29 August 2010

Poland: Nowy Dwor Jewish Cemetery, Memorial Project

Ze'ev Shaked has provided an update for descendants and friends of the Nowy Dwor Mazowiecki Project.

At left, a broken tombstone excavated in 2009.

For more information and photos, click here.

-- Fence and gate construction is ongoing and will be completed next month. Rabbi Michael Schudrich (chief rabbi of Poland) and his assistant are working with the construction company to ensure work is conducted according to Jewish law and tradition. Photos are on the website above. http://www.nowydworjewishmemorial.com/

-- Ze'ev will be in Nowy Dwor in mid-October to view the completed fence and gates and distribute final payment.

-- During his visit, he'll meet with the contractor to discuss the scope and preliminary cost estimate for the memorial, meet with the mayor and the city of Nowy Dwor to discuss the project's second phase; additional tombstones will be excavated before and during his visit; and he will spend a day at the archives to look at more names and certificates. An idea for the memorial's design was received from an Israeli retired architect, and logistics and cost will also be discussed.

-- Beginning in October 2010, organizing committee members in Israel and the US will initiate a major fundraising campaign for the memorial and completion of the entire project.

-- The dedication ceremony in 2011 will be either Tuesday, July 26, or Wednesday, July 27. Ceremony details and other events will be discussed with Nowy Dwor's mayor. The plan is to commemorate the Jewish cemetery's restoration and the memorial, but to celebrate the town's Jewish heritage. Events being considered: Jewish pre-war klezmer music concert, a Sholom Aleichem play or "Fiddler on the Roof" (the play) in Polish/Yiddish performed by local high school students, guided tour to Modlin, boat sailing on the Narew, and other events. By next year, the town will have at least 200 rooms for visitors.

-- The committee plans to invite Polish government dignitaries, the Israeli Ambassador to Poland and possibly dignitaries from Israel, as well Jewish representatives in the US Congress. Some families to include to visit Auschwitz after the events. Ze'ev would like to see the participation of Israeli high school students.

-- The project was recently covered by two Jewish papers in the US; the articles are on the project website. Project members who reside in towns and cities with Jewish publications are asked to work with them to publish a similar article.

-- US Congressman Barney Frank sent a letter of support to Nowy Dwor's mayor.

For more information, to donate, to assist in some way, see surnames associated with the town, see the project website at the link above, and contact information with project leaders. Visit the project on Facebook.


  1. I just read a book on how the Germans broke all the tombstones to make roads. I saw the one piece in your web site. I thought they would be as small as pebbles, but I am glad I was wrong. This project can bring a little healing to those had relatives to the people in these cemeteries. This is a wonderful project and my prayers are with you through it all.

  2. Anonymous12:53 AM

    Schelly, how nice would have been to get the Jewish Cemetery you and I visited in Tarrega to become a place devoted to the Jews that had been buried there!

    Maria Jose Surribas

  3. Hi, Maria Jose

    it would be a great idea if the ancient Jewish cemeteries in Spain could be protected in the same way.

    They don't seem to realize that if the cemeteries are protected and made accessible, then people from around the world will come to see them.

    Now, if we could only do DNA testing on the remains and link those remains to living people today - that would be an even bigger story!


  4. Anonymous1:09 AM

    Hi Schelly,

    As you suggested, I'll talk about DNA testing with the Director of the Tarrega Museum.

    Now that August has finished, things are going back to normal everywhere.


    Maria Jose