Jewish Heritage Report
Vol. II, Nos. 1-2 / Spring-Summer 1998
Commission News
 
News from The U. S. Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad

Commission Begins Romania Cemetery Survey

The United State Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad has begun a new country survey of Jewish monuments – expanding its efforts to document the location and condition of Jewish cemeteries and synagogues to Romania.  The survey, which began in July, 1998, is being organized by the Commission’s Research Director (and ISJM President) Samuel Gruber.  The first phase of the project, which includes visitation and documentation of 470 cemeteries  and 63 synagogues throughout Transylvania, is being coordinated by Dr. Ladislau Gyemant and Dr. Mircea Moldovan of the Dr. Moshe Carmilly Institute of Jewish Studies and Jewish history at the Babes-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca.
In related news, Romanian Prime Minister Radu Vasile recently announced during a visit to Israel that , in September, 1998, a bill on "global return of Jewish properties" was to be submitted.  The World Jewish Restitution Organization had been in negotiations with the Romanian government about restitution of Jewish property since in 1993.

Jewish Cemetery, Foscani Romania.  Photo:  Ruth Gruber, March 1991.

Commission Signs Agreements with Estonia and Lithuania

Declarations of Cooperation were signed between the Commission and the governments of the Baltic states of Estonia and Lithuania in June, 1998.  The signings culminate negotiations begun in 1993.  The agreements pave the way for greater cooperation between the signatories for the protection and preservation of cultural and historic sites.  The identification of sites of significance to the Jewish history of these countries, and to Americans of Estonian and Lithuania Jewish descent is a high priority for the Commission.
 

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