Saturday, April 5, 2008

Plans to build on Jewish cemetery in Ukraine halted

JTA runs a brief story stating that the US Embassy intervention helped halt plans to build two high rises on the site of the Jewish cemetery in Vinnitza, Ukraine. See the story HERE.

More than 700 Jewish cemeteries (or sites of Jewish cemeteries) are scattered around Ukraine. I visited a number of them when researching the new edition of "Jewish Heritage Travel."

Most Jewish cemeteries in Ukraine are abandoned, and even those where there are Jewish communities are often very neglected. Many cemeteries have had their tombstones uprooted. The cemeteries in western Ukraine in particular are noted for the intricacy of their decorative carving. You can see some examples on my web site.

The most comprehensive list of Jewish cemeteries and other Jewish heritage sites in Ukraine is the downloadable survey overseen by the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad.

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