May 20, 2011: The Restoration Begins

Dear Friends,

The cemetery project is progressing nicely. In April, I traveled to Nowy Dwor Mazowiecki and then to Israel. The objectives of the trip were to initiate the second phase of the project (construction of the memorial wall), to finalize plans for the July 13 and 14 dedication events in Nowy Dwor, and to continue and expand the fund-raising campaign.

The construction of the fence and gates is complete and the cemetery is now closed to trespassers with the locked gates. I met with the construction company to finalize the design for the memorial wall. We are getting close. You can see the latest proposal below. The plan is to complete the construction of the memorial in time for July’s events.



With Michal’s Nawrot assistance and support, I met a number of times with the leaders of the City of Nowy Dwor to discuss the status of our project and all the logistics for the July events. The City of Nowy Dwor enthusiastically supports our efforts and is assisting us in a number of ways. The Mayor of Nowy Dwor, Mr. Kowalski and his Vice Mayor, Mr. Gereluk have made a personal commitment to ensure the success of July events. This includes generating the invitations, inviting Polish dignitaries and Ambassadors, sponsoring a bus tour of Nowy Dwor and other sites, and promoting a competition among the local high schools on essays with the theme “Tolerance and Dialog.”

Through David Wluka’s efforts, while I was in Warsaw, I was able to meet with the US Ambassador to Poland, the Honorable Lee Feinstein, and First Secretary (US Embassy) Mr. Craig Conway. Mr. Feinstein has expressed his wholehearted support of our project, and representatives of the American Embassy will participate in the July 14 ceremony.

In Warsaw, I met again with the Rabbi of Poland, Rabbi Schudrich, to discuss our project and July’s events. Rabbi Schudrich will lead the ceremony on July 14, and key leaders of the Jewish community in Poland will attend.

I had a long phone call with the Ambassador of Israel to Poland, the Honorable Zvi Rav-Ner; he is also trying to assist us in a number of ways. The Ambassador and some members of his staff will attend the ceremony on July 14.

During my visit to Warsaw I was invited by Mr. Krzysztof Bielawski to participate in the ceremony to commemorate the 68th anniversary of Ghetto Warsaw uprising. Mr. Bielawski, who works at the Jewish Museum, was one of the recipients of the medal honoring Polish citizens who dedicate their efforts to the improvement of Polish-Jewish relations and to fighting anti-Semitism.
I was also introduced to Mr. Andzej Folwarczny, the President of the “Forum for Dialog Among Nations,” and we discussed the Polish-Jewish relations past and present. Mr. Bielawski and Folwarczny will participate in July’s ceremonies.

We are currently working on finalizing the program for the evening of July 13. The tentative program includes a talk by Abram Shul on the Jewish life in Nowy Dwor before the war, awarding the prizes for the best two high school essays, and surprise appearances to highlight the cultural Jewish life of pre-war Poland.

Through David Wluka’s initiative of “Sponsor a Matzeva” and generous donations from David and his family and other descendents and friends, we have been able to raise the necessary funds to begin the construction of the memorial. Completing the memorial will require significant additional funds. The proposed design can be viewed on the website.

The first Website
Jordana Wluka-Bishop graciously donated her time and website-building expertise to our cause, and patiently endured all my and others’ “advice.” Thank you very much, Jordana, for your commitment and for a great job.

Hotel Reservations: We have made hotel reservation for those of you who requested them, and have reserved a few extra rooms, in case more are needed. The name of the hotel is Top Hotel; it is a brand new hotel in Nowy Dwor. The address is:
Top Hotel
Nowy Dwor Mazowiecki
ul. Paderewskiego 1C
Tel: +48-505-466-533; email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

On behalf of the Organizing Committee,

Thank you and all the best,