Initial Information for 2008 Workcamp


UA-SVI 9.2 CZERNOWITZ Jewish Cemetery


8 vols/15

Description: HERI, RENO, MANU

The project:

Chernovtsy (Ukrainian Chernivtsy, German Czernowitz) is a regional center in Western Ukraine, along with Lviv is considered to be cultural center of Western Ukraine. The city has rich history, architecture and cultural background (in different periods it was part of Turkish Empire, Austrian-Hungarian Empire and Romania, the city is called ‘little Vienna” or “European Alexandria” because of its rich cultural and historic backgrounds), and very multi-national community – according to population census in 2001 65 different nationalities are living in the city, which totally has about 250 000 residents. One of the biggest ethnic groups is Jewish, and before 2nd World War Jewish minority was playing important part in the life of the city. One of the traces left by Jewish group is a cemetery from 19th – first half of 20th century, which has many tomb stones made by famous artists. During 2nd World War Jewish population suffered terrible losses at the hands of the Nazis and those who survived the war, mostly emigrated.

The name of the city, as one of the versions says, comes from Chorne misto (black town), as people called a fortress built in that area around 13th century, which was destroyed by nomadic tribes and rebuilt on the right bank of the Prut river. The first time town is mentioned in written papers is October 8, 1408, in the scripts given to traders from Lviv – this date is now considered as “birthday of the city”. In the second half of 19th century many buildings were built in the city, which made it famous: University (considered to be one of the most beautiful universities in Europe), Philharmonics building, Palace of Justice (now Regional administration), Drama theater, Rathaus and others.

Among cultural and historic monuments of the city are two cemeteries, located close to each other – old Orthodox and Jewish cemeteries, which are united in one historical reserve. Especially the latter one is in horrible state and abandoned, bushes and weeds destroy the monuments. It is planned to contribute to renovation of the cemetery by cleaning one of its parts with volunteer efforts. This year the city is celebrating its 600 anniversary, and cleanup of the cemetery is an important contribution to preservation of the cemetery as cultural and historical monument, and reviving the memory on Jewish history of the city and contribution to its development. A group of local volunteers of both Jewish and Russian and Ukrainian origins would be working together with international volunteers. The project is organized with support of Jewish Diaspora from Czernowitz, SCI-Germany and local activists and NGOs.

The workcamp is taking place in the framework of “Youth Transcending New Frontiers” project (YTNF), which is taking place in Ukraine, Moldova, Russia and Belarus. In the project framework volunteer groups are organizing activities on human rights education, social inclusion, racism and xenophobia. The project is supported financially by the Youth Programme of the European Union and is managed at local level by SCI groups and partners in Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus and Russia. The main feature of the project is that all activities at the local level will be planned and realized by Project Management Teams (PMTs), consisting of local activists and volunteers of participating organizations.

The work:

Cleaning up territory of the cemetery from weeds and bushes, preparing for paths to be renovated with pebbles or cement, meetings with local students and schoolchildren, with local NGOs. Possibly photographing the tombs and making catalogue.

Study part:

About culture and history of the region and city, specifically about different ethnic groups and Jewish group. Guided excursion in the city, visits to local museums.

Free time:

During the free-time the group can discover and enjoy the city, with its beautiful architecture, parks, visit pubs and discos. During the week-end, volunteers will join children’s camp in Carpathian mountains in the neighborhood of the city.


Volunteers will stay in students’ dormitories. Beds will be available, but no linen. Kitchen and sanitation facilities will be available. Volunteers will cook for themselves. So please take your plate, spoon and cup.

What to Bring

Sleeping bag, air mattress and dishes for yourself: bowl and plate, cup, spoon and fork. Then, enough clothes for two weeks (washing machine is not available). Also working gloves, stable shoes and closed shoes for work, long pants (to protect you from nettles at the cemetery), huts and backpacks for carrying water and sandwiches. Then, enough clothes for two weeks (washing machine is not available). In the second part of August it can be rather hot in daytime (near +25-30°C), but cold enough at night (+10°C), so you need both light and warm clothes. Warm clothes will also be needed for the week-end trip to the mountains. As Czernowitz is located close to the mountains, the weather can change fast, and rain coat can be useful (also for working in case of small rain). And, of course, sunglasses, sun-lotion and… anti-mosquito spray!

Now the pleasant part: bring some pictures and postcards of your country and place where you live, some national dishes, musical instruments (guitar would be great for the campfire!), some interesting stories and good mood. Also binoculars if you like observe the birds, fishing rod if you like fishing, swimsuit, etc.

And can you take the USB cable of your digital camera if you have one, like that we can do a CD with all the photos at the end of the wokcamp!

Coming to Ukraine

For all, to come to Ukraine, you need international passport.

About the visa there are some differences which depend on your nationality:

Participants from European Union countries, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, United States, Japan and former Soviet Union countries (except Turkmenistan!) don’t need visa.

For the participants from others countries, you need it and attention, all the visas have to be obtained in advance from respective Ukrainian Consulate. Please, contact it the earliest possible in order to find out how many days they need to issue the visa – it might take between one and two weeks – and above all if you need an invitation letter (we will provide it if it necessary).

When you cross the border, you will be asked to fill in immigration card. Do not lose it, as you will need it for leaving the country as well. You will need to include address and contacts in Ukraine, you may use contacts of SVIT:

Julia Myasyshcheva (the president of SVIT)
Artem St. 51, 3
rd floor
Artemovsk 84500

Now, some information… National currency of Ukraine is hryvna. Here you can easily exchange US Dollars and Euro; as for the other currencies, they can be exchanged only in big banks in Kiev (the capital). You can exchange money at many banks and exchange services located in different shops and supermarkets. Arriving to the Borispol Airport, you will find exchange services located in the departure hall, and at Kiev train terminal they are to be found in the hall where tickets are purchased, but exchange rate there is lower. Current exchange rate for Euro is 6,7 hryvna for 1 Euro. 1$ is 5,05 hryvna. Taxi from the airport costs about 30 Euro, there is also bus connection (white minibuses leaving from the bus stop to the right from the B Terminal of the Airport). Bus ticket costs about 4 Euro – 25 hryvna (arrives to Central train station south terminal). Another examples of prices – a loaf of bread costs about 20 cents, soft drink 0,5 L – same, local bier is about 40 cents per 0,5 L bottle.

Be aware about language problems: no English-speaking staff person available at the train-station, little (in Kiev) or no (elsewhere) information in English available at the train station. A solution can be to ask people around you, especially young people, who most likely would speak some English and could help you to buy tickets. At the train station in Kiev announcements at the boards at each platform are shown also in English (in rotation with Russian and Ukrainian) – so it’s easier to find the right platform.

Getting to the camp site and back

Do not worry about being lost; we can help you to arrange your travel within the country. For this we need to know the date and time of your arrival. The camp starts on August 7st, the whole group will meet in Czernowitz in the main hall of the train station at the entrance direction 1st platform at 10 am and travel together to the camp site. The city is located in Western Ukraine, so maybe there is no need to fly to Kiev, as Lviv has international airport, and both Lviv and Czernowitz have also international train and bus connections.

If you travel via Lviv or Kiev, please note that it takes overnight train trip to get to Czernowitz, so plan your arrival for August 6th, and departure for August 22nd respectively.

Directly from Kiev. There are following connections:

Train ticket (2nd class) costs about 95.00 hryvna, bed linen is included in ticket’s price.

Bus connection from Kyiv: at 16.25 (arrival at 4.10), 19.30 (arrival at 6.40) and 22.50 (arrival at 8.70). Ticket costs about 110 hryvna. Buses leave from Central bus station at Moscovskaya square in Kyiv.

From Lviv

2nd class ticket costs about 50 hryvna, including cost of bed linen.

Bus connection from Lviv – departure at 8.30, arrival at 17.25; departure at 12.50, arrival at 20.30.

If for some reasons you will not manage to be at the meeting place in time, please inform us or your campleader, the necessary phone numbers are below.

Please contact campleaders or placement officer at for further help with travel arrangements and more information on schedules.

Back to Kiev

There are two options:

Contacts and emergency phone numbers:

Julia Myasyshcheva
+38 067 2630926
E-mail: (general issues), (placement)
Phone/fax: +38 0627 446739

Office address:
Petrovsky St. 123
Artemovsk 84500

Postal address:
P.O. Box 28
Artemovsk 84500


Jasmin Soehner