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Briceni (Moldova) Cemetery Gravestone Project - Phase II

Project Leader: Yefim Kogan
JewishGen Liaison/Advisor: Nolan Altman
JewishGen Director: Avraham Groll

Project Synopsis

The Briceni Jewish Cemetery in northern Moldova is estimated to contain over 4,000 gravestones, the earliest from 1745. The cemetery is considered one of the greatest Jewish cemeteries in the region, with its beautiful inscriptions and engravings making it a Jewish Museum under the sky. The Briceni Jewish Cemetery Project began in 2013. While a majority of these gravestones were photographed, translated, indexed, and provided to the JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) in 2015-2016, the remainder remains inaccessible and unidentified.

This second phase of the project will provide the resources to clear, photograph, and index the remaining estimated 1,000+ gravestones, so they can be searchable on JOWBR.

Key Audience

This project will allow Bessarabian, Moldovan, and Ukrainian family history researchers to create family trees or fill gaps in their family trees, and to 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 Description

There are approximately 4,000+ gravestones located in the Jewish cemetery of Briceni [Russian: Brichany, Yiddish: Britshan], in northern Moldova, one of the largest cemeteries in the region. The earliest known gravestone is dated 1745 and latest one is dated 2011. Descriptions are written in Russian and Hebrew. The Briceni Cemetery report of February 2016 provides information on the history and significance of this cemetery to the Jewish communities in Moldova and Ukraine. For more information click here.

In 2015-2016, JewishGen hired Serghei Daniliuk, a Kaushany, Moldova resident, to clear and photograph almost 2,400 gravestones, which allowed us to identify 2,537 burial records. This information, along with 2,360 photographs (and 143 images of unidentified graves), can be searched via JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR). But an estimated 1,000+ gravestones in one section remain inaccessible and undocumented due to overgrown vegetation.

In 2015-2016 Serghei Daniliuk and his team had to work with a chainsaw and other equipment first before taking photos.

To see photographs of the Briceni Cemetery Project click here.

This phase of the cemetery project will clear paths, clean up this inaccessible section, and provide JOWBR with additional records and photos of the gravestones in this section. Cleaning of the cemetery will be managed and provided by Serghei Daniliuk, who also will take photos of the revealed stones.

After the clearing and photographing are completed, our JewishGen Bessarabia SIG volunteers will verify each record against the photographs, make necessary corrections, and then make them accessible via JOWBR.

If fundraising is successful in the next few months, this project can be scheduled for spring of 2018.

Project Importance

This project will expand the JOWBR database by approximately 1,000+ tombstones for this major town of Briceni, Republic of Moldova formerly in Khotin district, Bessarabia gubernias of the Russian Empire.

Estimated Cost

The estimated cost for the clearing and cleaning is about $1,500; some travel expenses of about $200 for Sergei and his team; and about $500 for the new set of photos. Total cost is estimated at $2,200 for completion. As of, November 9, 2017 we have raised a total of $1,026. To donate click here.


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Last Update: November 9, 2017 by Rebecca Schaeffer
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