The following is a copy of a message I sent to the Cz. - List on May 31.
Since then, I have been busy traveling and when at home, taking care of my
grandchildren, but I received no replies to this letter and therefore am
sending it again. Sorry that many of you will get it in duplicate, but I am
sending it to both lists, in case some of you subscribe to just one of them.
> Dear Czernowitzers,
> My previous letter about the clean-up of the Jewish cemetery of Chernivtsi was
> relatively vague about what I would like to see accomplished. In the present
> letter I hope to outline a practical plan and a detailed list of what I think
> needs to be done.
> Known facts about the cemetery:
> 1. The size of the cemetery is approximately 70,000 square meters.
> 2. There exists a cemetery administration, any work done in the cemetery
> requires the consent of this administration.
> 3. The cemetery is totally neglected, no one takes care of the paths,
> the fence or does anything to control the rampant vegetation.
> 4. The prayer house at the entrance to the cemetery is in ruins.
> Aim of proposed cleanup and restoration:
> 1. The removal of weeds and small bushes from the grounds of the cemetery.
> It is questionable whether the removal of trees is advisable, because as
> the roots decay, the ground may sink and with it the graves in the
> 2. The paving or placement of gravel on the cemetery paths.
> 3. Establishing a plan and fund for the regular maintenance of the cemetery.
> 4. Repairing the fence around the cemetery, or constructing a new one.
> 5. Repairing or rebuilding the Prayer house.
> The first 3 points are all linked together, no point in removing the
> vegetation if it is allowed to grow back.
> Repairing the fence and repairing or rebuilding the prayer house, are not tied
> or dependant on the clean-up of the cemetery. Repairing or rebuilding the
> fence and prayer house will also be far more expensive than a one time cleanup
> of the cemetery.
> I propose that for the time being, we only clean the cemetery of vegetation,
> repave or cover with gravel the paths and establish a mechanism for the
> maintenance of the cemetery.
> We need Information about:
> 1. The legal status of the cemetery.
> 2. Herbicides approved for use in the US and Europe, the legality of using
> them in the Ukraine.
> 3. Generally approved mechanisms of cemetery maintenance and preservation.
> 4. How to establish a fund and society for the clean-up and preservation
> of the cemetery. Whether it is advisable to establish a tax exempt fund.
> 5. Proper, prudent and legal means of managing the fund.
> 6. Existing organizations which may provide us with expertise and or money.
> Anyone who has knowledge of any of the needed information, or is willing to do
> the needed research, please get involved and volunteer to supply us with the
> needed information.
> I am in contact with members of the Jewish community of Chernivtsi and hope
> that they will provide the rest of us with the information on point 1.
> I realize that many of you will ask whether we have a chance of accomplishing
> anything, before you decide to take on the work of researching a given topic.
> I am most certainly not an expert on any of the topics involved, but I reason
> as follows:
> The size of the cemetery is about 70,000 square meters. My guess is that the
> cost of manual unskilled labor in Chernivtsi is about $3 per hour. I do not
> know the cost of herbicides and paving materials. On the assumption that one
> man can clean 10 square meters in one hour (this does not include the removal
> of trees, which may be inadvisable anyhow) a one time removal of bushes and
> weeds should require 7,000 work hours. At $3 per hour this comes to $21,000.
> Hauling away the bushes, paving the paths and a one time spraying with
> herbicides should not cost more than $25.000 I therefore calculate, that the
> one time cost of cleaning up the cemetery should be about $46,000.
> Add to that $2,000 for administrative costs and the total is $48,000
> I believe we could raise this sum, but to begin with, I would like to raise a
> much smaller sum. If my estimates are not wildly inaccurate,
> $4000 should be enough to clear all vegetation from an area of 75x75 meters,
> or 5625 square meter, which is about 12.5% or 1/8 of the total area.
> This would also provide a test as to how well the company chosen to do the
> work was doing it. Once we have cleaned one area, we can clean another and
> eventually the whole cemetery.
> Please, all interested, write to the Cz.-List with proposals, opinions and
> suggestions, if at all possible offer to research one topic thoroughly. This
> is a big undertaking and we shall need many people to work on it.
> Best regards,