Thursday, December 18, 2008

A plea to Przemysl readers - Please Help

Once a year, and no more, this blog asks it's readers to help out. Not with the blog, and not for me, but for what's left of Jewish Przemysl.

Over the past decade, The Remembrance & Reconciliation Foundation (R&R), led by Dr John Hartman, has taken the lead in the restoration and maintenance of the Slowackiego Street Cemetery in Przemysl. Anyone who has been to the site ten years ago and recently can testify as to the progress - and the amount of work that remains.

We wage a constant battle against the elements in the form of yearly maintenance and repair. In general, the winters in Przemysl are harsh and combined with the hilly topography of the site, there is constant and serious erosion in many places. In addition, there was a windstorm recently that downed several trees, requiring an unplanned, emergency clean-up.

We are lucky to employ one of the very few Jews left in the town, Mr. Jocaim Glettner, a mason by trade, as the general contractor/overseer. Paying him, and just keeping up with maintenance usually costs $5,000/year – but over $8,000 this year as the dollar tanked.

To date, about 2/3 of the money raise comes from Dr Hartman and me. We are barely keeping ahead of the weather, and make precious little progress on actual restoration.

Unfunded priorities for this coming year, each with "naming opportunities" for donors, include:

1) Star plaques commemorating mass-murder victims ($100 each)
2) Jewish historical plaques for the cemetery wall ($500 each)
3) construction of a walkway between the two mass-murder monuments ($7,500)
4) clearing of walks and access paths in the older parts of the cemetery ($1,000)

PLEASE consider making a donation of ANY size to the Foundation.

R & R is a tax-exempt, non-profit 501(c)3 organization. Contributions are used only for projects in Poland. We have no staff or office expenses. You can send funds in US dollars to:

The Remembrance & Reconciliation Foundation
Dr. John Hartman
300 S. Hyde Park Ave, Suite 150
Tampa FL, 33606 USA

Email me if you would like to use PayPal or have any questions or comments.

THANKS TO ALL OF YOU AND CHAG HANUKKAH SAMEACH

-- David Semmel

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