Heritage Conservation Preserving the Past to Save the Future
East Europe is steeped in Jewish heritage. Sadly, because of the murder of East Europe’s Jews during the Second World War and subsequent emigration, all that is left of the Jewish past in many towns and villages are abandoned synagogues, yeshivas, cemeteries and execution sites.
The remaining Jewish communities do not have the resources to conserve and renew these sites of great historic and aesthetic importance. Unless we act now they will soon disappear.
The East European Jewish Heritage Project works with partners from abroad to conserve and restore these invaluable heritage sites and to place memorials on execution sites. To date, for example, we have restored over a dozen cemeteries in Belarus and Lithuania and have worked to encourage the preservation of synagogues and other heritage. Once cemeteries and other sites are conserved and memorials erected we seek to maintain them for future generations.
This is important work not just for the Jewish community but for the wider community. These are remembrances not only of a rich past but also of past iniquities. They are there to remind everyone of a rich past that was nearly extinguished by forces that must never be allowed to rise again.
All of our work involves Jewish and non-Jewish members of local communities. In fact many of the sites we have conserved and restored were brought to our attention by non-Jews who understand how Jewish heritage is an integral part of their community’s heritage.
One of our newest and most innovative projects is the micro museum, The Rubezhevichi Museum of Rural Jewish Life. Discover more here and here to find out more. We hope to create more of these, perhaps in your ancestral shtetl or village, in the future.
We encourage everyone’s participation and are happy to work with other organisations. If you are interested in helping or just interested in finding out about sites in your ancestral town or village please email, phone the number below or use the contact form to let us know how we can help.