Ukraine -- New Resource for Jewish Heritage

 Synagogue, Bolekhiv, Ukraine, 2006. Photo (c) Ruth Ellen Gruber

By Ruth Ellen Gruber

I want to highlight a rich and exciting new web resource for Jewish heritage in Ukraine that I learned about at the seminar in Vilnius this week on preserving and promoting Jewish heritage in Lithuania.

This is the Jewish History in Galicia and Bukovina site, which compiles extensive databases, photo galleries, articles and other material gleaned on expeditions carried out by the Center For Jewish Art at Hebrew University. (One of the scholars involved with the site, Dr. Vladimir Levin, also took part in the Vilnius seminar.)
The project Jewish History in Galicia and Bukovina is designed to preserve the once vivid world of Galician and Bukovinian Jewry. Our goal is to save historical documents and vestiges of Jewish material culture in Galicia and Bukovina before these historical records and objects disappear. We intend to make them available to the wider public as well as to the growing community of researchers worldwide through this website.

The project begins with the region of southern Galicia, which was known as the Stanislawów Voivodship (województwo stanisławowskie) in interwar Poland and is known as the Ivano-Frankivsk Region (Ivano-Frankivs'ka oblast') in today's Ukraine. In this region, primary attention is paid to four communities around Ivano-Frankivsk (Stanislawów): Bohorodczany (Brotchin, Bohorodchany), Lysiec (Lysets', Łysiec), Nadworna (Nadvirna, Nadwórna) and Solotwin (Solotvyn, Sołotwina).

The core of the project Jewish History in Galicia and Bukovina is an electronic database of primary materials pertaining to Galician and Bukovinian Jewry. Ultimately, the database will include: archival documents, newspapers articles, oral history testimonies, and documentation of Jewish cemeteries and communal buildings. The database also includes information regarding Jewish communities, Jewish communal organizations and the lives of individual Jews in the region. The project's website also includes part of the archival catalogue of the Central Archives for the History of Jewish People in Jerusalem (CAHJP).

The project Jewish History in Galicia and Bukovina was initiated by a generous donation from a private foundation that wishes to remain anonymous. The project is conducted under the auspices of the Leonid Nevzlin Research Center for Russian and East European Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in cooperation with The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People in Jerusalem. Other organizations, such as the Sefer Center in Moscow and the Center for Jewish Art in Jerusalem also take part in the project.
.The site includes search options, interactive databases and other aides. It looks great!