August 23, 2017

A Bessarabian sunset greets the ESJF’s first fence completion in Moldova

We are delighted to announce the completion of the ESJF fencing project in Briceva, Moldova, our first ever in the country. While this site in historic Bessarabia is home to many matzevot, it had lain derelict and overgrown when first visited by ESJF inspectors. However, construction was completed at the site yesterday when it was visited by our Chief Engineer Hryhoriy Arshynov.

In 1848, a Jewish agricultural settlement was founded here, close the the Dniester River. Prior to World War II, Jewish communities abounded in the region, straddling the modern borders of Ukraine, Moldova, and Romania. By 1930, Briceva was home to 2,500 Jews, some 89 percent of the village’s population. Due to the proximity of the USSR, many Briceva Jews were able to escape over the border during the war. Those who remained were deported to Transnystria, where they were systematically murdered.

The damage wrought by the Shoah was too great and the settlement, once a thriving agricultural community, never reformed. Jewish cemeteries in Moldova face many of the same imminent threats as those in Ukraine and Belarus, although costs are higher for construction here due to the scarcity of contractors in such remote regions. We hope to prioritise additional sites in Moldova next year.

We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the LivingStones Association and Yvette Merzbacher, for the support and encouragement they provided to the project.

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