[Cz-L] Cemetery Preservation--Czernowitz and Sadgora

From: <Naturesmom_at_aol.com>
Date: Mon, 31 May 2004 07:28:08 EDT
To: CZERNOWITZ-L_at_cornell.edu
Reply-To: Naturesmom_at_aol.com

Dear Czernowitzers:

Many of us who have had the opportunity to visit Czernowitz and Sadgora have
returned with a wish that something could be done for the Jewish cemeteries
there. When I was there in 2002, I became very emotional about the
state of ruin
to our ancestors' final resting places.

I've recently corresponded with Toby Mendlowitz, Assistant Director of
Heritage Foundation for Preservation of Jewish Cemeteries (HFPJC). Based on the
information from Toby, I think we could launch a restoration effort
in Czernowitz
and Sadgora If there are enough people on our C-List who would be interested
in participating. The following excerpts from my correspondence with Toby set
forth their procedures for taking on a cemetery for restoration:

Well, as you know, the HFPJC is a non-profit organization dedicated to hte
restoration of abandoned and neglected Jewish cemeteries throughout Eastern
Europe. To date, we have already effected the complete reconstruction
of tens of
cemeteries in Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Serbia,a nd WEstern Ukraine. Although
most of our resources and experience are conncentrated in these countries, we
have recently turned some of our attention to Poland and greater Ukraine.
In order for you to understand how these things work, following is a brief
synopsis of our objectives and mode of operation.

When an inquiry is received, we send a unit of site surveyors to the location
of interest. For a minimal fee, they assess the status of the cemetery, which
includes obtaining the original survey, taking photos and evaluating the cost
for the restoration and preservation of the site. All descendants and other
parties who might have an interest in said cemetery are then notified of the
situation. In a concerted effort to save the cemetery, joint meetings are held
in which all the possibilities and logistics are discussed and the necessary
funds are raised.

The first step in the actual restoration of a cemetery is the erection of a
sturdy, concrete fence around the site. Doing so alerts neighboring villagers
that the cemetery is off limits to the general public and creates an awe-filled
respect towards the resting-places. Clearing the area of weeds and debris is
the next step vital to a cemetery's reconstruction. The gravestones are then
re-erected in a concrete foundation. Lastly, the year-round maintenance is
secured in order to ensure the upkeep of the graveyard. Currently, we
are in the
midst of restoring Jewish cemeteries in many European towns, and the
restoration of many others are on the agenda for spring and summer '04.

As explained above, the way we work is that once the need for restoration for
  a particular cemeteryis reported, and there is significant interest for its
reconstruction, we send down one of our reps to evaluate the site, i.e. assess
the general status, take measurements of the proportions of the cemetery and
procure the original surveys from the archives to compare, take digital photos
of the cemetery grounds in general and the individual tombstones, and quote a
price for its reconstruction. The fee for such an evaluation is $300. Only
then can we proceed with the actual restoration. Usually, the expenses are
shouldered collectively by all descendants.

So personally, I'd advise you to discuss this with some of the others who
also have an interest in these cemeteries. If you want to discuss this more in
detail, please forward a number and time when it is most convenient
to reach you.

Please email me directly (naturesmom_at_aol.com) if you have interest in joining
this effort.The JFPJC has a web site at hfpjc_at_thejnet.com.

Warm regards,
Melita (Fuhrman) Vickter
Received on 2004-06-01 06:29:31

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