Also popularly known as Yahudi Kabristan, it’s actual name written is Israel Kabristan. In 1875, Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III gave land to Jews of Israel for prayer/burial of Jews settled in Baroda State (now Vadodara).

Writings on the Kabars (cemetery), known as Epitaphs are found in different languages like Hebrew, English & Marathi. The place is situated in Nizampura area is maintained, Mr. Nagin Bhai, who resides near Kabristan. Possibly there are no Jew family in Vadodara. They might have left for Israel. Also the last cemetery was built here in 2010.

Jews adopted names of villages as surnames & adopted the customs, with few original traits. They also learnt Marathi & kept surnames such as Penkar, Kehimker, Arulkar, Songaonkar, Kilankar , Agarwarkar, Mhedekar, Chandgaowkar & Korlekar etc.

*Jew (Yahudi) soldiers were also part of Baroda State Army since 1850!

The earliest Jews in Baroda were David Gershone Agarwarkar who was an ADC to Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III and Judge Kehimkar during the same period. As the Gaekwads had Bene Israel families in their court, the community was granted burial land. There is even a ‘Khat’ regarding the same. This 140+ years old historical site lies at the mouth of what technically used to be the Nizampura village; next to the Mitra Mandal Society.

All graves at the cemetery belong to the Bene Israelis save one at the rear corner, which is said to belong to the son of a Jewish British officer.

There is no headstone. It is believed that the stone with inscription was carried away by family members who no longer live in India.

On 18 June 1940, coat was made by Boloman Greso (Agarwarkar) with his own Rs 2500.

At one time there were about 10 Jewish families in Baroda and maybe 500 in Gujarat, with the overall number slowly declining.

Partial Source: Edge of a fringe

error: Sorry, Not allowed !