June 30, 2017

ESJF launches national surveys of Jewish cemeteries in Belarus

The ESJF is delighted to announce the launch of a three-month project to comprehensively survey the Jewish cemeteries of Belarus. The project is funded by the United States Commission for America’s Heritage Abroad and we are very grateful for the support of Chair Lesley Weiss and all the members of the Commission’s Board for their support of this groundbreaking project. As from early July, ESJF survey teams will spread out across Belarus, providing a full mapping of all the Jewish cemeteries in the country and their current state. ESJF Chief Executive Officer Philip Carmel, FSU Projects Manager Yana Yanover, Surveys Coordinator Ihor Travianko and Head of Historical Research Dr. Katerina Malakhova are currently in Minsk training survey teams in the ESJF methodology for this vital work. On Wednesday, training modules will also be held in the field at five cemetery sites. It is expected that as many as 500 sites will be surveyed in the next three months in Belarus, adding to our extensive survey work already taking place in Ukraine. We are very grateful also to our local partners in the Jewish community in Belarus and particularly to Chief Rabbi Mordechai Raichinstein for his technical support for this project. A full report on this national survey will be published in the autumn.

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