The 2023 Częstochowa Jewish Cemetery Clean-Up is Done!

June 17, 2023
Words: Alon Goldman, The Matzevah Foundation Photos: 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.

At this year’s work’s end, Alon Goldman said:

One of the main factors of success is due to Piotr Sadowski,who joined us for the week with his chainsaw. Throughout the week, without any problems, he very successfully dealt with the cutting of the trunks which, for many years, had fallen onto the ground, fallen onto gravestones. The broken branches and the bushes had blocked the a pathway and access to the area and the tombstones within it. Thank you Piotr!

The work is not finished and now, when I get home, thanks to the photos taken by Asia Sidorowicz, I will begin checking which of the uncovered tombstones appear on the map and what needs to be updated.

To all the students and teachers of Częstochowa high schools, who came and participated in the cleaning work of the cemetery – a huge thank you!

To my dear friends, from The Matzevah Fundation and its Chairman Pastor Dr. Steven D. Reece and the volunteer Romero sisters and Paweł Kulig of the “Guardians of Remembrance” – thank you friends!

Thank you also to:

    • our friends from the Fundacja Chrześcijańska Adullam from Czestochowa, Director Elżbieta Ferenc, Robert Kamela and the volunteers for the logistical assistance and the daily work.
    • our friends, Krzysztof Straus, who is always ready to help with any task, to attorney
    • Paweł Andrecki, who organized a work group and came with his friends to help with the work
    • Rafał Piotrowski, Director of the Częstochowa Municipal Education Department in the city of Czestochowa, for his cooperation and turning the cleaning work of the cemeteries into an educational project to the students of Częstochowa schools
    • Iwona Brzeżowska, the Principal of the General Anders High School for recruiting the schools and arranging their daily wor
    • Rabbi Seth Linfield and students of the Dartmouth University Hillel for joining us for several days of work.
    • The Mayor of Częstochowa, Krzysztof Matyjaszczyk for his cooperation,
    • Andrzej Szczerba, Environmental Department Director, for his help in the restoration of the tombstones of the mass graves of the murdered Jewish intelligentsia and for his assistance in the cemetery cleaning work
    • Robert Jasiak, Culture and Sports Department Director, for organising the ceremony for the unveiling of the three tombstones of the mass graves of the murdered Jewish intelligentsia.
    • Izabela Sobańska-Klekowska, Chairman of the Częstochowa branch of the TSKŻ, and
    • Councillor Jolanta Urbanska, Advisor to the Mayor of Częstochowa on Jewish Community Affairs and Deputy Chairman of the Częstochowa City Council.

For 2023, the work is done – Kol Ha’Kavod to you all!

If you would like to donate to help support the future work of cleaning the Częstochowa Jewish cemetery, details appear at the bottom of this page.

DAY 1: Monday, 12th June 2023

The 2023 major clean-up of the Częstochowa Jewish Cemetery is underway! This year, volunteers from The Matzevah Foundation and Steven D. Reece and the Fundacja Chrześcijańska Adullam (Adullam Foundation) were joined by students of the Zespół Szkół Ekonomicznych (Economics High School).

The sides of the main pathway trail were quickly filled with fallen tree trunks which had been cut into pieces to enable removal from the cemetery. In some cases, the removal of branches and bushes revealed hid graves. In some places, for the first time, it was possible to see the cemetery fence from the pathway.

During the works, several unfamiliar graves – some hidden in dirt and some having fallen face-down. Very carefully, these were uncovered.

DAY 2: Tuesday, 13th June 2020

This morning, students from the Częstochowa Technical High School (Zespół Szkół Technicznych) joined in the work. Today, much of the work was concentrated in the area to the left of the cemetery entrance.

The challenge was to clear the wall of the bushes which covered gravestones and prevented free passage between the graves and the wall. From the morning, Piotr Sadowski resolutely wielded his saw, pruning the tangled wild bushes and the fallen tree trunks which blocked the passage

Volunteers from the Adulam Foundation, The Matzevah Foundation and the high school students dragged the branches and tree trunks, creating piles to be cleared or shredded.

In the afternoon, World Society friends Paweł Andrecki, Krzysztof Straus and other good people from Częstochowa joined in the work and helped with two more chain saws. The melody of the saws successfully dealing with the wild vegetation was music to the ears. The two new wheelbarrows, which were purchased yesterday, were put to work at top speed and were used in moving the tree trunks to the pathway in order to be removed.

During the day, we were visited by the head of the Municipal Education Department, Rafał Piotrowski, who came to ensure that everything was fine and that his students were doing their job to the best of their ability – and indeed they were!

Tomorrow, around twenty-five students from Dartmouth University Hillel will join in the work. This evening, they were told a little of the history of the Częstochowa Jews and what work will await them  on the morrow

DAY 3: Wednesday, 14th June 2023

The clean-up work in the Częstochowa Jewish Cemetery continued with volunteers from the Adulam Foundation, The Matzevah Foundation and students from the General Sikorski Technical Science High School.

Also, joining in today’s work were around thirty students of the Dartmouth University Hillel from the United States.

The students and volunteers continued to clear the area of tree trunks, branches and bushes, which then uncovered more and more areas which had been inaccessible for years. The wood chipping machine began its work today and, gradually, the piles of branches were turned into mulch. Piotr continued, admirably, working with his saw to cut  back bushes and expose matzevot, which had been hidden for nearly eighty years.

One such matzevah was that of Chana bat Szalom Neuman, who died on 6th November 1848 and, today, her tombstone was uncovered, for the first time, from under the dirt and grime. The area will continue to be examined in an attempt to identify more hidden tombstones.

DAY 4: Thursday, 15th June 2023

Today, we farewelled our friend Pastor Steven D. Reece and the volunteers of The Matzevah Foundation and welcomed another friend, Paweł Kulig from the Guardians of Remembrance of Łódź.

Pawel, an expert in cleaning Jewish cemeteries, is routinely involved in cleaning the large Łódż Jewish Cemetery and came to help us in our work.

Robert Kamela and the volunteers of the Fundacja Chrześcijańska Adullam of Częstochowa and the students from Dartmouth University Hillel from the USA are finishing their work with us today. However, also today, we were joined by students of the Zespół Szkół Przemysłu Mody i Reklamy im. W.S. Reymonta (W.S.Raymont School of Fashion and Advertising).

Following yesterday’s rain, the sun smiled on our work. More and more area is being exposed and the bushes which, for many years, covered gravestones, are piled up where the shredding machine turns them into mulch.

More and more gravestones are being uncovered, photographed. At a later time, they will be checked to see if they are in our records.

DAY 5: Friday, 16th June 2023

Today was the end of five days of intensive work.

Paweł Kulig and our friends from the Fundacja Chrześcijańska Adullam of Częstochowa were joined by photo technology students of  the Zespół Szkoła im. Bolesława Prusa in Częstochowa (Bolesław Prus High School).

The high “Bush Wall”, that prevented access to the area and hid many tombstones, is disappearing through the consistent and systematic work.

The students continued removing the bushes and branches, which were then piled near where the branch shredding machine operated, cutting the bushes and branches into mulch.

Gradually, more and more matzevot (tombstones) from the mid-19th century are being revealed.


Donations in Israel (in Shekels only):
By cheque – payable to “Association of Częstochowa District Jews in Israel”, which should be sent to the Association address: Kashani Eliezer 3A Box 6 Tel Aviv 6949904.

By bank transfer to the Association’s account: Account No. 276795 in the name “Association of Częstochowa District Jews in Israel”, Bank Hapoalim 12 – Ramat Aviv branch 568, 33 Achimeir Street, Tel Aviv 6949218.

Donations in the USA – New channel with 501C3
Can be done by sending a Check only payable to  Lev Zahav NEP and get a 501C3 tax certificate according to the following details:
Lev Zahav NFP, 7321 Ridgeway Ave, Skokie, IL 60076
To co-ordinate and for more information, you can contact: Jeff Cohen (Descendant of a family from Czestochowa):
Email: Tel.  +1-773-458-3938