Bolekhov - באָלעכאָוו


August 2009 Mission

To mark the occasion of the completion of the cemetery wall and in recognition of the fact that two of the Survivors from Bolechow (Shlomo and Josef Adler) were available to join the trip to share their experiences, BJHS coordinated a “mission” to Bolechow in August 2009. Some 30 individuals, roughly half from the United States and half from Israel (joined by two from France and one from Germany) shared a memorable and moving journey.

Cemetery Restoration/Preservation

Following its establishment, the BJHS’ first activity was the construction of a wall to enclose the historic Jewish cemetery in Bolechow. BJHS contracted with the Heritage Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Cemeteries to build steel reinforced poured concrete wall of nearly 600 meters long, with 60% of the construction costs coming from BJHS and the remainder from another group. The wall encompasses the historical boundaries of the cemetery, thereby avoiding encroachment from surrounding properties and discouraging use of the cemetery property for other uses (such as soccer playing or animal grazing).

Synagogue Restoration and Museum

Perhaps the most challenging undertaking that BJHS is working on is the restoration of the structure that was the main synagogue in Bolechow and then its conversion to an appropriate current use, most likely a museum. While the events of the Holocaust would not be forgotten or ignored, the idea of the museum is to show the vibrant Jewish life and culture that thrived in the region in the 19th and early 20th centuries (and for many years prior to that). To our knowledge, no such museum exists in the Ukrainian portion of what was Galicia.

Taniava Forest Mass Grave Site Preservation

A marked area in The Taniava Forest is the final resting place for nearly 1000 Jews who were murdered by the Nazis. For many years, it was harder and harder to find as the forest overgrowth obscured the concrete boundaries that had been put in place in the late 1940s. Prior to our arrival last August, the overgrowth was removed making the site clear and clean for our arrival. The challenge now is to preserve the site for others who will visit, enhance the road and pathway leading to the site, and to find an appropriate means of marking the site.