Rohatyn’s Immovable Jewish Heritage – An Overview

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Recovered headstones in Rohatyn’s old Jewish cemetery. Photo © 2019 RJH.

This page introduces the physical heritage of Rohatyn’s Jewish community, and provides links to a series of pages which give much more detail about different aspects of that heritage. The Jewish community of Rohatyn was significant in numbers and in its engagement with other residents of Rohatyn for well over 300 years; despite damage and the passage of time, there remains a visual legacy in town which reveals clues to their home, work, social, and religious lives. Each of the pages in this series provides a map and coordinates to aid locating and appreciating the sites and features, as part of personal, group, or virtual tours.

On these pages we highlight the physical (material, tangible, and immovable) heritage built and developed in Rohatyn and the region, by and for Jewish individuals and their community. A separate and growing series of pages on this website features the variety of intangible Jewish culture created in Rohatyn, including religious movements, life cycle traditions, language, music and theater, and more.

We recognize that even the physical, “immovable” Jewish heritage in Rohatyn is not static; it changes in response to natural forces and in response to our engagement with its history and its present. When we work to recognize, recover, rehabilitate, or restore elements of the heritage, we invest ourselves in the artifacts, and the heritage animates our connection with Rohatyn. Quoting from Caitlin DeSilvey and her sources:

“The act of ‘saving’ implicates us, as individuals, in the biography of an artifact — or, as some have suggested, we save things not ‘because they are valued, but rather they are valued because they are being saved.'” [Caitlin DeSilvey; Curated Decay: Heritage beyond Saving; University of Minnesota Press; Minneapolis, 2017; p. 13.]

Sustaining heritage requires attention and care. Several of the physical heritage sites and features described on these pages are objects of preservation, rehabilitation, and renewal projects conducted by Rohatyn Jewish Heritage with partners and volunteers from the region and abroad. Links to descriptions of those projects are included in the relevant heritage pages here, and on a Project Overview page. A list of resources in both print and digital formats is also available for further study on several aspects of heritage appreciation and management.

Heritage Categories

Descriptions of the heritage sites and features are organized around the lives of individuals and the community as a whole, both in Rohatyn and in the surrounding district; additional pages mark the heritage related to the Holocaust. Topics related to the administrative status of the sites and suggested touring routes are also included. Each category listed below is (or will be) linked to a page with detailed information about the heritage.

Jewish Home, Work, and Social Life

Historic Residential Neighborhoods

Jewish Religious Community Buildings and Sites

Synagogues, Schools, and Bath Houses

Jewish Cemeteries

Headstones and Fragments

Sites of the Shoah

Wartime Jewish Ghetto

Killing Sites and Mass Graves

Route to Bełżec

Mapping the Heritage Sites

Each of the pages describing Rohatyn’s Jewish heritage includes GPS coordinates to help locate the sites in town or in the district, and one or more interactive maps showing satellite images the sites. Below is an interactive map of all of the heritage sites in town, colored by category:

A list of all of the individual Jewish heritage sites of Rohatyn with GPS coordinates and links to the relevant pages on this website is also available.