The European Jewish Cemetery Initiative (ESJF) reports that it is about to begin a “vast system of surveys and monitoring” of Jewish burial sites in Ukraine. The survey, it says in a Facebook post, will entail an estimated 1,500-2,000 sites.
The aim, it says, is “to create the first ever comprehensive and up-to-date repository and listing of Jewish cemeteries across Ukraine” with monitoring a surveys “backed up by a research team checking historical records of Ukraine’s Jewish communities, most of which were destroyed in the Shoah.”
The last major survey of this sort was carried out between 1995 and 2000 on behalf of the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, which identified about 1,500 sites. This survey was published in 2005 and probably remains the most comprehensive to date — click here for a downloadable PDF.
In a related development, ESJF in its FB post expressed gratitude to the Mayor of Kyiv Vitaly Klitschko who, in his capacity as Chairman of the Association of Ukrainian Cities and the All-Ukrainian Association of Local Self-Government Bodies, sent an official letter to “mayors and local authorities across Ukraine asking them to assist the ESJF in providing materials leading to the protection of Jewish cemeteries under their jurisdiction.”
ESJF called this “a major contribution to the protection of Jewish heritage in Ukraine.”