2024 Częstochowa Jewish Cemetery Clean-Up is Done


May 23, 2024

Sources: Alon Goldman, Jolanta Urbańska, Asia Sidorowicz

On an almost annual basis, Alon Goldman, Vice-President of the World Society of Częstochowa Jews & Their Descendants and Chairman of the Association of Częstochowa Jews is Israel, has organised and led a clean-up of the Częstochowa Jewish cemetery. Over time, Alon has been joined by volunteers from various organisations, both adults and young people in this holy work.

DAY 1: Thursday, 16th May 2024

The work of cleaning up the Częstochowa Jewish Cemetery has begun. Today, our volunteers were students from the General Władysław Anders High School Complex and members of the ADULLAM Foundation.

Preparation for the week of cleaning work was carried out by Nissenbaum Family Foundation staff who, for several days, came to cut down fallen trees and bushes – and, for that, we thank them sincerely!

The high school students were divided into groups, who carried the cut logs and branches to the path and stacked them into piles. Tomorrow, the shredder will begin its work on the branches. The results are already! In the afternoon, a group of volunteers from the ADULLAM Foundation arrived, together with a local partnership “Ancient City-New Life”, who came to work with us at the cemetery. Particularly exciting is that they were accompanied by a special needs group from PSONI Częstochowa, who also joined in our work.

Of course, the day could not pass without mentioning that we remember our friend Alex Dancyg and the other kidnap victims
– we pray for their speedy, safe return.

DAY 2: Friday, 17th May 2024

For our second day’s work, we were joined by volunteers from the ADULLAM Foundation, led by Robert Kamela, and by 25 students from the Kazimierz Pułaski Mechanical-Electrical High School Complex. We were also joined by World Society friend and stalwart in preserving Częstochowa’s Jewish heritage, Krzysztof Straus, who did amazing work with his mechanical trimmer. Thank you all! 

Today’s work focused on moving the logs of the felled trees and bushes, from amongst the graves, to the path in order to enable their removal/shredding. New piles also began to be stacked up in other places along the path. Also, today, the branch-shredding machine began its work. Hiring this piece of machinery provides us with a quick, efficient and cheaper method of removal of vegetation waste from the cemetery.

We would also like to thank the City of Częstochowa for responding to Alon’s request and providing, at no cost, chemicals, which were used by the students, a huge disposal container for the vegetation waste and for increasing Straż Miejska (Municipal Guard) security around the cemetery, during our work.

During today’s work, we came to the remains of the ohel of the Częstochowa Rebbe, Rabbi Awigdor Shapira (pic left).

He died in Częstochowa on 10th March 1928.

In 1971, his remains were moved to the Washington Floral Park Cemetery, New Jersey, by his daughter, the late Satmar Rebbetzin, Ałta Fajga Teitelbaum.

For more information, click HERE.

DAY 3: Monday, 20th May 2024

Today, the work continued at full pace, with the help of about fifty students from the Jan Kochanowski High School Complex and more volunteers from the ADULLAM Foundation. We were also joined by Moshe Hoffman and Alon, his grandson, who are visiting from Israel.

Thanks to the preparatory tree-felling work carried out by the Nissenbaum Family Foundation workers, again, today’s work centred around removing the logs of the felled trees and bushes from the graves. These were stacked along the cemetery path in order for them to be either removed or shredded.

Again the branch-shredding machine was doing its work so that, as previous piles of logs, branches and bushes were shredded, they were replaced with new stacks from today’s work..

DAY 4: Tuesday, 21st May 2024

The work continued. Today, the volunteers of the ADULLAM Foundation (Fundacja Chrizescijańska Adullam) were joined by students from the John Paul II Technical Vocations High School in Częstochowa.

The branch- shredding machine moved to a new location further along the path and continued operation until all the branches from yesterday, near the gate, had been crushed. In the meantime, our student and ADULLAM volunteers continued to stack new piles near the cemetery gate. These piles have become longer and are now posing a challenge to remove from the cemetery.

Tomorrow is our last working day and the results of the hard work can already definitely be seen!

DAY 5: Wednesday, 22nd May 2024

This was the last day of our 2024 Częstochowa Jewish Cemetery clean-up.

Today, the volunteer team from the Adullam Foundation were joined by students from the General Władysław Sikorski Technical High School.

Our work concentrated on the terrain alongside the cemetery all. The Nissenbaum Family Foundation working group and professional arborists,, whom we hired, had prepared the area in advance and the students were busy moving the logs and branches out to the path to be shredded and removed.

Szymon, the shredding machine operator, and his helpers worked throughout the day to finish all the branch shredding, leaving only stacks of shredded vegetation to be removed.

All week, we have enjoyed excellent weather but, today, we had to unfortunately finish work at noon. Already in the morning, we received a warning of thunderstorms and rain and, towards the afternoon, the sky was covered in dark clouds and the rain began falling. There was no point in staying, so we packed up the work tools, thanked the students and finished the work day.

Due to the precision preparatory work carried out, our work has been most effective. The results can be seen by anyone who walks from the entrance gate to the central monument area. There are almost no lying trees, which interfere with the pathways between the rows or which cover graves. The bushes are mostly gone and, in many places, from the pathway, the fences on both sides of the cemetery can be seen.

This concentrated work period is now over, but there is still much ahead to be ahead. We hope that local people will continue to organise volunteer days until our next concentrated work week.

As this was the final day of our 2024 clean-up, it’s appropriate to thank many people:

              • our World Society Vice-President, Alon Goldman
              • Elżbieta Ferenc, Director of the Adullam Foundation, for mobilising and  organising its volunteer group, for caring, storing and maintaining our work tools from year to year and for supporting all the logistical aspects of the work.
              • the team of volunteers from the Adullam Foundation – hardworking people with huge hearts
              • Robert Kamela, who led the team of volunteers of the Adullam Foundation, who worked incessantly throughout each day..
              • Rafał Piotrowski, head of the Częstochowa Municipal Education Department, for his cooperation and for recruiting the schools and their students for our project.
              • Iwona Brzezowska, Director of the General Władysław Anders High School Complex, for the relationship which she has created with other school principals and their work arrangement for the whole week.
              • Krzysztof Straus for his preparedness for the work, his support and his assistance in everything that we require.
              • Częstochowa Deputy Mayor. Łukasz Kot for his assistance in setting up the chemical toilets for all our volunteer workers, tthe container for the removal of the vegetation waste and for his willingness to take care of the removal of all the logs and piles of rubble that were left in the cemetery.
              • Izabela Sobańska-Klekowska, Chairperson of the Częstochowa branch of the TSKŻ, for organising the volunteers for the Thursday afternoon.
              • Jolanta Urbańska and the team of volunteers from Stowarzyszenie Demokratyczna RP
              • Wojciech Łygaś and the Nissenbaum Family Foundation for providing us with the group of professional workers, and.
              • The City of Częstochowa and Częstochowa Mayor Krzysztof Matyjaszczyk who, although they do not acknowledge their ownership of the cemetery, support our work with everything we need.

Thank you everyone and we hope to see you all again next year – or maybe sooner!

This is how local Częstochowa television, ORION TV, covered this year’s Częstochowa Jewish Cemetery clean-up:

Together, with your support, we can do much more!

!יחד עם התמיכה שלכם נוכל לעשות הרבה יותר

The Association of Częstochowa Jews in Israel supports these works by financing the purchase of tools and gloves,
as well as protection against ticks and mosquitoes.

We also hire skilled aborists and mulching machines as needed.

Together, with your support and contribution, we can do more! A donation to support our activities can be made as detailed below:

Meeting on Future of Częstochowa Jewish Cemetery


May 22, 2024

Source: Alon Goldman

After great efforts over a long period, by our World Society Vice-President Alon Goldman, an important meeting took place today at the cemetery, Częstochowa Jewish Cemetery stakeholders, regarding its future.

Those present included Częstochowa Mayor Krzysztof Matyjaszczyk, Provincial Conservator of Heritage Sites Łukasz Konarzewski, Chairman of the Jewish Gmina in Katowice Włodzimierz Kac, Vice-President of the World Society of Częstochowa Jews & Their Descendants Alon Goldman, as well as representatives of the National Institute for the Conservation of Heritage Sites.

Discussions took place on the future of this important site, which is sacred to all of us.

All participants agreed to hold regular future meetings and it appears that, at last, this is a first step towards resolving the issue of the ownership of the cemetery. This is essential to the funding and carrying out of future and major restoration works, which are and will be urgently required on this sacred site.

Sigmund Rolat z"l (1930-2024)


May 19, 2024

It is with great sorrow that we advise of the passing of Sigmund Rolat z”l, President and founder of our World Society of Częstochowa Jews & Their Descendants. Born Zygmunt Rozenblat on 1st July 1930 in Częstochowa, he passed away in New York on 18th May 2024, at the age of 93, surrounded by his family.

Losing both his parents and his brother during the Holocaust, he survived the Częstochowa ghettos and the HASAG-Pelcery forced labour camp in Częstochowa, After liberation, he went to France and then to Germany, where he graduated from high school. In February 1948, Sigmund arrived in the USA and ultimately graduated from both the University of Cincinnati and New York University. He then went on to become a successful businessman.

Over many years, Sigmund was the driving force for the preservation of Poland’s Jewish heritage – in particular in our home city of Częstochowa. Without his efforts, our World Society of Częstochowa Jews & Their Descendants and its five Reunions in Częstochowa would never have happened. He was the major force behind the creation of the Częstochowa Jewish Museum and the preservation of Jewish heritage sites in the city.

He was also a major funder of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews and served on its Board since its inception.

Over the years, in recognition of his tireless efforts, Sigmund has been honoured by the Polish Government, the City of Częstochowa , the Jan Długosz University of Częstochowa, the Yad Vashem Institute in Jerusalem – to name just a few.

To his children, Geoffrey, Samantha and Amanda, to his grandchildren and to his extended family, in accordance with Jewish tradition,
we wish them long life and that they should know no more sorrow.

May his soul be bound within the bonds of eternal life.

Baruch Dayan Emet.

To view the funeral service of Sigmund Rolat z”l,  which took place on 20th May 2024, click HERE.

Częstochowa TSKŻ Commemorates 81st Anniversary of Warsaw Ghetto Uprising


April 19, 2024

Source: text – Alon Goldman, photographs – Jolanta Urbańska & Małgorzata Kaim

The Częstochowa branch of the TSKŻ commemorated the 81st anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
by organising a ceremony at the Częstochowa Jewish Memorial.

Members of the Częstochowa TSKŻ were joined, in the ceremony, by representatives of local government,
students from the Juliusz Słowacki High School and members of the local Częstochowa community.

Częstochowa Roundabout Named in Honour of Leon Silberstein z"l

Source: Text – Alan Silberstein, Photographs – Marcin Szpadrowski


February 21, 2024

Twenty relatives and descendants of Leon Silberstein z”l, from the United States and Israel gathered in Częstochowa, together with city officials and civic leadership, to commemorate Silberstein’s heroism, as a partisan, who saved hundreds from death during the Holocaust. The ceremony was held at the Leon Silberstein Roundabout (Pol. Rondo) named in his honour by the Częstochowa City Council in April 2023.

The commemoration was officiated by Katarzyna Ozimek, Director of the Częstochowa Museum. Other speakers included Częstochowa Mayor Krzysztof Matyjaszczyk, Deputy Mayor Ryszard Stefaniak, Deputy Chairman of the City Council Łukasz Kot, head of the Centre for Documentation of the History of Częstochowa Dr. Juliusz Sętowski and Leon’s son Alan Silberstein.

During the event, those assembled heard students of the Juliusz Słowacki High School sing
the Jewish Partisan anthem (“Zog Nit Kayn Mol“) in Polish, English and Yiddish.

Following the Rondo dedication, a memorial service was held at the Częstochowa Holocaust Monument, at Samuel Willenberg Square. The ceremony was officiated by Izabela Sobańska-Klekowska, Chair of the Częstochowa branch of the Social-Cultural Association of Jewish in Poland (TSKŻ). Prayers were recited and wreaths were laid.

The Leon Silberstein Story:

In the decade before the war, Leon and Rose Silberstein created a thriving factory, which made bicycle parts and accessories. When the Germans occupied the city and took over his factory, Silberstein persuaded the German authorities that he should be employed to maintain and renovate civilian infrastructure in the area into which the German officers were moving. To assist with this work, he was authorised to recruit some twenty craftsmen in different trades (e.g. electrical, carpentry, plumbing, draperies, locksmith), who were assigned to locations throughout the city. To be able to supervise his workforce, Silberstein used a bicycle to travel freely, one of the few Jews so permitted. The bicycle was a symbol of his authority.

What the Germans never learned was that his team was acting undercover as a brigade of the Jewish partisans. They gathered information, conducted sabotage, identified traitors and carried out executions, often in cooperation with the Armia Krajowa (Home Army) and Armia Ludowa (People’s Army). They also saved hundreds of Jews, hiding them in bunkers and attics, transporting them out of the ghetto, or into the HASAG labour camp following the liquidation of the ghetto.Silberstein’s group was given the task of bringing furniture from Jewish apartments after the liquidation. In those apartments, they often found Jews in hiding with no way to flee to safety. These survivors were hidden in the wagons carrying the furniture to the Möbellager warehouse, where they found refuge in the attic. Among the Jewish children hidden in that attic were his nephews Jacob Shacharon and Sigmund Rolat.

Częstochowa Mayor Krzysztof Matyjaszczyk and City Council Deputy Chair Łukasz Kot learned Silberstein’s story, when they traveled to New York City in 2022, to accept the United Nations “World Bicycle Day” Award for their initiatives to make Częstochowa “bicycle friendly.” Hearing of the reason for their trip, Sigmund’s son, Geoffrey Rolat, told them about his uncle’s war-time activities and the importance of bicycles in his life. Upon returning to Poland, they considered how to honour his heroism, which was verified by the Centre for Documentation of the History of Częstochowa. In April 2023, Częstochowa City Council Vice-Chair Jolanta Urbańska proposed to name the Rondo, which connects to the World Bicycle Day Bridge over the Warta River, the “Leon Silberstein Rondo”. The proposal was approved.

Częstochowa TSKŻ Commemorates International Holocaust Remembrance Day


January 22, 2024

Source: Text – Izabela Sobańska-Klekowska, Photographs – Asia Sidorowicz

On the afternoon of Sunday 22nd January 2024, the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz extermination camp, the Częstochowa branch of the TSKŻ began its commemoration at the Częstochowa Holocaust memorial monument on Samuel Willenberg Square.

In the laying of flowers and lighting of candles, members of the Częstochowa TSKŻ were joined by Dr. Jolanta Urbańska, Deputy Chair of the Częstochowa City Council, Katarzyna Ozimek, Director of the Częstochowa Municipal Museum, Elżbieta Ferenc, President of the “Adullam” Foundation, Dr. Juliusz Sętowski, History of Częstochowa Documentation Centre, friends from the ‘‘Stare Miasto Nowe Życie” organisation, family members of the Righteous Among the Nations, students form the Gen. Władysław Anders High School and residents of Częstochowa.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, all gathered together holding “WE REMEMBER” signs.

The ceremony at the monument was followed by a lecture, at the Częstochowa TSKŻ rooms, by Wiesław Paszkowski of the History of Częstochowa Documentation Centre. His lecture was entitled “The Face of the Holocaust in Częstochowa”.

The lecture focused on the resistance movement in the Częstochowa ghetto, as well as on the living conditions and the fight for survival. The subject was of particular interest to the youth who attended the event.

Concluding the evening, there was a minute’s silence in memory of those who perished, followed by a group photograph to mark the event.

Częstochowa Jews in Israel Hold Annual Memorial Evening


December 19, 2023

Source: Alon Goldman

The Association of Częstochowa Jews in Israel held its annual Memorial Evening on Tuesday 19th December 2023 at Levinsky College in Tel Aviv. The event marked the 81st anniversary of the liquidation of the Częstochowa Ghetto and was held despite the ongoing threat to Israel within its borders.

Following the recitation of Kaddish by Tzvika Welgreen, a member of the second generation, Alon Goldman, Chairman of the Association of Częstochowa Jews in Israel, reviewed the activities being carried out in Częstochowa and around the world to preserve the Częstochowa’s Jewish heritage. He also outlined the challenges we face regarding the preservation and restoration of the city’s Jewish cemetery.

To view the slideshow of Alon Goldman’s presentation, click HERE.

Modi Givon, presenting a talk on the subject, “Why a Hebrew Song”, spoke of the place and importance of a song whose content reflected events of the time in the experiences of a nation – in times of joy, as well as in times of pain – in contrast to those songs about events and emotion which are just fleeting.

Concluding the evening, Cedric Olivestone told the amazing story of his relative, Rabbi Benzion Oliwenstein, a Częstochowa dayan – “Bringing Uncle Ben from Częstochowa to Jerusalem”.

To read more about the story, click HERE.

To view the video of the story, click HERE.

Częstochowa TSKŻ Celebrates Chanukkah


December 13, 2023

Source: TSKŻ Częstochowa

As every year, Częstochowa’s Jewish community, as well as the city’s supporters of Jewish culture, took part in a celebration of Chanukkah – the Festival of Lights.

The festival commemorates the recovery of Jerusalem and the subsequent re-dedication of the Second Temple at the beginning of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire in the 2nd century BCE.

The candle-lighting ceremony, a concert and refreshments were organised, in its social rooms, by the Częstochowa branch of the Social and Cultural Association of Jews in Poland (TSKŻ).

The beautiful venue for the event, the TSKŻ social rooms, is in the same building as the Jewish Museum of Częstochowa, located ul Katedralna 8, in the Częstochowa Old Town.

Częstochowa Commemorates Beginning of Ghetto Liquidation


September 22, 2023

Source: Text – Alon Goldman, Photographs – Krzysztof Straus and Malgorzata Kaim

A large crowd attended the ceremony, commemorating the 81st anniversary of the liquidation of the Częstochowa Jewish Ghetto, held in front of the Jewish memorial monument on Samuel Willenberg Square.

This is the place from where trains departed, transporting 40,000 Jews from Częstochowa to their deaths in Treblinka extermination camp.

The Częstochowa City Council was represented by Deputy Mayor, Dr. Ryszard Stefaniak, the Deputy Chairman of the City Council (pic below, right) and the Mayor’s Advisor for Jewish Community Affairs, Dr. Jolanta Urbanska.

The ceremony was organised and moderated by the Chair of the Częstochowa branch of the TSKŻ (Jewish Social-Cultural Association), Izabela Sobańska-Klekowska (pic below, left).

The ceremony also attended by representatives from several Częstochowa schools and of the Straż Miejska (Municipal Guard). Students from the Częstochowa Juliusz Słowacki Liceum Ogólnokształcące performed musical items.

At the conclusion of the formal proceedings, wreaths were laid at the foot of the monument.

Click above link to view how Częstochowa’s Orion TV covered the event.

Częstochowa Students Commemorate the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising


September 20, 2023

Source: Alon Goldman

For many years, students of Juliusz Słowacki Liceum Ogólnokształcące in Częstochowa, under the leadership of Director Malgorzata Kaim, have been involved in activities aimed at preserving the Jewish heritage of Częstochowa.

On 20th September 2023, a two-part event was held to mark the conclusion of the “Miła 18” Project conducted by the school’s students.

The “Mila 18” Project was organised by the Warsaw Ghetto Museum, the Warsaw branch of the TSKŻ (Jewish Social and Cultural Association), Warsaw Branch), together with the Częstochowa Museum.


The concluding event was in two parts – the first  taking place at the Słowacki Liceum, while the second part was held at the Częstochowa Jewish Museum.

According to school Director Malgorzata Kaim:

“Thanks to participating in the project, regarding the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the school’s students were able to touch history which is still alive, take part in archaeological workshops and see, for themselves, objects which were discovered that testify to the daily life and culture of the local Jewish population.

Workshops within the “Miła 18 Project” allowed the younger generation to look at things from a different perspective because, in order to really understand history, you have to feel it.  Ordinary objects such as a makeup box, a tin can or a metal plate, remind us that the Ghetto residents fought to: Save Humanity, Save Memory, Save lives.

The first part of the event took place at the
Juliusz Słowacki Liceum Ogólnokształcące in Częstochowa

Teachers and students presented the assembled guests with a verbal and musical presentation entitled “To Save”.

During the ceremony, important issues were emphasised regarding the need to remember the history of Polish Jews during the Holocaust and the need to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust.

The poetic and musical montage, which was prepared and presented, was not only a summary of the project itself, but it was mainly a form of tribute to the victims of the Holocaust.

To watch a video of the event, click HERE.

The event was attended by the head of the Częstochowa Municipal Education Department, Rafał Piotrowski.

Pictured right, (L-R):

  • Chair of the Częstochowa branch of the TSKŻ, Izabela Sobańska-Klekowska,
  • Częstochowa City Council Deputy Chair and advisor to the Mayor on Jewish community affairs, Jolanta Urbańska,
  • Director of the Juliusz Słowacki Liceum Ogólnokształcące, Malgorzata Kaim and
  • Barbara Jastrzębska-Mucha, daughter of “Righteous among the Nations”, the late Bogdan Jastrzębski, who saved his Jewish girlfriend’s life during the war.


On 11th October 2023, the students of Juliusz Słowacki Liceum Ogólnokształcące in Częstochowa will meet with the students of the Ironi Heh Yitzchak Navon High School from Modi’in, Israel, who will arrive at the Polish high school as part of their journey to Poland.  The relationship between the schools now goes back several years. During the COVID pandemic, student meetings continued to be held via ZOOM.