February 10, 2011: Cemetery is secured. Prepping for July Groundbreaking

Dear Friends:

This is an update on the Nowy Dwor Mazowiecki Jewish cemetery project and upcoming events.
The first phase of the project has been completed with the installation of the fence and gates. We are grateful to Rabbi Schudrich and his Board for donating 30,000 PLN (~$10,000), and to all of you who contributed and made this dream come true.

Through the initiative of the City of Nowy Dwor, Mr. Grzegorz Grzybowski of the Zaklad Robot Inzyniery Jnych construction company, and Michal Nawrot, over 100 matzevot were excavated from under the walkways of Nowy Dwor. Although some of the matzevot are broken and hard to identify, many are in excellent condition and quite legible. You can find color photos of the matzevot in the Photo Gallery and on our Facebook page.

We have begun a new fundraising campaign to raise the capital needed to build a memorial to display the recovered matzevot. Fundraising is ongoing in Israel and the United States, and we have approached Jewish organizations and individuals. Special thanks go to Pnina Yogev and Tamara Tzach in Israel, and to David Wluka in the US for their efforts to raise additional funds. The basic design of the memorial can be seen on our website. Overall, we have received very positive feedback from many of you.

Our goal is to complete the memorial in time for the July 14, 2011 dedication ceremony in Nowy Dwor. Preparations are underway for the ceremony and other events:

1. July 14 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. – The dedication ceremony on the grounds of the Nowy Dwor Jewish cemetery, followed by a kosher lunch for all participants. The final program for this event is still in the planning stages, and will be finalized in late April. The Rabbi of Poland, Rabbi Schudrich, and the Ambassador of Israel to Poland, the Honorary Mr. Zvi Rav-ner, have been invited to be keynote speakers at the ceremony; Rabbi Schudrich has already accepted our invitation.

2. July 13 at 7:00 p.m. – An evening of Jewish culture with special emphasis on Jewish culture in Poland before the war. So far, we have plans to bring a klezmer band and a production by the local high school and other artists. We also are planning a kosher buffet dinner. The final program will be completed in the next couple of months.

3. July 13 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. – An organized tour of the pre-war Jewish Nowy Dwor sites and locations, the Modlin fortress, and other sites around Nowy Dwor where many of Nowy Dwor Jews perished.

As of this writing, we have confirmation from about 50 people who plan to attend the Nowy Dwor events. A group from an Israeli youth movement may also participate. Please let us know as soon as possible if you plan to attend any of these events, so that we can plan appropriate space and seating. We encourage you to join us! We have reserved a block of 50 rooms at a recently built local hotel. The hotel has given us a discounted rate, so the rooms will go quickly. Please send me an email if you are interested in reserving one of these rooms.

In connection with the Nowy Dwor events, a number of additional tours to Auschwitz, Warsaw, Krakow, and other Polish cities and locations are being planned.

Pnina Yogev in Israel is organizing an 11-day tour which starts with the Nowy Dwor events and then goes on to Krakow, Lublin, and Warsaw, and includes general sightseeing. This is shaping up to be a wonderful tour. To get more information from Pnina about this tour, you may contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

David Wluka and his family are planning a tour of Auschwitz and Krakow on July 11 and 12, and the Kieliszek/Shaked/Tzach families and few US friends plan to visit Warsaw, Krakow, and Auschwitz after the Nowy Dwor events. If anyone would like to join either the Wlukas or Kieliszek/Shaked/Tzach families, please let us know. We would be delighted to have you as part of our planned trips.

We are happy to inform you that we have acquired excellent images of the Nowy Dwor Jewish marriage, death, and birth certificates. I have been slowly going through them to try to find certificates of family names, as some of you have requested. As you already know, many of them are in Russian, and it is quite an undertaking. It is a huge database, which we have on DVDs, thankfully. We hope to collaborate with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC to make these certificates formal documents of the Museum once they are translated into English from Polish and Russian. We hope that the Museum will be able to convert them to a searchable database to which we can link from our website.

I plan to visit Nowy Dwor in mid April to finalize the July 13-14 plans and to initiate the construction of the memorial. We ask each one of you to assist us in the current memorial fundraising efforts. If you have not yet made a donation, please consider doing so at this time. We do appreciate your efforts to raise awareness, and hopefully, participation, among your friends or people in your community.

We have also launched an initiative called “Sponsor a Matzeva.” Donors of $500 or more will be acknowledged on a plaque which will be displayed at the memorial. More details are provided on our website.

We are confident that with your dedication and efforts, the dream of having a lasting memorial to our families and the heritage of Nowy Dwor’s Jewish community will become a reality.

On behalf of the Organizing Committee,

Ze’ev Shaked