Regional and International Experts

Ця сторінка також доступна українською.

Introduction

The facade of the main entrance to Lviv Polytechnic National University.
Image sourced from Wikimedia Commons.

This website leans heavily on the expertise of knowledgeable and experienced people who have researched, published, and applied their knowledge and skills in fields which are core to the practical work of Jewish burial site preservation in western Ukraine. However, we understand that the information summarized on or linked to a website cannot cover the full range of issues and needs which project leaders will encounter in the course of their planning and work on individual cemeteries and mass graves in the region. While we expect project leaders to do their own research and to marshal their own resources to solve their specific problems, sometimes advice or an answer from an expert can quickly identify an unseen path to a solution, for example via the European Jewish Cemeteries Advisory Network (EJCAN) of the Rothschild Foundation Hanadiv Europe.

The resources identified here include universities and other educational institutions, government offices and institutions, NGOs and other non-commercial organizations (with both research and applied focus), cultural heritage foundations, experienced private design and construction professionals, and other commercial organizations. These experts are sometimes identified for publications and ongoing research, sometimes for training through hands-on workshops or degree programs, and sometimes for extensive practical work in the field and/or the region. The physical heritage field is thin but geographically broad; expertise and resources listed here are centered within the region of western Ukraine, within the national borders of Ukraine, or abroad: in Europe, in the Americas, and elsewhere. The links here are generally to organizations for their body of work and because the specific contacts there may change even while their focus does not.

The experts are listed here by their field of specialization, following the general outline of this website (in the guide section and elsewhere). Several of the listed experts appear more than once in this list because their work is broadly applicable to Jewish burial site research, rehabilitation, and preservation. Not surprisingly, many of the experts listed here also appear as contributors to the data and best practices documented on this website, in some cases also in the case studies section for work in western Ukraine or elsewhere, and on the pages of print and digital references. Project leaders are strongly encouraged to study those pages before contacting any of the experts listed here, as many questions have probably already been answered in their prior published and/or built work.

We should emphasize that many of the experts listed here are knowledge resources only; application of that knowledge to specific Jewish burial sites is the responsibility of project leaders and volunteers. Some of the experts are professional designers and/or construction specialists who make their living in this work; none of them should be expected or asked to work pro bono, even for concepts, recommendations, or feedback.

We do not assume that this list is comprehensive; we welcome contact with information about other resources for regional or international expertise applicable to the concerns of Jewish burial site preservation in western Ukraine.

 

Experts by Specialization

As noted above, this list is organized by fields of specialization, roughly corresponding to the project phase outlines used in the guide section and the references section on this website:

 

Project Concepts and/or Planning

This early and critical aspect of Jewish burial site projects should be defined by project leaders and supporters, to match the project outcome to the original motivations and resources. In addition to the guidance given elsewhere on this website, project-level expertise may be available from any of the specialists listed in the sections further below.

Lviv Polytechnic National University, Institute of Architecture and Design (Lviv, Ukraine)

Heritage Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Cemeteries (HFPJC, Avoyseinu) (Brooklyn NY, USA)

European Jewish Cemeteries Advisory Network (EJCAN) (London, United Kingdom)

 

Site Surveys and/or Research

Desk-based research and field surveys describe and document a site in the past and the present, before project work begins. The organizations below have experience locating Jewish cemeteries and mass graves in western Ukraine (or identifying maps and data to support initial studies), researching the legal status of lands where burial sites are situated, and using aerial photography, ground-penetrating radar, and other methods to determine burial site boundaries.

ESJF European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative (Kyiv, Ukraine)

Yahad – In Unum (Paris, France)

Staffordshire University Centre of Archaeology (Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom)

Faina Petryakova Scientific Center for Judaica and Jewish Art (Lviv, Ukraine)

Law Craft Legal Services & Consulting (Lviv, Ukraine)

Center for Urban History of East Central Europe (Lviv, Ukraine)

Gesher Galicia Map Room (New York NY, USA)

 

Site Clearing and Cleaning Methods

The guide section on vegetation clearing and cleaning on this website plus the supplemental technical page detailing appropriate tools already distill much of the expertise of these organizations for use in regional projects, but joining them as a volunteer could be a good way to gain hands-on knowledge.

The Matzevah Foundation (TMF) (Franklin TN, USA)

Lviv Volunteer Center (LVC) (Lviv, Ukraine)

Rohatyn Jewish Heritage (RJH) (Lviv, Ukraine)

Mitzvat Emet (Gomel, Belarus)

 

Landscape Design and/or Construction

In addition to the expertise resources listed here, the nearest municipal administration of moderate size or larger likely has specific knowledge of local ground and water issues as well as experience in design and construction work at spaces similar to cemeteries.

Lviv Polytechnic National University, Department of Architectural Environment Design (Lviv, Ukraine)

Green Garden (Lviv, Ukraine)

Vezha Construction Company LLC (Ostroh, Ukraine)

 

Headstone Conservation and/or Documentation

This topic includes the physical conservation of ornamental stonework (headstones and other built features of cemeteries) as well as the documentation and analysis of headstone epitaph inscriptions and sculptural carvings. Professionals in stone conservation routinely caution new project leaders and volunteers that knowledge and skill in this field comes much more readily from practical (hands-on) work and in-person study with experts than from books and theory.

Lviv Polytechnic National University, Department of Restoration of Architectural and Artistic Heritage (Lviv, Ukraine)

Stowarzyszenie Magurycz (Uście Gorlickie, Poland)

National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (Natchitoches LA, USA)

Center for Architectural Conservation, Weitzman School of Design, University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia PA, USA)

Foundation for Documentation of Jewish Cemeteries in Poland (Warsaw, Poland)

Jewish Galicia and Bukovina (JGB) (Jerusalem, Israel)

Jewish Epitaphs (Lynnwood WA, USA)

Center for Jewish Art (Jerusalem, Israel)

Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, Columbia University (New York NY, USA)

NYU Conservation Center, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University (New York NY, USA)

 

Memorial Design and/or Construction

This topic includes the concepts, design, and installation of memorial objects at Jewish burial sites, encompassing both artistic and practical aspects.

Samuel Gruber’s Jewish Art & Monuments (Syracuse NY, USA)

Vezha Construction Company LLC (Ostroh, Ukraine)

ESJF European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative (Kyiv, Ukraine)

Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Cemeteries in Poland (FODŻ) (Warsaw, Poland)

 

Ohel Design and/or Construction

The design and construction of ohels over the graves of tzadikim and their families in Jewish cemeteries is a specialized focus of Jewish memorial practice which normally should be guided by adherents of Hasidism and tailored to the specific needs of visitors to those graves.

Oholei Tzadikim (Jerusalem, Israel)

Faina Petryakova Scientific Center for Judaica and Jewish Art (Lviv, Ukraine)

Vezha Construction Company LLC (Ostroh, Ukraine)

 

Directional, Identification, and/or Information Signage

The design and installation of signage to identify and to provide historical and cultural context for Jewish cemeteries and mass graves is recognized as critical to promoting and preserving these sites of shared regional heritage. Unfortunately, no experts have been identified yet for this topic.

 

Fence and/or Wall Design and Construction

This topic includes design, engineering (soils and structures), and installation of boundary fences and walls as well as retaining walls for slopes and special situations.

ESJF European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative (Kyiv, Ukraine)

Vezha Construction Company LLC (Ostroh, Ukraine)

Faina Petryakova Scientific Center for Judaica and Jewish Art (Lviv, Ukraine)

 

Sustainability Planning

This topic covers the important need for maintenance and sustaining of implemented projects at a Jewish burial site as well as the long-term environmental impact of project work on the site and its surroundings. No experts have been identified yet for this topic.

 

Project Funding Planning and/or Support

This topic includes grant-writing advisors and resources, current news portals and archives on grant opportunities, and a few regular grant-providing organizations which occasionally have opportunities related to Jewish physical heritage; note that many funding organizations explicitly exclude documentation, maintenance, and rehabilitation of burial sites, but may sponsor parallel cultural work. For other means of gaining support and funding for Jewish burial site preservation projects, see the guide section for this topic.

Quill Consulting LLC (Indianapolis IN, USA)

Philantropia (New York NY, USA)

Jewish Heritage Europe (London, United Kingdom)

US Embassy in Ukraine, Public Affairs Section (Kyiv, Ukraine)

Heritage Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Cemeteries (HFPJC, Avoyseinu) (Brooklyn NY, USA)

US Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad (Washington DC, USA)

Rothschild Foundation Hanadiv Europe (London, United Kingdom)

 

Project Communication

Expertise in two-way communication about Jewish burial site projects can probably best be found by browsing the websites, social media pages and videos, and other public relations media of current physical heritage projects of all types (Jewish and non-Jewish, cemeteries and other sites, etc.). The web portal listed here provides browsable and searchable collections of recent Jewish physical heritage sites news in Europe.

Jewish Heritage Europe – News (London, United Kingdom)

Jewish Heritage Europe – Cemetery Forum (London, United Kingdom)

European Jewish Cemeteries Advisory Network (EJCAN) (London, United Kingdom)

JHE – The Jewish Heritage Europe Group (Facebook)

Rohatyn Jewish Heritage (RJH) (Lviv, Ukraine)