Best Practices and Resources for Jewish Cemetery Preservation in Western Ukraine

Ця сторінка також доступна українською.

This website provides information and guidance to assist leaders, activists, and volunteers in the care and rehabilitation of Jewish cemeteries in western Ukraine. Included here are “best practices” (processes, methods, tools), plus a collection of resources (texts, websites, videos) relevant to the work, selected case studies of local and other cemetery projects, and links to independent organizations working to document Jewish cemeteries in the region. The guide has been developed for the specific needs of Jewish cemeteries and mass graves in western Ukraine, defined here as the three oblasts of Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, and Ternopil, which have shared a common ethnic and political history (as eastern Galicia, southeastern Poland, and then western Ukraine) different from the surrounding regions for more than two centuries; the focus region is shown on the map at right. However, significant portions of the guide will likely benefit individuals, organizations, and projects well beyond western Ukraine, and in other fields of heritage preservation and care as well. The information has been pulled from a broad variety of foreign and domestic resources working in a number of different disciplines.

Rohatyn’s new Jewish cemetery in winter. Photo © RJH.

This guide and its web publication is a result of a research project led by Marla Raucher Osborn for Rohatyn Jewish Heritage (RJH), a Ukrainian non-profit NGO, and supported by the US Fulbright Scholar Program during the 2019-2020 academic year. Information resources and recommendations in the guide come from the cemetery project experience of RJH during its first decade, significantly amplified by the expertise of individuals and organizations who have have partnered with and generously advised RJH over the past years; we are pleased and grateful to acknowledge their help throughout this website. Together we recognize the regional Jewish cemeteries as shared cultural heritage which bridges between the contemporary local communities, the families of Jewish people who have lived in these places, and the world.

The guide is informal, and of course its use is entirely optional; others leading similar projects to RJH in the region may have specialist knowledge which differs from and/or exceeds the advice and resources presented here. We hope that others with such knowledge will share their expertise. Reviewing the case studies presented here, and especially the state of many Jewish cemeteries presented in links here, demonstrates that the regional challenges in this field are huge; activists here need all the help they can get.

Use the menu at the top of each page to navigate directly to topics of interest, or browse the information by selecting one of the overview pages below. For first-time visitors to this website, there are three user-support pages intended to introduce the material here and to help with navigation: see the FAQ (Frequently-Asked Questions) page, and the Sitemap, and our summary of the organization and structure of these pages, How to Use this Website.

The Guide

Resources and Information for Cemetery Care

Case Studies: Selected Projects at Jewish Cemeteries in Western Ukraine

Links to Identified Jewish Cemeteries in Western Ukraine