While the world is facing challenging time the Jewish Heritage Moldova is continuing its memory-saving and extremely time-sensitive job. Recently in the frames of a field research implemented in collaboration with ESJF European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative and supported by the European Union we have discovered gravestones’ fragments from the demolished Jewish cemetery in the middle of the rural Moldova, in Onițcani village. The following research developed as a Hollywood movie.

The matzevot are dated back to 1730s, the fact that places Onițcani Jewish cemetery among the oldest in Moldova. Onițcani is unjustly forgotten in the Jewish context while we discovered that the Jewish community here existed at least since early 18th century. For centuries the Onițcani Jewish community was a tiny one (according the official censes: about 70 people in 1897, 28 in 1930), but has a great historical value. In 1726 a bloody libel took place: four Jews from Onițcani were accused for kidnapping and murdering a Christian kid – and were justified with an international interference of the European countries, 200 years before Dreifus and Beilis! In 1729 a marketplace in Onițcani is mentioned – the oldest Jewish marketplace known in Moldova. During WW2 it found itself on the crossroads of the most tragic events: Onițcani became a killing place for the Jews from the village and surroundings, and at the same time, a final resting place for many German soldiers, killed here; so, two neighboring massgraves: Jewish and German – are creating of Onițcani a symbol of a historical mutual forgiveness.

We strongly believe that preserving the priceless Jewish heritage and memorizing the Jewish history of Onițcani could serve a great job not only for the local history. It would turn Onițcani into attractive touristic site and create a good example for the locals and local authorities all over Moldova. The project will have media coverage, the first steps are already filmed by the Europa Libera (Free Europe). As a start we have moved the fragments from the backyard to the center of the village, finished all negotiations with the local authorities and created an architectural project. We are looking for external support to finish the project. With your help we can preserve for the future generations the priceless Jewish heritage.

Support the Onițcani open-air Jewish Museum!

A finding in Chișinău

I never use in vain loud words like “sensational” or “miracle”. But the finding of our archeologists (thank you, dr Ion Tentiuc, dr Sergiu Musteata for your job and for letting us know!) in the very core of the historical Chișinău is sensational and a Rosh ha-Shana miracle.

A matzeva was discovered built in the basement. Fortunately very well kept, with clear text, dated back to Iyar 5534 – April 1774. Meaning this is the oldest matzeva discovered in Chișinău (the oldest so far are dated back to 1903, Pogrom victims).

An exhibition in Horodok opens tomorrow

Our friends and colleagues from Horodok (Khmelnitsk, Ukraine) tomorrow, ahead of Rosh ha-Shana, open a great exhibition in the local museum (G-Museum), in the modern building recently built thanks to the Horodok’s native professor Humeniuk.

The exhibition consists of few dozens images based on the matzevot carvings from Sataniv (Khmelnitsk, Ukraine) dated back to the 18th and early 19th centuries.

The author of the project, local historian and journalist Dmytro Polyukhovich, developed his own know-how. The silhouettes of carvings are cut out digitally from the background, and, after some processing, the result is amazing: not just a self-sufficient peace of art, but a great artifact for researching the Jewish art. The experts from the G-Museum will explain to the visitors each image: who was buried under the particular headstone, what does the decor mean, etc.

Kol ha-kavod, Dmytro, a great job done! Looking forward for the possibility to visit the exhibition in person!

Live from Onițcani!

Right now we are assembling supports for the open air Jewish museum in Onițcani. Stay tuned, keep fingers crossed!

UPDATE: Shabbat is round the corner, and WE’VE FINISHED!

G’mar Chatimah Tovah.

Avinu Malkeinu is the most heart-melting Jewish prayer. Iom Kippur is coming. Be blessed all people and all peoples around the world.

Our Father, our King,
Bring an end to pestilence, war and famine around us.
Our Father, our King, bring an end to all troubles
Fill our house with your blessing.

Our Father, our King,
Inscribe us in the book of good life.
Our Father, our King, renew upon us,
Renew upon us in good year.
Hear our voice,
Hear our voice,
Hear our voice...

The left bank of the Dniester known as Pridnestrovie or Transnistria with all its Jewish heritage is in total lock-down till at least December 2020. But we are following the news from our friends there. The Jewish Community of Rîbnița cleaned up a priceless gem of Moldova, the ruins of ancient Rashkov synagogue.