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MACEVA'S ACTIVITY REPORT 2012
 

CEMETERIES VISITED AND DOCUMENTED:
  • Maišiagala Jewish Cemetery – 23 stones remain in the cemetery (thanks to Fiodor Avramenko, Aleksandr Avramenko for cleaning tombstones and taking pictures).
  • Utena Jewish Cemetery - about 800 stones remain in the cemetery (thanks to Rūta Puišytė, Donatas Juodelė, Asta Skeirienė, Vida Adiklienė, Violeta Develienė, Kastytis Stankevičius, Kristina Skorochodovaitė, Regina Jockienė, Rosita Lagūnienė, Rima Jackūnienė, Rima Kraulišienė, Lina Slavinskaitė, Ligita Pelikšienė, Rimvydas Čekuolis, Birutė Siaurusaitienė and pupils from Utena Dauniškis Gymnasium for cleaning and taking pictures of tombstones).
  • Eišiškės Jewish Cemetery - no tombstones remain (thanks to Vygantas Baltakis for pictures).
  • Nemenčinė Jewish Cemetery - only few tombstones remain in the cemetery (thanks to Marius Lukoševičius, Rūta Anulytė for taking pictures).
  • Krekenava Jewish Cemetery - 20 tombstones remain in the cemetery (thanks to Julius Paštukas, Marius Lukoševičius, Rūta Anulytė for taking pictures and cleaning tombstones).
  • Molėtai Jewish Cemetery – 125 stones remain in the cemetery (thanks to Roza Bieliauskienė, Ela Pavinskienė, pupils from Vilnius Sholom Aleichem School, Emilija Raibužytė, Sandra Petrukonytė, Marius Lukoševičius, Rūta Anulytė for cleaning and photographing the cemetery).
  • Veiviržėnai Jewish Cemetery – 54 stones remain in the cemetery (thanks to Irena Urbonienė and schoolchildren from Veiviržėnai Gymnasium for taking pictures).
  • Marijampolė Jewish Cemetery – there are 12 stones remaining – cemetery is destroyed (thanks to Povilas Gabralevičius for pictures).
  • Zarasai Jewish Cemetery partially digitized (thanks to Alexander Karnovsky for taking pictures).

OUR DATABASE WAS UPDATED AND NEW FULLY DIGITIZED CEMETERIES WERE ADDED:

  • Pabradė Jewish cemetery – 74 pictures added. Thanks to Tajana Liubarova, Irena Alperytė, Julius Bieliauskas, Swetlana Rieber und Guido Glöde. Translation: Lara Lempert, Ralph Salinger.
  • Akmenė – 57 pictures added. Special thanks to the organizers Andrius Almanis, Aureja Novogreckyte and Rita Ringienė and group of young volunteers. Translation: Lara Lempert.
  • Dieveniškės – 132 pictures added. Thanks to Dalius Naginevičius, Aušra Pažėraitė, Agnė Daugėlaitė ir Rūta Anulytė for cleaning and photographing the cemetery. Translation: Lara Lempert.
  • Švėkšna – 21 pictures added. Thanks to Monika Žąsytienė for the initiative. Translation: Lara Lempert.
  • Šilutė – the Jewish cemetery in Šilutė was destroyed. Thanks to Monika Žąsytienė who made 30 sec video and photos.

Translations of Utena, Molėtai, Krekenava and Merkinė Jewish cemeteries are still in progress. We kindly appreciate any help in translating epitaphs.


KAUNAS ŽALIAKALNIS JEWISH CEMETERY

There were some positive changes in 2012 in the Kaunas Zaliakalnis Cemetery.
Alongside the Lithuanian Jewish Community, Maceva takes responsibility and credit for constantly following up on, and requesting answers from the authorities. The Heritage Department of the Ministry of Culture has been very responsive and professional.
We laud and appreciate the involvement and constant interest in this; and other matters by Lithuanian Ambassador to Israel and South Africa, Mr. Darius Degutis.
The Kaunas Cemetery is 80,000 square meters (almost 20 acres). In late spring, workers began to cut overgrown grass, but due to the size of the area, only a small amount was cleared. Work was renewed in August, but remains unsatisfactory. Maceva pressed the issue with the Cultural Heritage Department, who fined the Kaunas Municipality for inadequate work. They then removed overgrowth, without appropriate respect to the sanctity of the cemetery; however, the progress remains significant.
The Cultural Heritage Department of Lithuania added new gravesites to the Register of Cultural Heritage (which means they will receive special attention in preservation). Žaliakalnis cemetery is now State protected and preserved.



Currently, the following sites from Kaunas Žaliakalnis Jewish Cemetery Complex are listed in the Register:
1. The territory of old Jewish cemetery
2. The Holocaust grave
3. Tomb of singer Danielius Dolskis
4. Grave of painter Jacques Missene
5. Four graves of Jews who served in the Independent Lithuanian military in 1919-1921.
It is noteworthy that Lithuania, as a past home for many Jews, accepts Jewish heritage as an integral feature of our common history and heritage. The Kaunas Žaliakalnis old Jewish cemetery is a unique cultural heritage site and evidences Jewish history in Lithuania. Lithuania has a long way to go towards developing societal tolerance, understanding, and respect for other nationalities, religions and minorities.
MACEVA expects further progress in the restoration of Žaliakalnis Jewish cemetery. The primary and most critical need now is for contributions, to continue restoration and to photograph and document every gravestone in the cemetery. Maceva will continue to closely follow the development of the Kaunas Zaliakalnis Jewish cemetery. Please also refer to Maceva plans for 2013.


PRESERVATION OF JEWISH MEMORY 
 
Steponas Adomavicius, a school teacher in Papile, has voluntarily been preserving the Papile Jewish cemetersince 1957. His dedication to preserving Jewish memory in Papile did not go unnoticed. Our Advisory Board member, Grant Gochin, whose ancestry is from Papile; installed a park bench with a plaque in Hebrew, English and Lithuanian stating: “In Honour of Steponas Adomavicius for preserving Jewish memory in Papile”.
 



EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM

 Where volunteer work is performed in Lithuania by schoolchildren, we attempt to provide the schools and their children with an education relative to the Jews that lived in the area, the positive impact Jews had on Lithuania, and the Jewish experience at the hands of their persecutors. This year various schoolchildren from different areas were involved in volunteerism.

Special thanks to our young volunteers from Utena Dauniškis Gymnasium, Akmenė Secondary SchoolAlicijos Rugytės Scouts from Švėkšna, 
Vilnius Sholom Aleichem School and Veiviržėnai Gymnasium pupils.
 
 
Probably the most outstanding example of schoolchildren involvement was the work performed at Utena Jewish cemetery by Violeta Develiene and pupils from Utena    Dauniskis Gymnasium – 30 children in the course of 10 days helped to clean and photograph the old Jewish cemetery. One of Maceva’s co-founders, Sergey Kanovich, gave a short lecture about Maceva activities to pupils prior to the commencement of their work. MACEVA also started a partnership with Abraham Joshua Heschel Day School in California, USA. 8th Grade  choolchildren began to translate tombstones with the help of their Hebrew teachers. MACEVA Advisory Board member, Grant Gochin taught the volunteer schoolchildren a lesson about Litvak History. As we expand our program, we hope to reach out to more Jewish schools and involve more children in learning about our heritage in a hands-on fashion in the Jewish tradition of “Ledor Vador”.
 



FUNDRAISING

During 2012 Maceva raised money from private donations. We are very grateful to LitvakSIG who support our fund-raising efforts in the USA, (allowing tax free donations through their 501(c)(3) status in the USA). We have also submitted a proposal to the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture in an effort to obtain support for our work on cemeteries in the Alytus region. Additional funding applications are expected to be submitted in 2013.

We would like to use this opportunity to spread our call for donations. Maceva is solely reliant on donations. Please note, that donations specific to a particular cemetery are possible. In this regard, we will be glad to provide a full estimate of the budget required, and full financial expense reports of completed work

Events

This spring Maceva is organizing a fundraiser event at Lithuanian Jewish Community with R.Karpis, D. Mazintas, Prof. L. Donskis and Maceva representatives.

Our organization is invited also to a working seminar on the Management of Jewish Built Heritage that will take place in Krakow, Poland on April 23-25. 

Maceva has been invited to the 33rd IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy, in Boston, in August 2013. This is one of the greatest acknowledgments of the importance of our efforts. At this Conference Maceva will be presenting several lectures related to Jewish cemeteries.

Website

We have updated our website adding information about Maceva‘s boards memebers and founders, listing main laws regulating cemetery protection in Lithuania and adding a section on Maceva in the media. To publicize our activities we have also issued our first Newsletters and keep our Facebook Page current with over 950 subscriber.

Staff

We are pleased that in September, Ms. Ruta Anulyte, a MA student in Cultural Heritage Preservation at Vilnius University joined Maceva. Her contribution to our work cannot be understated.

Acknowledgements


Maceva thanks to all volunteers and private donors who helped us in 2012.



WHAT YOU CAN DO

"Maceva" is a volunteer based organization heavily dependent on international support.
 
If you have the funds:
* Please donate to Maceva. You will find links to the options here.
If you have time and are based in Lithuania or plan on visiting:
* Please visit the cemetery nearby. You can always contact us for support!
If you have time and know Hebrew/Yiddish:
* We have thousands of pictures of gravestones that need to be translated!
If you have no time, but have ideas:
* Please share them with us!
If you just have one minute of spare time and Facebook account:
*Please share the link of our web and Facebook page on your wall and invite friends to join us!


PLANS FOR 2013


* Documenting following cemeteries: Zemaiciu Naumestis, Nemaksciai, Pasvalys, Rokiskis, Raguva, Svencioneliai, Anyksciai
* Maceva is planing to seek the cooperation of the Ministry of Education to ensure continuous involvement of young Lithuanians in preserving our common history.
* Maceva will continue to collaborate with local museums via the Ministry of Culture to ensure that sites are included and properly marked.
* Maceva will continue work with the Cultural Heritage Department to include missing cemeteries into the register of “protected” sites.

* Maceva intends on issuing letters to every Municipality where neglected Jewish cemeteries exist, in an effort to engage them in conducting the necessary work to have the grass and overgrowth, as well as garbage removed on a regular basis.
* Maceva will seek financial support for educational purposes from local authorities.
* Maceva in cooperation with “Vytautas The Great University”, along with the students, is planning to digitize the largest remaining Jewish cemetery in Lithuania,  Kaunas Zaliakalnis.



MACEVA's TEAM
 

Aleksandr Avramenko - Founder
info@litvak-cemetery.com
Sergey Kanovich - Founder
s.kanovich@litvak-cemetery.info
Ruta Anulyte - Coordinator
r.anulyte@litvak-cemetery.info


CONTACTS

Litvak Cemetery Catalogue 'MACEVA'
VšĮ Litvakų kapinių katalogas 'MACEVA'
e-mail: 
info@litvak-cemetery.info
Phone:  +37060014396



Allocation of costs of expeditions to Cemeteries (transport, meals for participating students) ~ $3000 USD (including the fence project in Pasvalys Jewish cemetery).

 

 

Implementation of our plans and the scale of our work will largely depend on donations!

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