In the Media

ESJF 2019/20 surveys in five European countries

Nonprofit uncovers lost Jewish cemeteries to preserve heritage


In many cases, an abandoned cemetery in a remote Slavic village may be the last remaining trace of these communities. And the majority of these cemeteries are rapidly decaying due to neglect.

There’s one nonprofit, however, that helps recover and rehabilitate Jewish burial sites like these. Called the European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative, or ESJF for short, this nonprofit puts together a database with GPS coordinates, aerial photos, maps, and 3D models of all the Jewish cemeteries it can find in Eastern Europe. ESJF hopes to save the historical sites from dereliction and help people around the world learn more about their roots.

Interview with Diána Vonnák about the European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative


The ESJF European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative is a German-based non-profit organization with the core objective of protecting and preserving Jewish cemetery sites across the European continent. With the financial support of the European Commission, the ESJF started in December 2018 a full mapping process of 1,500 Jewish burial sites across five European countries. Diána Vonnák, Head Officer of Communication and Media (and a trained social anthropologist) at ESJF European Jewish Cemeteries, answered some questions for Against Antisemitism blog about this unique project.

PUR ŞI SIMPLU: Salvarea de uitare (video)


Două echipe de cercetători au vizitat recent circa 150 de localități din Republica Moldova, unde au trăit cândva evrei. Acţiunea face parte dintr-un proiect mare european ce prevede elaborarea unui registru şi a unei hărţi a cimitirelor evreieşti. În 2018, organizația Iniţiativa Europeană pentru Cimitirele Evreieşti a obţinut suport din partea UE pentru cercetarea a 1.500 de cimitire din cinci ţări: Moldova, Ucraina, Lituania, Grecia şi Slovacia.

The struggle to respect, preserve and protect Europe’s Jewish cemeteries


The British, says Rabbi Isaac Schapira, meticulously maintain the graves of 1.7 million soldiers, in 150 countries and 22,000 cemeteries. If anyone would even suggest, much less dare encroach on these sacrosanct sites, there would be international outrage, he asserts.

The rabbi asks how is it possible that not only do thousands of Jewish cemeteries across Europe lie abandoned and neglected, but cities, towns, businesses and farmers are able to violate and seize these sites without a murmur from the Jewish world.

Resting in Peace


An NGO is deploying drones to locate and restore 1,500 Jewish cemeteries, memorials to often-vanished Eastern European communities.Spurred by a new wave of anti-Semitism, the European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative is surveying burial sites in five countries, with an eye toward enclosing and rehabilitating them as witnesses to centuries of heritage.

Spurred by a new wave of anti-Semitism, the European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative is surveying burial sites in five countries, with an eye toward enclosing and rehabilitating them as witnesses to centuries of heritage.

Standortbestimmung. Moderne Drohnentechnologie wird zum Kartografieren verwuesteter juedischer Friedhoefe in Europa eingesetzt.(PDF file)


Unbemannte Fluggerate, besser als Drohnen bekannt, finden heute eine breite Palette von Unbemannte Fluggerate, besser als Drohnen bekannt, finden heute eine breite Palette von Anwendungen, vom Urlaubsselfie aus der Luft uber Baustelleninspektionen bis hin zu militarischen Einsatzen.

На Тернопільщину прибула делегація єврейської громади з особливою місією


Упродовж кількох днів представники єврейських громад із західної Європи перебували на Тернопільщині. Члени Благодійного фонду «ESJF» відвідали місця сталих захоронень у кількох містах області. У Бучачі та Кременці відкрили відновлені єврейські кладовища – Бейт Альмін (Дім Вічності).
Перед тим у Тернополі відбулася урочиста вечеря за участі кавалера ордена Британської Імперії р. Іцхока Шапіра, на яку запросили представників влади, що найбільше долучилися до відновлення пам’яток єврейської культурної спадщини.

Faro action plan: Jewish heritage


With anti-Semitism once again on the rise, it is more important than ever for Europe to understand its Jewish heritage. The Council of Europe believes in supporting “heritage communities” that will ensure such heritage is fully understood and becomes an integral part of the local communities’ narrative. This will in turn ensure the sustainability of both protection and promotion of Jewish heritage across European municipalities and territories where the Jewish community has lived and prospered but is no longer present.

Drones rescue last physical proof of Jewish life in European towns


Every genealogist knows that a cemetery is not only a place of the dead. Valuable information is engraved on the headstones, which often is used to help solve family mysteries and centuries-old historical…

Drones launched to help preserve Europe’s Jewish cemeteries


RECA, Slovakia (AP) — A private organization that wants to preserve thousands of old Jewish cemeteries in Europe is using aerial drones to map burial sites in countries where the Holocaust decimated Jewish populations that existed before World War II.
The European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative said Tuesday that teams of drone operators plan to survey 1,500 endangered Jewish cemeteries in Slovakia, Greece, Moldova, Lithuania and Ukraine this year. Once the boundaries are recorded, the sites will be enclosed and cleaned, the Germany-based organization said.

EU Funds mapping of Jewish Cemeteries in Eastern Europe


The European Union awarded the European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative (ESJF) a grant of 800,000 Euros to map and survey at least 1,500 Jewish cemeteries in Eastern European countries whose communities were decimated in the Holocaust.
The project, which will map and survey cemeteries in Greece, Moldova, Slovakia, Lithuania and Ukraine, is schedule to begin working in January.

Die EU unterstützt das kar­to­gra­fie­ren jüdischer Friedhöfe in Osteuropa


Die Europäische Union hat der European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative (ESJF) einen Förderbeitrag von 800.000 Euro gewährt, um mindestens 1.500 jüdische Friedhöfe in fünf ost- und südosteuropäischen Ländern zu kartografieren und zu vermessen.
Das Projekt, bei dem jüdische Friedhöfe in Griechenland, Moldawien, der Slowakei, Litauen und der Ukraine kartografiert und vermessen werden, soll noch in diesem Monat beginnen.

Евросоюз профинансирует опись еврейских кладбищ в Европе


Сохранение еврейских кладбищ является частью ответственности за культурное наследие Европы, заявил представитель Еврокомиссии. Евросоюз выделит на эти цели 800 тысяч евро.
Около полутора тысяч кладбищ в Греции, Молдавии, Словакии, Литве и Украине предстоит нанести на карту, сообщили в этот же день представители проекта ESJF, который занимается сохранением еврейских захоронений в Европе.