The Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland (FODZ) announces a new "ADOPT-A JEWISH-CEMETERY" initiative to help save Jewish cemeteries in Poland.
We invite individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations who are interested in starting a commemoration project to partner with us. Projects can be as small as designing and mounting a memorial plaque to remind visitors and locals that a particular site is a Jewish cemetery (even if no headstones exist there today) or as large as erecting a fence, gate, or elaborate lapidarium-style memorial. Our goal is to engage new partners who have been wanting to do something here in Poland to physically commemorate a place, a family, or a community but who have not known where to turn for advice and help on the logistics, paperwork, and details.
Our Foundation was established in 2002 by the Union of Jewish Communities in Poland and the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO). Our primary mission is to protect and commemorate the surviving sites and monuments of Jewish cultural heritage in Poland. The Foundation is active where no Jewish community exists today or where distance from major urban centers or lack of sufficient financial resources makes it difficult for present-day small Jewish communities to provide adequate longterm care and maintenance of historic Jewish properties.
Our extensive experience in working in Jewish cemeteries in Poland for more than a decade, together with our contacts and relationships with local governments and administrative bodies, puts us in a unique position to partner with those interested and motivated to see that these sites - these precious and sacred places - are not lost and forgotten. All of our cemetery works is conducted under the relevant rabbinical supervision.
There are more than 1200 Jewish cemeteries in Poland. Most are in advanced states of neglect,
without any markers, signs, fences, or even gravestones. Most are not protected, maintained, or easily accessible by visitors. Even the simple installation in town of a sign pointing the way to the nearby Jewish cemetery can make a small but important difference.
In the last decade, FODZ has been active in 200 Jewish cemeteries in Poland, with work ranging from
clean-up and repair initiatives, to elaborate fencing and gating projects, several of which culminated in re-dedication ceremonies covered by the media and attended by officials from the Polish government and Jewish descendants mostly from Israel and America. In 2013 and 2014, FODZ had projects in more than two dozen Jewish cemeteries.
If you want to make sure that the final resting place of a parent, grandparent, or great-grandparent is not forgotten, or if you wish to commemorate on the site of a Jewish cemetery in Poland a particular family or community that perished in the Shoah, we may be able to help you realize your project. We can handle legal, organizational, and practical matters here in Poland; you would be responsible for the project's concept and financial support.
We are also available to assist when your project is completed, organizing the re-dedication ceremony, arranging speakers, participants, and representatives of the Polish and Jewish communities, as well as post-ceremony roots travel to other towns and cities in Poland relevant to your family heritage. So join us! FODZ loves partners!
If you are interested in “adopting”, please read our summary
of “What it means to Adopt-A-Jewish-Cemetery”, which can be downloaded as a handy .pdf.
Looking for other ways to get involved? Please click here
to learn more.
You can find the list of Adopted Cemeteries and Seeded Projects here
Please contact us if you want to make a difference in Poland - and in your family town or cemetery:
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