Belaya Tserkov

Shvartze Timme (Yiddish Transliteration), Белая Церковь – Belaia Tserkov, Belaya Tserkov (Russian), Біла Церква – Bila Tserkva (Ukrainian), שדה לבן (Hebrew)

Belaya Tserkov is a historic city located in Kiev region of Central Ukraine, center of Belaya Tserkov district. Kozelets is located on the Ros’ River, a tributary of the Dnieper. The city’s estimated population is 212,090 (as of 2016).
Belaya Tserkov became a part of Russia Empire in 1793, in XIX – beginning of XX century it was a shtetl of Vasylkov Yezd of Kiev Gubernia.

Belaya Tserkov is approx. 85 km from Kiev, 38 km from Fastov and 37 km from Skvira.


A community was formed there toward the end of the 16th century; 100 houses in Jewish ownership out of a total of 800 are recorded in 1646. The community was destroyed during the Chmielnicki rising in 1648, and again suffered at the beginning of the Haidamack rising in 1703. Subsequently, Jews again began to settle there, in 1765 numbering 1,876 poll-tax-payers in the town and its vicinity.

After Belaya Tserkov had been attacked by the hordes under Cossack general Gonta (1768), only 223 Jewish inhabitants remained. The community increased to 1,077 in 1787; 6,665 in 1847; and 18,720 in 1897 (54% of the total population). The grain trade and sugar industry contributed to the growth of the town during the XIX century.

Main street of Belaya Tserkov. Big Synagogue on the background