became a part of the Zvenigorod district of the Karachev Principality. In the early 15th century, the territory was conquered by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The city was soon abandoned by its population, after being sacked either by Lithuanians or the Golden Horde. The territory then became a part of Muscovy in the 16th century.

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