Old Website Town Pages
The information on this page has been compiled by Ukraine SIG long time ago.
As JewishGen and the Ukraine SIG evolved, the contents of the page became redundant with other areas of
JewishGen (specially the KehilaLinks) and the new SIG website.
This page will be temporarily hosted by the Ukraine SIG site until this contents is transferred to the corresponding
KehilaLink and/or indexed into the Ukraine Database. Then it will be removed.
Kvas on the Streets of Berdichev
By Yael Shamir-Driver, May 2001
Over the Bridge to the Still Magnificent Magazinik House: The Magazinik
house is located at No. 22 Voikova Street [formerly Chudnovskaya
Street] on the south side of the river. It is close to the pedestrian bridge that stretches over the Gnilopyatka
River. The house, built in 1890, was once the residence of Avraham
Dov Magazinik and his wife Feiga, daughter of Rabbi Baruch from
Chernobyl.Built in the form of a small palace, the house stands in the middle of what was once a beautiful garden.
Despite the fact that its condition has deteriorated, the house
still retains an aura of magnificence. It is decorated in a predominantly
light blue colour with Stucco ornamentation.
The magnificient Magazinik house.
Today the building is home to a branch of Berdichev’s library,
containing reference, children and general books for lending. There is
no computer in the library so the library’s
index is on cards.The librarians, who were most hospitable, showed
us old photographs of Berdichev and advised us to visit a second Magazinik
building down the road.This second building, today home for a school
of 800 pupils studying in two shifts, is large and of plain style. The
building has been renovated and expanded over the years. However, its
front still has the original arched wooden doors on which there were
two wooden carved lion heads. One of these, was recently given to a descendant
of the Magazinik family, who came from the USA for a visit. [Can you
help us to trace this man ?].
Synagogue: The only operating synagogue in Berdichev
is on Sverdlova Street, which is located between the town’s main
square and the river. The synagogue, which used to be “The New
Beit ha’Midrash”, has been renovated within the past 10
years and its exterior is painted light blue. It has arched windows,
each decorated with two Magen Davids and a Menorah. During the restoration,
a plaque on one of the internal walls of the synagogue was uncovered, listing
six members of the Hirschenhorn family who lived in Berdichev between 1908
Synagogue at Sverdlova street.
Although not Jewish, this impressive site appears on many old postcards of Berdichev. The monastery is strategically situated on a small hill overlooking the river and is partly surrounded by fortifications. The site dating back to the 17th (?) century is currently being restored.
The Local Archives
We could not leave Berdichev without coverage of the local archives.
We started with the address quoted in Miriam Weiner’s book “Jewish
Roots in the Ukraine…” There we found a notice saying “We
have moved !” It took a full-blown discussion with five elderly
ladies, who soon gathered around us, to find the new location - back
entrance of a building at the other side of town – no signs whatsoever!
At this second location we were warmly received. The lady at the desk
did her best to find us an old map of the Berdichev area and confirmed
that no vital records are held there. We were directed to a third
address, where we received a rather harsh “telling off” for
not knowing that the archive was closed. After all, it
With some perseverance,
we managed to get confirmation that any pre-1920 vital records which
might have survived, would be in Kiev.
Part 1 | Part2 | Part 3