People wanting to help clean up or restore Jewish cemeteries often ask us how they can be involved. As can be seen from our regular round-ups of Jewish cemetery clean-up actions, there are many such initiatives each year — but it is not easy to find out how to take part.
Here are some programs that we already know are seeking volunteers.
THE MATZEVAH FOUNDATION (POLAND)
The Matzevah Foundation has just opened a call for volunteers for three of its five planned 2023 Jewish cemetery clean-up initiatives in Poland:
June 12-14 in Częstochowa
Working with Alon Goldman of the World Society of Częstochowa Jews and Their Descendants as well as volunteers from Fundacja Adulam and Hillel students from Dartmouth University in the U.S.
July 17-19 in Lublin
In partnership with JewishGen and their “Neshama” Post-Student Cemetery Project, this will be conducted again with JewishGen, Friends of Jewish Heritage in Poland, Studnia Pamięci, and the Warsaw Jewish Community. The work will be conducted in the Lublin and Winieawa cemeteries.
August 4-13 in Oświęcim
2023 will mark the 10th year of The Matzevah Foundation’s work in Oświęcim, in partnership with The Auschwitz Jewish Center.
Volunteers must pay their own airfare and also for
- Project Fees
- Lodging and meals during the time of the project
- Transportation during the time of the project
Click here to find full details and link to the application form
All volunteer applications must be submitted by midnight Eastern Daylight Time on April 30, 2023.
For more information, email email@example.com
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ACTION RECONCILIATION SERVICE FOR PEACE
This German NGO runs volunteer “summer camps” focusing on Jewish culture and education each year, many of them involving Jewish cemetery clean-ups. This year, according to the preliminary program which is subject to change), there are cemetery clean-up in these summer camps.
Registration will open in April. If you would like to be notified as soon as registration starts, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org:
July 7-August 6. Budapest
In cooperation with the Jewish Cultural Association “Mazsike”, participants will immerse themselves in the past and present of Jewish life in Hungary and work in the Jewish cemeteries in Budapest and in the countryside.
July 7-August 13 Višķi, Latvia
Participants will learn about the Jewish history of the Višķi shtetl as an example of Jewish history in Latvia and Eastern Europe. The focus is on archaeological work at the site of a synagogue and work at the Jewish cemetery. Open to people 18-30 years old.
July 17-26 Zarasai, Lithuania
The focus of the summer camp is the work at a local cemetery. Thematically, the project deals with Jewish history and culture in Lithuania as well as with the changeful, complex Lithuanian history in the 20th century.
August 27-September 7 Wrocław, Poland
The Jewish cemetery in Wroclaw, which has been used as a burial ground by the Jewish Community of Breslau / Wroclaw since 1902, needs a lot of helpers for its restoration. After summer camps have taken place regularly in recent years, the work will continue this year in a intergenerative group. The summer camp is primarily aimed at people aged 40 and over, but is open to anyone of legal age who is interested.
September 5-13 Czech Republic (Bilina/Teplice)
The main focus is on setting up gravestones and doing gardening work in a Jewish cemetery. This is for an over-40 group.
1 comment on “Jewish Cemeteries: Check out some opportunities to volunteer for clean-up initiatives this summer”
I am “working” on a project in W.Ukraine-Potok Zloty (Zlotyii Potik) to fix up old matzevot and try to piece together many fragments lying around. Please let me know of possible interest to assist. Thank you.