Monday, October 27, 2008

Poland: Jewish cemetery website

JewishTravel.Pl offers information about sites of Jewish interest, including a list of Polish cemeteries, and also arranges tours.

President/founder Tomek Kuncewicz is director of the Auschwitz Jewish Center. Co-founder/International Affairs vice president Daniel Feldman is completing a PhD in Shoah history and literature at Yale University. Co-founder/Specialized Tours vice president Kate Craddy works for the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. Read more about them here.

There's an interactive map based on proposed tours of various geographical locations. This is an interesting feature pointing up Jewish sites in these places.

However, the real interest for the Jewish Graveyard Rabbit is the place index, billed as an introduction to all known places in Poland with remaining sites of Jewish interest. Enter the keyword "cemetery" and view a long alphabetical list of towns with Jewish cemeteries.

Caveat: While some entries have more detail, many merely say "one Jewish cemetery remains."

Tip: To find more information on the town cemeteries listed on JewishTravel.pl , google the town of interest.

Under Zdunska Wola (in Lodz District, Sieradz Province), it says merely "Both a Jewish cemetery and former synagogue building remain." Google zdunska wola jewish cemetery and view nearly 600 results for more information.

Zdunska Wola's cemetery is undergoing an ongoing major restoration and preservation project, and contains unusual colored tombstones. This is the project of Dr. Daniel Wagner of the Weizman Institute (Israel) and a team of dedicated researchers in Poland, Israel and elsewhere.

Wagner's own site is here, where he writes "I believe that the total number of gravestones is probably as high as 1200 or more. It is the largest Jewish cemetery in the Sieradz region. The oldest gravestone is that of Elazar LIPSZYC, who died in 1837. The last recorded Jewish burials were in 1946.

Take a look for your own ancestral towns in the list at JewishTravel.pl at the link above.

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