Kishinev Jewish Cemetery Project

Project Leader:

Yefim Kogan

JewishGen Liaison/Advisor:

Nolan Altman


Project Synopsis

There are approximately 16,000-17,000 tombstones in the Kishinev Jewish Cemetery, in Chisinau, Moldova. This is one of two cemeteries where Jews were buried in Kishinev. The other cemetery, “Doyna”, will have work completed in October of 2014.

The purpose of this project is to photograph all gravestones. The translated index together with gravestone photographs will be placed on the JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) website, so that researchers can obtain this information free of charge, at


Key Audiences

This project will allow Bessarabia family history researchers to create or fill gaps in their family trees and learn something about their families' Jewish heritage. Where vital records may no longer exist, cemetery records are often the only remaining evidence of a person's life.


Project Importance

The JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) is a searchable database comprised of individual burial records, tombstone photographs, and descriptions of individual cemeteries. As of June 2014, JOWBR contains information from 4,400 cemeteries in 85 countries, with more than two million burial records. New cemetery records are added to JOWBR on a regular basis. This project will expand the JOWBR database by approximately 16,000-17,000 records/photographs.

Jewish cemeteries throughout the world are threatened with vandalism and even extinction. It is vitally important to preserve information about existing Jewish cemeteries so future generations will have the benefit of this aspect of our cultural heritage. There is another problem with Jewish burials in Kishinev. Because of the shortage of burial spaces, people who have loved ones buried in these cemeteries should pay about $10 annual fee, and that is without any service. For graves for which there are no payments, the authority could remove the monument and bury someone else instead.


Project Description

Photographs of tombstones in the Kishinev Jewish Cemetery will be taken by Pavel Tuev, who previously sent us the photographs for the “Doyna” cemetery.

The publisher of the Kishinev Jewish Cemetery agreed that we will translate the entire registry into English. The publisher has already sent us the registry in Russian.

The JewishGen Bessarabia SIG will then organize a team of volunteer translators, to: translate the photographed tombstones, check the registry against the photographs, and enter the records into the JOWBR template.


Estimated Cost

We will know exact number of gravestones later, when the indexing is done, but the approximate number is 17,000.

The cost is $30 per 100 photographs.

Total will be $5,100 for 17,000 photographs, plus about $120 in money transfer fees.



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Updated 10 Oct 2014 by LA