Our Ancestors at Risk: Can the Jewish Cemeteries of Poland be Saved?
From: Dan Oren (dorenaya.yale.edu)
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2018 14:53:51 -0700 (PDT)
I want to invite all attending our conference in person (or via internet On Demand! access) to join me from 1:30-2:45 PM on Monday, August 5 for what should be an impactful panel on the topic of "Our Ancestors at Risk: Can the Jewish Cemeteries of Poland be Saved?" The question is provocative, but its answer is by no means determined.

Wearing my hat as President of the Friends of Jewish Heritage in Poland, I shall begin by sharing my thoughts for genealogists on why we must do our best to answer "yes". I will then have the pleasure of introducing three of the true giants in this field. First will be Michael Schudrich, Chief Rabbi of Poland. American-born and a Pole now, Rabbi Schudrich carries the weight of religious responsibility for perhaps up to half the burial places of Ashkenazi Jewry, not to mention the living Jewish population of Poland. Second will be Monika Krawczyk, CEO of the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland (FODŻ). FODŻ, a Jewish organization, has been given the legal ownership of about 1,200 Jewish cemeteries—a task of immense magnitude in that these cemeteries are virtually all in towns and cities that no longer have a surviving Jewish community. The third panelist is Rev. Steven Reece, CEO of The Matzevah Foundation, a largely American Christian non-profit organization dedicated to remembering, restoring, and reconciling. The Matzevah Foundation group has been coming to Poland every summer for the past several years to clean and restore otherwise abandoned Jewish cemeteries.

I expect at least two "surprise" guests in the audience who will also offer ways to help us answer yes.


Dan Oren
Woodbridge, CT USA

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