Wednesday, November 21, 2007


I have created this blog to record in detail the activities of The Friends of Jewish Dokshitsy, Inc. I created the Friends to help save the remains of the Jewish cemetery in the town in Belarus where my father was born. Just yesterday the town of Dokshitsy signed off (in a phone call with Franklin Swartz on the dedication day of May 23, 2008, which is Lag B'Omer(the 33rd day of the month of Omer in the Jewish calender. The date was proposed by my daughter Rebecca on Saturday when I was discussing the cemetery and the site of the Shoah directly across the street. I happened to mention that most of the Jewish residents were herded to their deaths on Lag B'Omer, 1942, and should pointed out that this was when the dedication should occur. I realized immediately that this was the best possible date, and was superior to my initial proposal of Yom Hashoah. I sent a message to Eitan Kremer, a leader in the group of Dokshitzers and their descendants in Israel, who concurred and who may bring a group to the dedication. By chance I got a message from my cousin Mark Izeman yesterday. Mark is an attorney currently residing in Moscow. Mark intends to be at the dedication.

On November 2nd, at my request, Franklin Swartz, an American residing in Minsk, met with the officials in Dokshitsy, including the chairman (mayor). To my surprise and delight the town had started to restore the cemetery by erecting the extant tombstones, of which there are at least 150. Frank informed me that the work was carefully done, and sent pictures that confirmed this. He was assured that the entire cemetery, most of which is a vacant lot, would be preserved, because, after all, it is a cemetery. Help was sought to build a fence around the entire property. Frank and I also discussed a memorial stone in the cemetery, landscaping, and a corrective plaque or monument at the site of the Shoah, where the current monument makes no reference to the fact that most of the Jews of Dokshitsy were murdered there.

Since November 2nd I have been in a tizzy, since this is the culmination of almost two years of effort. There is much planning to be done. Fund raising needs to resume in earnest.

In future posts I will review how I became involved in this project, the history of the project, and going forward will try to regularly share developments and ideas. Your input is always welcome.

1 comment:

Barnett Kamen said...

I am searching for information on my great grandparents from Dokshitsy. Their names were David and Byna Kamenkovitz. If you have any information, please contact me at Thank you.