Street in (modern) old Rafalovka The village of Rafalovka (also called Stararafalivka or Starayarafalovka) is in the NW corner of modern-day Ukraine, in 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 Styr River. 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 original town. Modern maps 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.

House in old Rafalovka 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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