November 7, 2019

Drone surveys wrapping up for 2019 with more than 90% of the work done

The ESJF is happy to report that we have now completed our drone surveys for 2019. In the framework of the pilot project running between December 2018 and May 2020, funded by the European Commission, we pledged to map and survey at least 1,500 Jewish cemeteries across 5 countries: Moldova, Greece, Slovakia, Lithuania, and Ukraine.

We are delighted to say we have completed more than 90% of this survey work, and our staff will now spend the winter months working on data analysis, database development, educational development, and preparation for the remaining surveys next year.

In many of the project countries, data was scarce, inaccurate, or insufficient. Given any location with a sustained, significant Jewish presence may have a cemetery, our pilots visited many more locations than we actually surveyed, in order to ensure no potential cemeteries were missed. Following this method, we were able to discover several hitherto undocumented Jewish cemeteries, particularly in Moldova and Ukraine. In the end, our surveyors visited 1,747 sites, and surveyed 1,406.

We visited 132 locations in Moldova, 48 in Greece, 316 in Slovakia, 103 in Lithuania, and 1,148 in Ukraine. Of these, we successfully surveyed 70 cemeteries in Moldova, 45 in Greece, 240 in Slovakia, 103 in Lithuania, and 948 in Ukraine.

After winter, we will return to conclude our surveys in the Zilina region of Slovakia, as well as the Vinnytsia, Zhytomyr, and Cherkassy regions of Ukraine.

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