A UK-based charity dedicated to revitalising Jewish communities and preserving their heritage has launched a campaign for a memorial to Holocaust victims from Belarus.
The Together Plan (TTP) is championing fundraising efforts to rediscover, preserve and commemorate more than 1200 remnants of headstones that once stood in the now destroyed Jewish cemetery in Brest, also known as Brest-Litovsk (Belarus).
For the past two decades, the Jewish community in Brest has tirelessly gathered salvaged headstones that once stood in the cemetery that were found scattered throughout the region. It’s taken two decades to discover them all and bring them together in the form of an historic memorial, designed by American artist Brad J. Goldberg.
Together with their partners in Belarus, TTP has photographed, meticulously documented, and catalogued every salvaged gravestone fragment, with the complete catalogue and accompanying images now accessible on the Foundation for Documentation of Jewish Cemeteries in Poland’s website.
The Together Plan credits Stephen Grynberg, based in Los
Angeles, the founder of the Illuminate Foundation, as the main driver behind the historic project. His own father and grandparents are among the few to have survived the Holocaust in Brest.
In collaboration with their partner organisation in the USA, Jewish Tapestry Project, the Religious Jewish Union of Belarus, Stephen Grynberg and the Illuminate Foundation and the International Charitable Organization Dialog in Belarus, TTP has raised a third of the necessary £265k for project.
They are now appealing to the international community to help them raise the outstanding £178k.
Debra Brunner, CEO, The Together Plan, tells Jewish News: “In the heart of Brest, the Brest-Litovsk Jewish cemetery memorial will stand as more than just a tribute to the past; it will be a beacon of hope, a place of connection, and a testament to the enduring spirit of a brave community with a harrowing story.
“With the reclaimed headstones returning to their rightful place, this memorial will become a sacred ground for quiet reflection and remembrance, rekindling the ties between the isolated Jewish community and the global diaspora.
“It will be a tangible link to a lost cemetery, enabling Jews worldwide to reconnect with their roots, while serving as an educational source, preserving the rich history of the Jews of Brest-Litovsk. Above all, it will empower the living Jewish community, instilling pride and ownership in a precious piece of heritage that must be safeguarded for generations to come and we are appealing to the world to help us reach our fundraising target so that we can begin construction in the Spring.”
Building works are scheduled to begin in 2024; to contribute to the fundraising campaign, click here.
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