This Year’s Częstochowa Jewish Cemetery Clean-Up Begins!

June 9, 2021
Words: Alon Goldman Photos: Asia Garbowicz Sidorowicz, Krzysztof Straus

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. The 2020 Cemetery clean-up was postponed due to COVID-19. However, despite the ongoing impact of the pandemic, the 2021 clean-up of the Częstochowa Jewish Cemetery has begun!

According to Alon Goldman:

Many e-mails crossed the ocean as Pastor Steven D. Reece, from The Matzevah Foundation, and I debated whether we could, in the shadow of the pandemic, organise a week of clean-up work in the Częstochowa Jewish Cemetery, in early June this year, as we had done in 2018 and 2019.

The limitation on international air travel and Poland’s COVID numbers led us to the sad decision that, this year, as last year, we would not be able to implement it and that there would be no clean-up – OR SO WE THOUGHT!

However, the COVID situation in Poland improved and, at the  initiative of Częstochowa City Council Deputy Chair Jolanta Urbanska, Częstochowa TSKŻ Chair Izabela Sobańska-Klekowska and Director of the Christian Adullam Foundation Elżbieta Ferenc, cleaning work began on Wednesday 9th June!

The work day began in the morning, when a team from the Częstochowa Fire Brigade arrived at the Cemetery in order to cut down about fifty trees, some of which had fallen, while others were leaning in such a manner as could endanger Cemetery visitors. The felling was done, following my request for assistance from the municipality, after the effects of the snowstorms in February this year. Częstochowa City Council Chair, Łukasz Kot, assisted in arranging this, following a preliminary visit by Izabela Sobańska-Klekowska and representatives of the Czestochowa City Council’s Environment Department, who carried out pre-marking procedures.

In the afternoon, the parking lot began to fill up and friendly voices were again heard at the entrance to the Częstochowa Jewish Cemetery. Dozens of volunteers began gathering and were joined by students from Słowacki, General Anders, Traugutt and School of Economics High Schools.

One of the volunteers was 83-year-old Dr. Anna Goldman (pic left), whose grandparents are buried in this cemetery. Initially, her entire family was in the ghetto and, when the liquidation of the ghetto began, they managed to escape with the help of friends, a Polish family. Using fake Aryan documents, they moved to the “Aryan side” and, until the end of the Warm they hid in various places.

Thank you to the volunteers who came and performed a great deal of work on the day. However, due to the Cemetery’s poor condition, there is still much to do.

We hope to see you again on the next working day, Sunday, 4th July 2021 between 11:00 – 14:00 and 15:00 – 17:00, when you will be joined by:

Paweł Kulig (pic left) – Chairman of the “Guardians of Remembrance” Association, which works to protect the cultural and historical heritage of the Jews of Lodz (“Straznicy Pamieci”).
Dariusz Popiela (pic right)- Chairman of the “Centrum Foundation” of the Popiela family. Dariusz is a Polish Olympic athlete, European Champion, holder of medals at world championships and a Polish representative at kayaking championships. He heads his Foundation’s “People, Not Numbers” Project. The work of Dariusz and his volunteers include the cleaning of Jewish cemeteries near where they live.

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: