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The Synagogue of Chechelnyk, late 18th century

Chechelnyk or Chechelnik (earlier also Chichelnik; alternate spellings Chetschelnik, Chitchilnik, Cicelnic, Czeczelnik, Tschetschelnik[1]) (Ukrainian: Чечельнúк, Russian: Чечельни́к) is an urban-type settlement on the Savranka River (a tributary of the Southern Bug) in Vinnytsia Oblast, Ukraine (before the Russian Revolution in the Podolia Gubernia of the Russian Empire), near Odessa Oblast. Chechelnyk is the administrative center of Chechelnyk Raion, one of 33 regions of Vinnytsia Oblast. The economy is based on the food industry, especially alcohol production. Population: 5,132 (2015 est.)[2]

Chechelnik was founded "as a refuge from Tatars and landlords"[3] in the early 16th century and achieved the status of a town in 1635. Between 1795 and 1812 it was renamed Olgopol. In 1898 the population was 7,000, of whom 1,967 were Jews. Like most of Podolia, the town suffered terribly during the Russian Civil War; during the summer of 1920, "the south of Podolia seethed with counterrevolution... and Olgopol County, where Chechelnik is located, was the most unstable area in all of Podolia."[4]

The Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector was born in the town on December 10, 1920, during a pause in the family's journey to escape Russia.


  1. ^ Gary Mokotoff, Sallyann Amdur Sack, and Alexander Sharon, Where Once We Walked: A Guide to the Jewish Communities Destroyed in the Holocaust (Avotaynu, 2002: ISBN 1-886223-15-7), p. 57.
  2. ^ "Чисельність наявного населення України (Actual population of Ukraine)" (PDF) (in Ukrainian). State Statistics Service of Ukraine. Retrieved 1 July 2016. 
  3. ^ Benjamin Moser, Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector (Oxford University Press US, 2009: ISBN 0-19-538556-X), p. 32.
  4. ^ Moser, Why This World, p. 32.

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Coordinates: 48°13′01″N 29°21′00″E / 48.217°N 29.350°E / 48.217; 29.350