Finding Your Roots in Kiev, Ukraine

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Have you ever considered traveling to learn more about your roots? Our guide Pavel in Kiev (Kyiv) Ukraine shares that this is one of his favourite types of tours to lead. He loves having the chance to help a family learn more about their ancestors, and experience firsthand some of the places that made up their daily lives a century or more ago. Pavel joins us today to share a bit more about exploring Jewish heritage in Kiev, Ukraine.

How to Explore Your Jewish Roots in Ukraine


Family is one of the most important institutions in our life. I’m sure, at least once in your life, you asked: “Who were my forefathers, great-grandmothers and great-grandfathers? What did they do? Where did they live? What did they like, where did they walk, and what did they dream about...?"

If you know that they are from Ukraine, and have been a part of the Jewish community in Kyiv, there is a way for you to learn more about them: by participating in a privately researched Jewish Kyiv tour. There are local historical records that can give you details of their life and provide rich information about the history of the Jewish community in Kyiv city during the 18th, 19th and 20 centuries.

From the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century, the Jewish population of eastern Ukraine was growing: in 1897, according to the census, it amounted to 1.87 million people (making up 41.3% of the Jewish population of the Russian Empire, 9.4% of the total population of Ukraine, and 13% of Kyiv). Jewish history in Kyiv is rich, and in evidence throughout much of the city today.

If you have any documents or items of your Jewish relatives who lived in Ukraine in the 18th, 19th, or 20th centuries, it will definitely help you in your search before your arrival to Kyiv, Ukraine. But even without these things, you have the opportunity to book a Jewish Tour and come to Ukraine, Kyiv…to walk along the streets your ancestors walked on, try the food they loved, look at their world with their eyes. Even centuries later, there are plenty of historic homes, businesses and gathering places that still exist in Kyiv.

During your time here, you may see your grandmother’s birth certificate, several photographs of her parents and relatives, your great-grandfather’s medallion with a photograph of his parents and some personal items…

When you hold such items in your hands, everything turns in your heart, because they also held it in their hands, rejoiced and cried, in their life they did everything they could...sacrificed something to let you as their new generation to live peacefully enjoying life. It’s truly hard to convey feelings when in the archives of Kyiv the records found about where great-grandfather lived, where he worked, what position he occupied, all these same places may exist today, and you can see them in Kyiv. The family is unique, and family love is an amazing feeling for which centuries are not a barrier.

You can experience it when you make a unique Kyiv Jewish Tour to their historic homeland, Ukraine.

Pavel is happy to help you with your search. He has helped many Jewish families build up a family genealogical tree, and he is delighted to be at your disposal as well. Please contact him for more details and have him answer any questions you have about your search for your own relatives in Kyiv, Ukraine.
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