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 Jewish cemeteries in Belarus. The project is funded by the United States Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad. Starting in early July, ESJF survey teams will spread out across Belarus, mapping all the country’s Jewish cemeteries and assessing their current state.

ESJF CEO 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 ESJF methodology. On Wednesday, training modules will 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 the extensive survey work already taking place in Ukraine.

ESJF are very grateful for the support of Lesley Weiss, Chair of the Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, as well as all the members of the Commission’s Board, for their support of this groundbreaking project. We would also like to extend our thanks to our local partners in the Belarusian Jewish community, particularly Chief Rabbi Mordechai Raichinstein for his technical support.

A full report on this national survey will be published in the autumn.

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