As a result of the concerted efforts of Gita Inbar, Rachel
Karni, Yehuda Lerner, Shimshon Bahat, Benyamin Hofshi, and Mickey Amsel
(all of them Israeli descendents of Shumsk), Shumsk resident Albert
Shafir, and people who offered financial
support for the project, a permanent fence was erected in December 2007
around the Jewish cemetery in Shumsk. The Jewish cemetery was
once at quite a
distance from the
of town. However, the newer part of Shumsk, which is now its
busiest part, has grown up quite close to the cemetery. The cemetery
is surrounded by industrial and residential development, and many
graves succumbed to this development a number of years ago. The
fence surrounding the cemetery will help prevent
further destruction. For information on the project, click
here. Here are recent images.
The images below are of how the Jewish cemetery in
I visited in 1999. Most of the
headstones are no longer present, and about a third of the graves are
covered over by thicket and trees.
the greenery lie many more graves. The horizontal stones do often
have information identifying the buried, although degradation over
time has made many illegible. Ironically, the trees and overgrowth
have actually offered protection to some of the stones from the
This is the best preserved section of the cemetery, with most of the headstones standing.
This is a more typical section, with
of the headstones
Above are examples of well-preserved tombstones (photographs by
This was a
heartwarming find: the tomb
sister Reyzel, grandmother to Lee White and Shirley Levy of the
United States, and to Shoshana Reisin of Israel. It reads that Reyzel
bat Shmuel Dov died on Lag B'Omer 5695, which was May 18, 1935.