Field School 2015 to Kuty


The seventh annual expedition of the Jewish Galicia and Bukovina Organization set out on August 2nd, 2015. The 15 members of the expedition – students and graduate of hesder yeshivas, students from the Catholic University of Lviv and staff members from Israel and St. Petersburg guided by Dr. Boris Khaimovich (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)– spent two weeks working in the Jewish cemetery in Kuty, a town situated on the border between Galicia and Bukovina. Kuty was a relatively small town, numbering a general population of about 6,740 at its peak, around 1910. About half of this number were Jews. However, the community of Kuty earned a reputation far beyond its modest size due to famous personages who originated from there. The best known of these was the rabbi of the city and a famous kabbalist, R. Moshe ben Menachem Mendel Kitever, who headed a group of kabbalists during the first half of the 18th century. No less famous was the name of his most notable student, R. Abraham Gershon of Kuty, a kabbalist and scholar and the brother-in-law of the Ba’al Shem Tov. According to Hassidic tradition, the Ba’al Shem Tov spent the years of his “hiding” close to Kuty as well, where he supported himself by digging up and selling clay.

The Jewish community of the town began to develop at the beginning of the 18th century, when Kuty received city privileges, leading to its settling by Armenian and Jewish merchants and tradesmen. The Jewish cemetery was consecrated at this time, and the building of the central synagogue begun.

The Jews of Kuty made their living through trade, tannery, carriage making and different crafts. Toward the end of the 19th century the Jewish population of Kuty also included industrialists and owners of flour-mills. A small number of Jews occupied administrative posts in governmental and municipal institutions.

Most of the Jews in Kuty lived in the center of the town, near the market square and west of it, where the central synagogue and two smaller prayer houses were situated. The city also included study halls and Hassidic kloizes, of the Vizhnitz, Kosów and Czortków Hassidic strands.

During the First World War the city suffered greatly: Following the invasion of the Russian army and the passing of control between Ukranian, Romanian and Polish hands, many of the citizens of Kuty left the city and its population declined. The Polish rule between the two world wars brought a period of calm and development: the city was connected to the railway system and became a popular vacation destination. Many Jewish institutions operated in the city: a supplementary Hebrew school, a girls’ Beit Ya’akov school, a tradesmen’s guild, a branch of Wizo, a sporting association and public libraries. Lively political activity also took place in the Jewish neighborhoods.

In September of 1939 Kuty was annexed to the Soviet Union, but with the outbreak of war between Russian and Nazi Germany the city was captured by Romanian and Hungarian army forces. In September of 1941 the city came under direct German control and the Jewish population began being heavily persecuted. In a Nazi roundup on 10.4.1942 about 950 Kuty Jews were murdered. These victims were buried in the Jewish cemetery in the city. The Jewish community of Kuty was completely wiped out when, on 7.9.1942, all of the Jews were ordered to move to the ghetto of Kołomyja, from whence they were sent to the Belzec extermination camp.

It is difficult, nowadays, to find traces in Kuty of the well-developed Jewish community which existed there for over 200 years. The old Jewish cemetery, however, still stands. Parts of it were destroyed and some of the headstones were used for the construction of a Lenin monument in the city and for other construction purposes, but it still offers a most important testimony to the lives of the Jews of Galicia during the 18th-20th centuries.

The members of the expedition discovered, documented and photographed around 2,100 tombstones – all of the tombstones which were available without extensive digging on the grounds of the cemetery. Many tombstones, including some very important ones on the historical or artistic level, were in very bad shape, due either to natural causes or to human intervention. Some of them had been broken or had sunk into the earth, some were in advanced stages of decay. However, the majority of the tombstones (including R. Moses ben Menachem Mendel’s) survived. The artistic variegation of these tombstones, the many folkloristic and heraldic elements and the impressive quality of stone carving on many of them make the Jewish cemetery of Kuty a heritage site of the first importance.

Photographs of all of the headstones and inscriptions deciphered and transcribed by the members of the delegation is available on the JGB Organization’s website.

Site collections: 

The Yidish Sonnets by M. Freed: Notes on the History of Literary Yiddish in Bukovina

Attached files: 

The Semantic Aspect of Slavic-Yiddish Language Interference in the Light of Cross-Cultural Differences

Attached files: 

The Study of Lurianic Kabbalah in the Circle of the Baal Shem Tov - R. Moses Shoham of Dolina's Saraf Pri Es Hayyim

Attached files: 


Attached files: 

Gate to the Lord: Symbolic Language of East-European Synagogue Art

Course Discription

Attached files: 

Gate to the Lord: Symbolic Language of East-European Synagogue Art: Selected Bibliography

Attached files: 

Conflicts in Jewish history in the Early Modern Period

Attached files: 

Conflicts in Jewish history in the Early Modern Period- Presentation

Attached files: 

Hasidism: Between Heaven and Earth (Syllabus)

Attached files: 

Changes in the Homiletic Rhetoric used by Local Rabbinates in Eastern Europe during the Nineteenth Century

Attached files: 

Mein Shtetele Wizhnitz


Published in: Mishpaha magazine, 7.10.2016

Attached files: 

Field School 2016 to Vizhnitsa



The organization’s seventh annual delegation moved beyond the borders of Galicia. This time, our goal was to document one of the largest Jewish cemeteries in Bukovina – a cemetery located in the village of Chernohuzy next to Vizhnitsa. Residents of Vizhnitsa (Wiznitz) were buried here beginning in the second half of the nineteenth century.

The delegation conducted its work from August 1-15. It was composed of a diverse group of volunteers: Herzog College students, Hesder Yeshivas students, archive workers (from Yad Vashem and from the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People, Jerusalem) as well as students from the Jewish Studies department in the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. As usual, the delegation was headed by Dr. Boris Khaimovich, an expert in Jewish art, Dr. Ilia Lurie, a scholar of Eastern European Jewry (both from the Hebrew University), together with Ms. Marina Bruck ,—a researcher of Jewish cemeteries from St. Petersburg

Vizhnitz hold a unique position in the history of Eastern European Jewry: at the end of the nineteenth century, Jews made up more than 90% of the population of this small town. Mayors and council members, government officials and professionals, merchants and craftsmen – the vast majority were Jews, a very unusual phenomenon even in those parts of Eastern Europe where there was a visible Jewish presence. Even more impressive, one of the great admors of the Hassidic movement – Rabbi Menachem Mendel Hager, the son of the Admor of Kosov – settled in Vizhnitz in 1854. From that time until the Holocaust, Vizhnitsa was an important center of Hassidism and a focal point of mass religious pilgrimage.

During the Holocaust, the Romanian government drove all of the Jews of Vizhnitsa eastward, across the Dniester River, and many of them died under the inhuman conditions on the road and in the forced labor camps in Transnistria. At the end of the World War II, when Bukovina was returned to Soviet rule, survivors began to return to the city (about a third of the pre-war population). But community life was never reestablished. Today only a few Jewish families remain.

The cemetery where the delegation's work was conducted was established in the 1860s after the old cemetery was filled to capacity. The old cemetery was demolished during the Holocaust and totally destroyed under the Soviet regime. Therefore, the cemetery in Chernohuz remains as the single monument in memory of a once-glorious and vibrant community.



In the course of its work, the delegation fully documented the historical part of the cemetery – about 2,200 tombstones. The tombstones were cleaned, marked, and photographed and, on occasion, excavated. Their inscriptions were deciphered and copied. Finally, the cemetery was mapped with all of the recorded tombstones marked. These findings have been uploaded to the organization’s website.  

Site collections: 

Roi-dissertation abstract

Attached files: 

Stanislawow Census 1939

     Rare archival material, including important biographical information regarding the residents of Stanisławów (now Ivano-Frankivsk) before the onset of the Second World War, was discovered in the State Archives of Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast.

This is the documentation produced by the last census taken by the Polish rulers of the city:  thousands of registration cards filled out by home owners or by city officials, canvasing  the city door to door, during  the second half of August 1939.

 The preparation of lists of residents in the city was intended to serve as groundwork for a new stage of general recruitment to the army, announced by the Polish government on August 13, 1939, following the escalation in tension between Poland and Nazi Germany. This explains why the census cards included a special paragraph defining the army classification of the resident.

The cards include the following  paragraphs:

-          Precise address (street name, house number, apartment number)

-          First and last name of the resident

-          Date of birth

-          Religion

-          Army classification

-          Profession and place of employment

-          Resident status (permanent or temporary)

and additional information regarding family members, employment, etc.

It would be difficult to exaggerate the importance of these materials for a reconstruction of the image of the Jewish community of  Stanisławów on the eve of its destruction and eradication during the Holocaust. An analysis of the data included in the census cards enables an examination of many issues relating to the socio-economic character of the community. This data is also enormously important to all aspects of genealogical study.

The new project recently completed by the JGB Organization makes the census data easily accessible to the public, in an easy-to-use format which enables searches according to different criteria.

All the usable information on Stanisławów  Jews found in the census cards was processed and entered into a special table organized by family names. 


See the Family index of the Jews of Stanislawow based on the 1939 census data


See the General index of Stanislawow citizens based on the 1939 census data


See the matching table of Stanislawow (Ivano-Frankivsk) streets names in 1939 and in 2017


The deciphering, processing and entering of the census cards was undertaken by a team of archivers from Lvov, led by Mr. Igor Smolskii, an employee of the central archive of Lvov. Copies of the original cards held by Ivano-Frankivsk State Oblast Archives

were supplied courtesy of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and we thank the Museum for this. The project would not have been possible without the initiative and indefatigable help provided by Pamela Weisberger, of blessed memory.


Stanisławów jews before and during the holocaust

stanisławów census 1939

Jewish community on the eve of the Holocaust

Full data on Stanisławów residents according to the last Polish census of August 1939.


For more details >>


with the jews of stanisławów in the Holocaust

Avraham Liebesman

A chronicle of the murder of the Jews of Stanisławów from the first day of the Nazi occupation till the final destruction of the Jewish Ghetto in 1943

To the book >>


Field School 2017 to Buczacz



During the past summer, we returned to Galicia, to the Tarnopol region. The eighth annual delegation of the Jewish Galicia and Bukovina Organization began the work of documenting the ancient Jewish cemetery in Buczacz, S.Y. Agnon’s home town. This cemetery holds a special place in those of Agnon’s works devoted to his home town. It symbolizes the continuity of generations in the city and is an important component in the special Jewish space in which the plots of his many stories take place.

The current state of the cemetery is pitiful. The hilltop on which the Jewish residents of Buczaz buried their dead for hundreds of years, which rises above the city of Buczaz, is entirely covered by plants, thorns and impenetrable thickets. The entire space of the cemetery is filthy and neglected, and it is difficult to access the graves.

In addition, the cemetery suffered extensive damage during the 20th century as a result of battles that took place in its vicinity during the First World War, and as a result of intentional desecration during the Holocaust. During the Soviet rule hundreds of headstones that had survived earlier destruction were taken from the cemetery and used as building materials. Despite all this, the Jewish cemetery of Buczaz is still one of the most important Jewish historical sites in Eastern Galicia.

In preparation for the arrival of the delegation extensive clearing and ground prep were undertaken. The group of 14 volunteers – students of the Herzog College and universities and graduates of hesder yeshivot – worked in Buczaz for two weeks, from July 30th through August 13th. Dr. Boris Khaimovich, an expert on Jewish art, and Dr. Ilia Luria, a scholar of Eastern Europe from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, led the delegation. About 1,000 gravestones were discovered, cleaned, documented and photographs during the two weeks of work. At times, the gravestones needed to be turned over or dug under in order to reach the writing on them.

The delegation produced important findings: a few gravestones from the end of the 16th century and the first half of the 17th – i.e. the period before the 1648 Khmelnytsky massacre – were revealed. Such findings are quite rare in Eastern Europe and are a testimony to the longevity and strength of the Jewish community of Buczaz. Most of the gravestones documented were from the 18th and early 19th centuries.

The delegation managed to document about half of the graves from the Buczaz graveyard. In addition, a precise mapping out of all of the documented gravestones was made. We plan to return to Buczaz next year and complete the documentation work.

The complete findings of the delegation will be deciphered, processed and made available on the Jewish Galicia and Bukovina Association’s website in the near future.  

Jewish industrial elites in Drohobych and Boryslav, 1860-1900

Attached files: 

Jewish industrial elites in Drohobych and Boryslav, 1860-1900

Attached files: 

Field School 2018 to Buczacz



The organization’s annual documentation delegation completed documentation of the Jewish cemetery in Buczacz this year. It could be said that the central theme of this year’s field work was the legacy of S.Y Agnon. Members of his family, as well as many of his friends, acquaintances, and heroes of his works, are buried in the cemetery. We cleaned and documented the tombstone of his father – Shalom Mordechai Czaczkes, and discovered the tombstone of his mother, Ester.

The  discovery of Ester Czaczkes’s tombstone aroused great interest among the public and in the press in Israel (see related articles here) and even while our work at the cemetery was still in progress, several groups of Israeli tourists came to visit her grave.

Israel author and Hebrew literaturer scholar Haim Beer near the rediscovered tombstone of Ester Czaczkes (photo by Meytal Sosnovik)

The delegation numbered 11 volunteers, most of whom were students from Herzog College, and it was led by two researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem: Dr. Boris Khaimovich, an expert in Jewish art, and Dr. Ilia Lurie, a researcher of Eastern European Jewry. The work of clearing and preparing the site was carried out in conjunction with ESJF- European Jewish Cemetery Initiative and the organization’s delegation worked on site for two weeks: from the 29th of June until the 12th of August.

In the course of the delegation’s work, around 1,100 tombstones dating from the late19th century to the Holocaust were uncovered, cleaned, documented and photographed. Many of them were broken, upturned, or sunken into the ground. The central section of the cemetery – about a third of the total area – was destroyed completely during the Soviet era: the tombstones were removed and used for construction in the town.  

(photo by Omer and Adi Geal Dor)

(photo by  by Meytal Sosnovik)

(Photo by Omer and Adi Geal Dor)

Besides the tombstones of Agnon’s relatives, the tombstones of the head of the community in Buczacz for around 40 years, Avraham Stern, of prominent members of the community, and of heads of charitable and communal institutions were found. Until the Holocaust, the town of Buczacz was known as a place with a vibrant communal and Jewish national life. The cemetery stands as a final testimony to that.


In addition to the documentation of the tombstones, the cemetery was surveyed, and a detailed map was drawn recording all the tombstones coordinates.

All the delegation’s findings will be transcribed, processed, and made accessible to the general public on the JGB organization’s website.

(photo by Omer and Adi Geal Dor)

התוכנית ללימודי יהדות גליציה ובוקובינה במכללת הרצוג




תכנית ללימודי יהדות גליציה ובוקובינה היא תכנית רב תחומית של מכללת הרצוג, בשותפות עם מכון 'עד הנה', המעמידה במרכזה הכשרה רחבה ומעמיקה למחקר בנושא יהדות גליציה ובוקובינה מן המאה השש-עשרה עד לתחילת המאה העשרים. זוהי תכנית תלת-שנתית שנועדה לחשוף בפני המשתתפים בה, גברים ונשים, את הפנים הרבות וההיבטים השונים ביצירה התרבותית של יהדות מזרח אירופה, תוך התמקדות במחוזות גליציה ובוקובינה.

התוכנית מיועדת לתלמידי החוגים מחשבת ישראל, היסטוריה, תורה שבעל פה, וספרות, בעלי מוטיבציה וכישורים טובים במיוחד, המעוניינים להרחיב ולהעמיק את לימודיהם מעבר לתכנית החוג, ואף לכתוב עבודה סמינריונית אחת  בנושא הקשור ליהדות גליציה ובוקובינה.

תלמידי התכנית יזכו למלגה שנתית במשך 3 שנים וכן לליווי אישי, אקדמי ומקצועי במסגרת לימודיהם בתכנית.

מטרות התוכנית:

לעודד לימוד ומחקר מעמיק של יהדות גליציה ובוקובינה בקרב דור הבא של המחנכים במדינת ישראל,  בחינוך הממלכתי דתי ובחינוך הממלכתי.

לתמוך בסטודנטים המתעניינים בנושא ולהעמיד דור של מחנכים ומחנכות, אשר מכירים היטב את הרקע ההיסטורי ואת התרבות של יהדות מזרח אירופה, ובעיקר את זו של יהדות גליציה ובוקובינה לענפיה השונים, על מנת להבטיח את העברת המורשת של יהדות מפוארת זו מדור לדור.

תכנית הלימודים

התכנית היא בהיקף של 15 ש"ש שיתפרסו על פני שלוש שנים. בכל שנה יתקיים שיעור שנתי מקיף ועוד שני קורסים סמסטריאליים שיעסקו ביצירה הספרותית של יהדות גליציה ובוקובינה, בהגות היהודית (רבנית ושאינה רבנית), ביצירה התורנית שהתפתחה בגליציה ובוקובינה, וכן באירועים ההיסטוריים שעומדים ברקע היצירה הן הספרותית והן ההגותית. מלבד הקורסים הפרונטליים יתקיימו גם קורסים מקוונים, סיורים וימי עיון, בפריסה רחבה של נושאים בהיסטוריה, תושב"ע, מחשבת ישראל וספרות. לתלמידי התכנית תינתן האפשרות להשתתף במשלחת התיעוד השנתית של העמותה.


תלמידי התוכנית, שנת תשע"ט


תוכנית הלימודים, שנת תשע"ט,

תוכנית הלימודים, שנת תש"פ

תלמידי תוכנית גליציה ובוקובינה, מכללת הרצוג, שנת תשע"ט

 אחיטוב אינבר,

ספרות ותושב"ע









אפלבוים יצחק,

ארץ-ישראל ותושב"ע              








סלטר מתן  שמחה,

מחשבת ישראל ותושב"ע





פרידמן יצחק,

תוכנית "מיתרים"





 רחל שרייבר

מחשבת ישראל וספרות















 פרייס אביעד,

מחשבת ישראל ותושב"ע










שהם נחל אלגד,

מחשבת ישראל ותושב"ע




יעל פסין

אנגלית ומחשסת ישראל

יהדות גליציה ובוקובינה: ביבליוגרפיה מוערת

הביבליוגרפיה המוערת על יהדות גליציה ובוקובינה היא פרויקט משותף של עמותת יהדות גליציה ובוקובינה ושל לודמר – הפרויקט הבינלאומי לחקר המורשת היהודית של גליציה ובוקובינה, אוניברסיטת חיפה.

הביבליוגרפיה מכסה כמאתיים שנות ספרות על היהדות בגליציה ובבוקובינה, היא כוללת שלל חיבורים המתייחסים, במלואם או בחלקם, להיסטוריה ולמורשת של אותן תפוצות, על קהילותיהן ועל אישיהן, ובעיקר מראשית הסיפוח האוסטרי (1772)  ועד לפרוץ מלחמת העולם השנייה (1939). 

 עד עתה קובצו כבר אלפי חיבורים, ספרים, פרקים מספרים, חוברות ומאמרים בכעשר שפות, מתוך פרסומים למכביר. פריטי הביבליוגרפיה והדרכים לאחזר אותם מספקים לחוקרים, לתלמידים ולציבור הרחב גישה מהירה למאגר ידע רחב היקף על היהדות בגליציה ובבוקובינה, שחלק ניכר ממנו לא היה נגיש עד עתה דרך מאגרים קיימים.  קרא עוד על מפעל הביבליוגרפיה

ראה יותר פריטים ביבליוגרפיים של מחקרים כלליים ושל קהילות גליציה ובוקובינה בקובץ pdf כאן

Galician and Bukovinian Jewry: An Annotated Bibliography

The JGB annotated bibliography project is a joint venture of JGB Organization and Ludmer International Project on the Jewish Heritage of Galicia and Bukovina at the University of Haifa. It covers about 200 years of literature on Galician and Bukovinian Jewry. It documents a wide range of works that relate, in whole or in part, to history and legacy of these Diaspora communities and their prominent figures, especially from the period of Austrian annexation (1772) until the outbreak of World War II (1939).

To date, thousands of essays, books, book chapters, pamphlets, and articles, from numerous publications, in some ten languages have been collected. The detailed catalogue of the items provides researchers, students, and the general public with quick access to large reservoir of knowledge about the Galician and Bukovinian Jewry, much of which has not been accessible through existing databases.

The JGB Bibliography database includes the following types of materials:


  1. Approximately 300 journal titles, encompassing around 4,000 volumes. The selected titles comprise most of the major research and cultural journals, mainly in Hebrew, Yiddish,and English, that include materials on the Diaspora communities in question with regard to their Jewish history and Jewish culture.
  2. Hundreds of collections of articles, including Jubilee books published in honor of recognized personalities and collections of authors' articles.
  3. Hundreds of research monographs on a variety of subjects.
  4. Memorial books for destroyed communities – which cover the memory of around 170 communities.

Each item is tagged according to the following 10 fields:

  1. Item tags (in its original language): author, title of the work (book/article), source (publishing platform, in the case of an article), name of publisher, place of publication, year of publication;
  2. Comments (in Hebrew and English) - depict how the item relates to Galician and Bukovinian Jewry; provide details about the structure of the item and its parts relating to this theme, including, terms, communities, and personalities; and contribute bibliographic information on other editions and versions, translations, and critiques;
  3. Subject/Subjects (in English) - around 30 main topics according to which the item should be classified, including General context (works relating to Galicia and Bukovina as part of a more comprehensive survey that goes beyond the boundaries of Austria or Poland), General Surveys (about this Diaspora), Reference books and biographiesBukovina (for items on this Diaspora, which are fewer in number than Galician items), and a range of focused research fields, including Legal status, Communities and institutions,Politics, Nationalism (including  Zionism), SocialismEconomicsDemography and StatisticsGenealogyReligion and rabbisHasidismEducation and Jewish studiesLiteratureNewspapers and publishingArtTheater, Music, Education, Yiddish, Folklore, Karaism, Anti-Semitism and pogroms, Jews and their surroundings, Immigration and Diaspora, World War I, Eretz Israel, Memory and Perpetuation.
  4. Community/ Communities - indicating communities that are prominent in the item;
  5. The item’s language (in English).


The Galicia and Bukovina Jewish Studies
at the Herzog College



The Galicia and Bukovina program is a multidisciplinary program of the Herzog College, in cooperation with the Ad Hena Institute, which provides a broad and in-depth training program for the study of the Jewish heritage of Galicia and Bukovina from the sixteenth to the beginning of the twentieth century. This is a three-years program designed to expose the participants, men and women, to the many facets and aspects of the cultural work of Eastern European Jewry, focusing on the regions of Galicia and Bukovina.

The program is intended for students of Jewish Thought (Machshevet Yisrael), History, Oral Law (Torah Shebe'al Peh), and Hebrew Literature, who have displayed motivation and a high level of skills, and who are interested in expanding and deepening their studies beyond the department's program. They will be expected to write a seminar paper on the Jewish heritage of  Galicia and Bukovina.

The students will receive an annual scholarship for 3 years in addition to personal, academic and professional leadership as part of their studies in the program.


Program objectives:

  • To encourage study and in-depth research of the Jews of Galicia and Bukovina by the next generation of  educators in the  religious and public education system of the State of Israel.
  • To support students who are interested in the subject and to install a generation of educators who are well acquainted with the historical background and culture of Eastern European Jewry, and especially the Jews of Galicia and Bukovina, in order to ensure the transmission of this magnificent legacy from generation to generation.


The curriculum

The program is 15 weekly hours which will be spread over the course of 3 years. Each year there is a comprehensive annual course and two semester courses dealing with the literary work of the Jews of Galicia and Bukovina, Jewish thought (rabbinic and non-rabbinic), the Torah studies that developed in Galicia and Bukovina, as well as the historical events which provide the backdrop of literary and thought creation. In addition to the frontal courses, there are also tours and study days, on a wide range of topics in history, the Oral Law (Torah Shebe'al Peh), Jewish Thought (Machshevet Yisrael), and Hebrew literature. Students of the program are given the opportunity to participate in the organization's annual documentation expedition to Galicia and Bukovina.


Program Students


Curriculum, Academic Year 2018-19

Curriculum, Academic Year 2019-20