Recently I wrote about the partial desecration of the cemetery in Bilgoraj, by a construction company, despite the promises of local officials that no defilement would take place. While desecrations of cemeteries do happen in Poland the situation is getting better as the local population sees that the Jewish community is interested in preserving the memory of its ancestors.
Students that cleaned the cemetery in Shiniva
The Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland has been working with Jewish organizations from around the world to look after as many of, the more than 1,300, cemeteries in Poland as possible. They have been encouraging local schools to go into the cemeteries and clear the area from debris and undergrowth.
The cemetery of Zambrow was recently purified and catalogued by students from Kibbutz Sdeh Eliyahu in Israel.
The work, sometimes done with Jewish volunteers from Israel, gives these students an appreciation for the Jewish history and ancient culture that had existed in Poland before the Shoah. Hopefully this process of education will spread and help to protect Jewish cemeteries in the future.
For more pictures of these cleanup operations and other events in Poland go to the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland website: http://fodz.pl/index.php?d=1&l=en.