The village of Rafalovka (also called Stararafalivka or Starayarafalovka)
is in the NW corner of modern-day Ukraine
Eastern Europe. It is located at lattitude 5122,
longitude 2552, about 213 miles WNW from Kiev.
In the Pale of 1835 - 1917
, Rafalovka was in the
gubernia (province) of Volhynia (yellow on the Pale of Settlement map). The original
town of Rafalovka was located on the
. During World War II,
the residents of Rafalovka and the surrounding villages were rounded up and
moved to a ghetto called Novo-Rafalovka, which was 12 kilometers east of the
of the Ukraine show Rafalovka directly on a road (instead of on
the River Styr), this town is actually Novo-Rafalovka.
(On the modern map, the original town is just to the NW of the new town, and is
marked by a yellow dot.)
The Jewish settlement in Rafalovka had existed since before the times of the tyrant Bogdan
Chmielnicki, in the mid-1600s. The town was named after the Polish landowner, whose family name
was Rafval, one of the many families of the Polish aristocracy. Before the town was destroyed
in WWII, there existed a recorded history of the Jewish kehilla
(community) of Rafalovka, which
documented many generations in the few centuries before the Second World War.
Plan Of the Jewish Center of Rafalovka
A Plan of the Jewish Center of Rafalovka (circa 1941) was prepared by Abram
Applebaum of Israel. Also included in the plan are the names of all the
Jewish residents of Rafalovka at that time. Mr. Applebaum re-created this
plan entirely from memory.
Rafalovka Dedication Speech
On April 13, 1980, Joseph Deckelbaum dedicated
a tablet in Israel, commemorating his hometown of Rafalovka. Joseph
was born in Rafalovka in 1923, and lived there with his grandfather
Avraham until he went into the Polish army during
World War II. Joseph came to Montreal, Canada in the 1950s. The ceremony
took place in the Beit Knesset in Jerusalem.
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