matzevah | a memorial stone
The road to reconciliation begins with remembering.
Today, the landscape of Poland is devoid of the once vibrant, and as some say, “normal life,” that existed before the Holocaust, when Poles and Jews lived together rather peaceably. During the Holocaust some 6 million Jews were murdered during the Nazi occupation.
3.5 million of those murdered were Polish Jews.
Today, scattered across Poland, 1,200 Jewish cemeteries, as well as mass burial sites yet to be found, speak of those who were lost and of that which was lost.
The Shoah (Holocaust) took the generations of Jews who would have remembered and honored their heritage. The Matzevah Foundation remembers by educating people regarding the Shoah and by bringing to light that which was hidden.
mitzvah | a righteous act
Remembering, challenges us to ask,
“What does G-d require?”
Jewish teachers consider that the highest expression of true mercy (loving-kindness) is to care for the dead—for the dead cannot care for themselves. Since 2005, The Matzevah Foundation has been serving the Jewish community of Poland by mobilizing resources to care for and preserve the Jewish heritage of Poland.
As these cemeteries are brought to light, the voice of the matzevahs become undeniable to all who see. They speak as reminders to both the absence of Jews in Poland today as well as the once thriving Jewish life and culture before the Holocaust, when Jews lived amongst Poles, for the most part, peacefully.
Through restoring cemeteries, The Matzevah Foundation is participating in “tikkun olam”—healing the earth.
tikkun olam | healing the earth
A woman once asked us,
“Why would you, a Christian, do this for us, a Jew?”
Founder, Steven Reece replied, “Love.”
The Matzevah Foundation grew out of the work of a group of Christians, who walk according to the two greatest commandments given to us in the Torah— “to love G-d” and “to love neighbor.”
Due to the Shoah, we know that our relationship with the Jewish community is strained. However, we are bridging the gap between the Jewish and Christian communities, as well as, connecting Jews of Polish descent with their past. We do this through a common mitzvah by caring for and restoring Jewish cemeteries in Poland.
Along the neglected roads to Poland’s House of the Living, we join together with our friends, sharing common times of deeply remembering, practically restoring, and wonderfully reconciling.
What if, together, we began remembering and restoring?