Plontch Memorial - Cemetery Restoration

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Dear Polaniec (Plontch) Descendants and Researchers:


            I just returned from a trip to Poland, where I visited the former shtetl of Polaniec.My grandmother and many of my ancestors are buried in the Polaniec cemetery. Together with members of the Poland Jewish Cemeteries Restoration Project (PCRP) team, a school teacher and a Jewish resident of Polaniec, we visited the mayor, toured the town and the cemetery and saw former Jewish sites, including the site of the old synagogue, the cheder and the mikvah.  

            The cemetery is in total ruins without walls and gates and without any visible matzevot. We discovered there is a mass grave in the cemetery with no marker, where the Germans murdered many Jews. The only matzevot known are presently stored in the basement of the Town Hall for safekeeping. We have photos of these. Our experience is that more matzevot may be discovered in the cemetery from under the debris of 60 years of neglect, once the cemetery is cleaned. Others may be slowly returned by residents as we begin restoration work and the news gets out to the townspeople.


Why should you be interested in restoring the cemetery?

For many reasons, including:

-the cemetery is sacred ground where our ancestors are buried: for some of us, they are parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins;

-we need to honor the memories of those murdered in the Shoah;

-cemetery care and restoration is among the greatest mitzvot one can do;

-the recovered matzevot are a valuable genealogical resource. We plan to photograph and translate them and the information will be posted on JewishGen.


      What needs to be done and what is needed to get this project underway?

                  We would like to have the cemetery cleaned, a new resurvey made of the site and filed, rebuild the walls and gates and erect a memorial at the site of the mass grave. Once the work has been completed we would like as many descendants as possible to join us in a dedication ceremony in Polaniec. I am asking for your support: in getting the news of the Polaniec Cemetery Restoration Project to your family and other descendants of Polaniec and making a donation in memory of your ancestors. All donations go through Jewish foundations and every penny of your donation goes for the work in Poland.  


      What is The Poland Jewish Cemetery Restoration Project?

                  The PJCRP's mission is to restore all 1200 of the devastated Jewish cemeteries of Poland.  See and as an example the website of a PJCRP successfully restored cemetery at The PJCRP is a not for profit Foundation with 501c3 status. The PJCRP is supported by the US and Polish Governments and by many Jewish Foundations and organizations. Rabbi Michael Schudrich, Rabbi of Warsaw and Lodz, is Halachic Coordinator and my husband, Norman, is Executive Coordinator of the PJCRP. You can learn how to make a tax deductible contribution for the "Polaniec Cemetery Restoration Project" by visiting


Please participate in the mitzvah of protecting and restoring our ancestral cemetery.


Hannah R. Weinberg

Polaniec PJCRP Coordinator


Tel. 716-688-5272



PJCRP Mission Statement:

     “Jewish cemetery restoration in Poland is about remembering and honoring the dead, and the millions slaughtered in the Holocaust, hundreds of thousands murdered in cemeteries and nearby forests and buried in mass graves. It is among the greatest mitzvot one can do, since the dead cannot thank us.  It is also about life and the living, about tikkun olam…repairing the world, reclaiming and reconnecting to our Jewish heritage, educating youth, tolerance and reconciliation." 


This web site is authored and maintained by Michael Gottlieb, whose paternal ancestors lived in Plontch since at least the middle of the 18th century.  The site is dedicated to memory of those ancestors, many of whom were  slaughtered during the Nazi Holocaust. 

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Last updated on Monday, November 06, 2006
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