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: