Many projects are under way to protect, preserve and restore Jewish cemeteries across Europe. They are being carried out by Jewish communities and Jewish museums, as well as NGOs, private individuals, and others. Here are links to some of these projects and the organizations that carry them out.
(You can find further local links and links to individual cemetery projects in the individual country-by-country pages of JHE — and also in the the Cemetery News section.)
Please let us know of other organizations, initiatives, and specific projects!
Set up as a German-based non-profit organization in early 2015, it has the core objective of protecting and preserving Jewish cemetery sites across the European continent through delineation of cemetery boundaries and the construction of cemetery walls and locking gates. So far, dozens of cemetery sites have been fenced, mainly in Ukraine and elsewhere in Eastern Europe.
Within the framework of the European Commission’s call for a pilot project Protecting the Jewish cemeteries of Europe: A full mapping process with research and monitoring and individual costed proposals for protection, the ESJF was awarded 800,000 EUR to survey 1,500 Jewish burial sites across five European countries. In December 2019, it received another €1 million to continue surveys in 7 countries.
Using a non-invasive approach, the project seeks to locate unmarked killing sites, graves and matzevot, and to record the evidence of cultural genocide at selected sites. In doing so, it will forensically document Holocaust sites whilst accounting for their religious and commemorative significance.
Religious organization engaged in rescuing, restoring, and preserving abandoned Jewish cemeteries and grave sites; a recognized Halachic expert authority on Jewish cemeteries and mass graves.
Every year, Dartmouth University (NH) Hillel takes a group of students from different ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds to eastern Europe to restore the cemetery of a once vibrant Jewish community. So far, such projects have been undertaken in Warsaw, Sanok, and Lutowiska (Poland), Pristina (Kosovo), Yurburg (Lithuania), Druzhkapol (Ukraine), Lunna (Belarus), Indura (Belarus), Sopotskin (Belarus), Ioannina (Greece), and elsewhere.
A religious organization engaged in fencing and preserving Jewish cemeteries in Eastern Europe — and particularly reconstructing and maintaining the tombs and ohels of noted rabbis and “perpetuating the legacy and spirit of Hasidic dynasties, with a focus on the Kosov, Ropschitz, Belz, Savran, and Chabad dynasties.”
616 Bedford Avenue Suite 2B
Brooklyn, NY 11249
Tel: 718 640 1470
Fax: 718 228 8368
Religious organization engaged in rescuing, restoring, and preserving abandoned Jewish cemeteries in Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Serbia, Western Ukraine, and some parts of Poland.
An orthodox organization that carries out, on commission, care and maintenance of individual graves in various Jewish cemeteries in several countries of the former Soviet Union.
The Prague Jewish Museum, the Federation of Jewish Communities, and the Jewish Communities in Prague and Brno have been carrying out documentation preservation and restoration projects in Jewish cemeteries for many years.
Some specific projects:
A complex project begun in 2003.
Lists, pictures, videos, epitaph transcriptions, detailed maps, searchable database, and “virtual tours” of dozens of Jewish cemeteries. Mainly Czech text, but also some English. Very valuable resource.
Volunteer NGO that documents Jewish cemeteries mainly in Bohemia but also in Moravia and also organizes some clean-up operations and installs signage in rural cemeteries. Projects are detailed in the downloadable annual reports.
Database, photographs and other material on Jewish cemeteries and other Jewish heritage sites in scores of towns, cities and villages, primarily in eastern Poland.
Database including transcriptions of inscriptions and photographs of gravestones in scores of Jewish cemeteries in Poland
Fencing; documentation; preservation in much of Poland.
A growing network linking individuals and organizations that carry out maintenance, restoration, and preservation of individual Jewish cemeteries around Poland. Groups or people and their projects can join via the web site.
A project of the Cultural Heritage Foundation, in association with FODZ, the Jewish community, and others, its web site includes an interactive map of Jewish cemeteries in Poland, created by the National Heritage Board and the Cultural Heritage Foundation.
Cemetery documentation project by students and faculty of the Re’ut school in Jerusalem, with databases on 15 Jewish cemeteries in Poland
Comprehensive web site founded by Krzysztof Bielawski, documenting Jewish cemeteries in Poland, with lots of pictures
A project of the Forum for Dialogue NGO that links and promotes the work of dozens of individuals around Poland who care for Jewish cemeteries and carry out other Jewish heritage initiatives.
The Matzevah Foundation, a Baptist Christian foundation that sponsors restoration and clean up work in Jewish cemeteries in Poland.
Clickable descriptive list of dozens of Jewish cemeteries, some with pictures, put together by Dariusz Stankiewicz
Founded in 2001 with the restoration of the Ozarow cemetery
Extensive online documentation for Poland and parts of Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania. News and historical information. A project of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews.