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 Chaiken Family of Nezhin
 Chazanov Family of Nezhin
 Fine Family of Bialystok
 Geffen Family of Vilkomir
 Goldberg Family of Jablonka
 Katz/Hollander Family
 Zavelsky Family of Glukhov
Hillel Chaikin married Sonia Boonin and moved to Chernigov. They raised their family there until they immigrated to Philadelphia. Click here to learn about the town.
Bernard and Mire Chazanoff moved to Odessa in 1884 from Nezhin after their children were born. Click here to see photographs of Odessa in the early 1900s and present day.
Click here to see the relationship of Nezhin to Chernigov
Click Here to see the relationship in Ukraine of Nezhin to Chernigov.

Nezhin in the 1800's

Mire, Louis and Hillel were all born in Nezhin.
The town of Nezhin is located in the Chernigov province of Ukraine. Jews first settled in Nezhin, after the partition of Poland, at the beginning of the nineteenth century.

The town became a center for the Habad Hasidim of Ukraine. In 1847, 1,299 Jews were registered in the community. In 1897 there were 7,361 Jews (24% of the total population.)

The wave of pogroms that overtook Russian Jewry in 1881 and 1905 severely affected the Jews of Nezhin. Also, in the spring of 1918, pogroms were carried out in the district by the Red Army during its retreat from the Germans. During the German occupation of WWII, all Jews except those who succeeded in escaping from the town were exterminated.

In 1959 there were 1400 Jews in Nezhin (3% of the town's population.) Today, the current population of Nezhin is 80,000. The Jewish population is almost 300 families.

When Miriam Weiner visited Nezhin on our behalf in October of 1993, her guide to the Jewish sites was a representative from the local Jewish community, Mikhail Vladimirovich Kenyon, born in Nezhin in 1920. Mikhail told Miriam there were four or five synagogues before the Holocaust, but only one remained after 1941. It is now a private residence. (see photo #5)

Our 1995 Visit to Nezhin
During our 1995 visit to Nezhin, I found it thrilling to walk down the same streets that I knew my grandparents and great grandparents had walked. Our welcome in Nezhin was very hospitable by both the Mayor and the head archivist at the Nezhin Archives. We found it interesting that the mayor was very anxious to promote tourism in his town.

The highlight of our visit to Nezhin, was meeting cousins on the Zavelsky side of my family. These charming and endearing people made us a lunch from all food grown at their dacha. Their desperate financial situation due to the lack of available work made us realize as we did so often throughout the trip, how fortunate we were our grandparents immigrated to America. Knowing we have cousins living as some of ours do in Ukraine has changed us in many ways. When you know people have to make a decision whether to buy a postage stamp to mail you a letter, or to buy a loaf of bread, one cannot do anything but want to help them.

#1..Nezhin in 1995...Our first sight on entering Nezhin
#2..Former Synagogue in Nezhin...now a private residence
#3..Marjorie with the head archivist in the Nezhin Archives....1995, looking at the birth register of her grandmother, Manya Chazanoff b. Nezhin 1882
#4..Nezhin 1995...A typical street
#5..The cemetery in Nezhin today has all denominations buried in it. The old Jewish cemetery is behind the present one, but very few tombstones remain.
#6..The hotel in Nezhin 1995.....Quite an experience