The Bardejov Jewish Preservation Committee was established to achieve the following goals:
- to restore the Jewish properties of Bardejov, Slovakia
- to build awareness of the cultural and historical significance of Jewish life in Bardejov and Slovakia
- to advance knowledge of Jewish ancestry and heritage
The committee is composed of Bardejov survivors, their descendants and friends, and others interested in commemorating the vanishing Jewish communities of Eastern Europe. We believe that the Jewish communal properties of Bardejov and other Slovakian towns and cities must be restored and preserved in order to prevent the disappearance of our Jewish history from the region and as memorials to the victims of the Holocaust.
Our efforts are part of a larger process—currently underway in Central and Eastern Europe—that includes the restoration and preservation of Jewish communal properties and the restitution of lost Jewish prewar properties.
Our Mission: What we have done
Restoring the Bardejov Jewish Cemetery
Our first major accomplishment has been to restore the Bardejov Jewish cemetery. In 2006, the overgrown grounds were cleared making the cemetery accessible. The tombstones were then photographed in color and all 1228 names cataloged and posted on our web site. Finally, the fallen stones were raised and secured with new concrete foundations. Having been cataloged and numbered the gravesites are now, in addition to being restored and accessible, easily located by visitors. A new fence with decorative Star of David motifs now encloses the entire cemetery.
Information and website
We have become a center of information for people searching for information regarding the Jewish connection to Bardejov. Our growing website serves as a clearinghouse for information about Bardejov's Jewish heritage. The website's central features are its catalogues of the Jewish cemetery which contain names in Hebrew and English, dates, and color photographs of 1228 stones. Information and photographs about Bardejov and Bardejov's Jewish heritage are also available. The website also contains links to further information about European synagogues, Bardejov, and Slovakia's Jewish heritage.
For those wishing to visit Bardejov, we provide information regarding travel, connecting travelers to guides, hotels, drivers, intepreters as well as providers of kosher food.
Our Mission: Future Projects
Restoring the Bardejov Jewish Suburbia
The Jewish Suburbia complex which includes the “Old Synagogue,” beit midrash, and mikvah, once formed the center of Bardejov's Jewish community. The Jewish Suburbia was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2000. Despite its recognized historic value, the complex is in disrepair and being used as a building supply outlet and warehouse. In addition to creating awareness of what is happening to the Jewish suburbia, it is our goal to have the site vacated, restored, and placed under the authority and supervision of responsible conservators. Once restored, the Jewish Suburbia will be made available to visitors as a monument to Jewish life and culture in Bardejov.
Bardejov Memorial Book
In 1988, Rabbi Abraham Grussgott published Bardejov Remembered: A Memorial to the Jewish Community of Bardejov, Czechoslovakia 1734-1945. It is a lovingly produced and invaluable record of the Jewish community in Bardejov. Since 1988, however, the Soviet Union has fallen and numerous archives are now accessible. We plan to gather all of the newly available data regarding the Bardejov Jewish community and publish a detailed follow-up book about the Jewish history of Bardejov.
A Memorial for the Jews of Bardejov
After the Jewish suburbia is vacated,we seek to promote the creation of a memorial with the names of Bardejov Jews who were killed during the Nazi era. Most of these people were denied proper burials and have no gravesites. The memorial will, in a small way, help to insure that those victims do not vanish from memory.
NEW! Click here to access a pdf Working to Preserve 300 Years of Jewish History of our newest tri-fold brochure on the mission and accomplishments of the Bardejov Jewish Preservation Committee.