You'd never guess today that this sleepy town on the southern edge of Polissya was once an important intellectual centre and hotbed of Jewish culture. At the turn of the 19th century, Berdychiv's population was more than 80% Jewish. The Nazis took care of that, executing just about every one of the city's 39,000 Jews and burying them in mass graves on the town's outskirts. These days Berdychiv's Jewish community numbers only several hundred, but the city remains an important pilgrimage site for followers of revered Hasidic master Levi Yitzhak (1740–1810) who is buried in the town's remarkable Jewish cemetery.
The website www.berdichev.org is a good resource for information on the city.