The Irkutsk Jewish Cemetery in Siberia has undergone extensive renovation and the repaving of its internal roads and paths. It was established in the 60s, and has served as Irkutsk’s only Jewish cemetery in the last sixty years, the final resting place for the community’s members.
“Thanks to the generosity of a caring and special individual,” said Rabbi Aaron Wagner, the Chief Rabbi of Irkutsk, one of the largest cities in Russia located in Siberia, “we have recently been able to repave the old and worn-out roads and paths of the only cemetery serving the local Jewish community, not only from our city but rather from the entire district.”
The 3,500 square meter compound, established during communist rule, is under the auspices of the Jewish community that takes care of its maintenance and functioning and has now located a donor who has made the premises more easily accessible to the public.
In the center of the cemetery stands a unique memorial monument commemorating the Jewish soldiers who fell during World War II. It is this monument that enabled the Jewish presence and control over the cemetery throughout the years, despite the communists’ opposition to religious life and institutions.