International Survey of Jewish Monuments
International Survey of Jewish Monuments
News:  Week of August 18 - August 25
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1.  Jewish Community in Slovakia Struggles to Maintain Jewish Sites
2.  Dedication Ceremony Scheduled for Jewish Cemetery on Venice Lido
3.  Day of Open Doors for Jewish Sites Set for Western Europe
4.  “Facing West: Jews of Central Asia and the Caucasus” at New York’s Jewish Museum

1.  Jewish Community in Slovakia Struggles to Maintain Jewish Sites

The Jewish Community of Slovakia has issued a report detailing its efforts last year to maintain and restore Jewish cemeteries and synagogues throughout the country.  The task is a difficult and expensive one, far beyond the limited resources of the community.  Close to a thousand sites (cemeteries, synagogues, former synagogues and Jewish communal buildings) are believed to exist throughout the country and the Jewish community can only care for a small percentage on a regular basis.  Ownership and responsibility for many sites remains unresolved.  Most of the 600 or more cemeteries need maintenance and conservation work.

In 1998 the SOS Center for Reconstruction and Maintenance of Jewish Cemeteries and Synagogues, which is an arm of the Central Union of Jewish Religious Communities in the Slovak Republic, carried out regular maintenance work on 56 Jewish cemeteries and more major reconstruction work on eight cemeteries – Velicna, Rimanska Sobota, Zvolen, Humenne, Kezmarok, Krupina, Zeliezovce and Fila’kova.  SOS is the only umbrella organization of all "living" Jewish communities in Slovakia and the legal heir of all perished Jewish communities in Slovakia.  Its aim is to keep records, to reconstruct and maintain synagogues and Jewish cemeteries in Slovakia.  The organization’s budget is small – only $35,000 US in 1999, out which a wide variety of projects must be funded.  Foreign donors are encouraged to contribute to maintenance and restoration projects.

The main project of 1998 was the restoration of the cemetery in Senica, which has an unusual circular ground plan, about 150 m. in diameter.  Reconstruction included maintenance and restoration of tombstones damaged by the elements and by vandals, reconstruction of the stone and brick wall, and maintenance of the mortuary structure.  Other large projects include roof repairs to the synagogue on Klastorna Street in Bardejov and the Puskinova Street Synagogue of Kosice.  More details on these and other Jewish monuments in the Slovak Republic will be posted soon on our country page.

2.  Dedication Ceremony Scheduled for Jewish Cemetery on Venice Lido

A dedication ceremony will take place at the Jewish Cemetery on the Venice Lido on October 13 at 4 p.m.  The cemetery has been undergoing a massive documentation and preservation effort over the past several years.  The work, organized under the auspices of the Jewish Community of Venice has been funded through a public-private partnership with major support coming from the Veneto Region and the private preservation organizations Save Venice and the World Monuments Fund.  The Lido cemetery is one of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in Europe, containing hundreds of graves and gravestones, including a large selection of richly carved stones commemorating deceased members of Venice’s Sephardic community.

The mayor of Venice and other authorities will attend the dedication ceremony.  It will be followed by a reception at the Doge's Palace in the Sala del Piovego hosted by Save Venice. For more information contact:

Save Venice at 15 Wast 74th Street, NY, NY 10021, tel. 212-737-3141 / fax 212-249-0510 or in Venice, tel. 041-52-85-247 / fax 041-52-31-843.

3.  Day of Open Doors for Jewish Sites Set for Western Europe

August 29th marks the first internationally organized “Day of Open Doors” for Jewish sites in Europe, with Jewish Communities and Tourism officials in France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Germany cooperating to stimulate a pan-European recognition of the historic and artistic legacy of Jewish culture.

Close to one hundred Jewish sites in seventy-five distinct localities, including synagogues and former synagogues, cemeteries, and museums, will be open to the public on Sunday August 29, 1999.  For more information consult another ISJM news page, our Open Doors Page.

4. “Facing West: Jews of Central Asia and the Caucasus” at New York’s Jewish Museum

A new exhibition “Facing West: Jews of Central Asia and the Caucasus” has opened at the Jewish Museum in New York.  The exhibition, open through October 17, features more than 300 items drawn from the Russian Museum of Ethnology in St. Petersburg.  The collection includes costumes, jewelry, ceremonial art and household objects.  For more information contact the Jewish Museum, 1109 fifth Ave., NY, NY, 10128, 212-423-3200 or visit the museum website at www.thejewishmuseum.org.


International Survey of Jewish Monuments
c/o Jewish Heritage Research Center
Box 210, 118 Julian Pl.
Syracuse, New York 13210-3419, USA

tel: (315) 474-2350
fax: (315) 474-2347

 
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Last updated: January 4, 2003