Policy officer Maciej Hofman from the European Commission visits Zakarpattya with the ESJF survey team

ESJF 2019/20 surveys in five European countries

Policy officer Maciej Hofman from the European Commission visits Zakarpattya with the ESJF survey team

The 2019-2020 EU grant that ESJF received from the European Commission entails a mass survey of 1500 Jewish cemeteries in 5 countries, as well as educational programs, building cooperation with local authorities and spreading the word about our shared heritage.

Between 5-7 June, policy officer Maciej Hofman from the European Commission Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture paid a visit to Ukraine in order to follow the work of our survey team.

ESJF surveyors Ian Galevskii and Ernest Samsonchyk, accompanied by media and communications officer Diána Vonnák showed the work ESJF does on the ground: we visited cemeteries in Chumaliovo, Kryva, Nyzhnya Apsha (in Tiachiv district), and Kolochava, Synevyr, Mizhhirya, Verkhniy Bystryi, Maydan (in Mizhhirya district). Besides drone surveys, we made contact with local authorities wherever possible, including a meeting with Mr. Vasyl Yuryk from the Mizhhirya Regional State Administration.

We visited the open-air skansen in Kolochava, where a reconstruction of a Jewish school and a Jewish-owned pub is on display, and where the local museum infrastructure has a strong potential for supporting educational activities around ESJF’s work. The places we visited offered various challenges: some of them were remote, unfenced, elsewhere the condition of the fence is appropriate, or there are signs of illicit usage, but we also encountered interest and support from locals and local authorities. The EU co-funded surveys are now ca. 30% completed, and results are regularly uploaded to the survey website.