This brief documentary describes the work of the Jewish Galicia and Bukovina Association (and its Ludmir Fellowship) in researching and documenting Jewish history, heritage and culture in Bukovina and Galicia, in western Ukraine.
The second part of the film shows not just the documentation of Jewish cemeteries but also demonstrates their importance as “silent witnesses.” The responses of the young Israel (and Russian and Ukrainian) students are revealing and underscore how these palpaple physical traces can transmit an awareness of Jewish history that is frequently more powerful and compelling that written descriptions.
The film also features Boris Khaimovich, from the Center for Jewish Art at Hebrew University, one of the most important and insightful researchers into Jewish gravestone epitaphs and iconography. Among other things, he outlines a theory about the appearance of the mystical “Three Hares” motif in Jewish cemetery art, in this case in Sataniv.
The image also appeared in the elaborate wall paintings of destroyed wooden synagogues in the region and has been reproduced in the replica of the Gwozdziec synagogue ceiling installed at the new Museum of the History of Polish Jews.