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Dear

 My name is Nachum Finger, son of Golda Banchik and Abraham Finger of blessed memory, both of whom were originally from Novo-Selitza. I myself was born in Novo-Selitza as well, just before the outbreak of World War II.

At the end of the War, following our brief return to our hometown, my mother, aunt and I wandered throughout Romania as refugees, after which we immigrated to Israel. We lived in the "Peker" neighborhood of Ramat Hasharon in central Israel, which was established in the beginning of the 1950's to accommodate the few survivors from Novo-Selitza who immigrated to the nascent State.

Although I barely remember the town, I was raised on the tales told by the neighborhood's elders over a long period of time. Through their stories, I became acquainted with the town's way of life, learned about its citizens – both wealthy and poor - its institutions and various political movements. Through their stories I also became familiar with the Prut River and the passage into Austrian Novo-Selitza, and learned as well about the non-Jewish Yiddish speakers, who on occasion would even join the prayer quorum ('minyan') if the need arose…

Three years ago, I made a voyage back to my hometown, accompanied by my two sons, to rediscover my roots. Indeed, the town Novo-Selitza still exists and despite the length of time that has elapsed since then, I believe that it still resembles the town that I heard about while growing up.  The most significant difference is the absence of a Jewish community. There is no Jewish 'minyan' in Novo-Selitza today.  The only place that might indicate to the occasional passerby that a Jewish community once flourished there is the Jewish cemetery.

The cemetery is situated within an agricultural area on a small hill, a few kilometers outside the town. It has no fence surrounding it and has not been weeded in years. Many tombstones bear the signs of passing time and have caved in and collapsed. The cemetery has not been desecrated and most of the tombstones are still standing and are repairable. But in the absence of a community to repair, preserve and care for it, the cemetery is at risk of disappearing in time, as has been the fate of many other cemeteries.

My voyage in search of my roots to the town and my face-to-face encounter with the cemetery's neglected condition has led me together with the Association of former Novo-Selitzers to create an organization whose sole objective is to rehabilitate and preserve the Jewish cemetery in Novo-Selitza. We anticipate a three stage project. The first stage is to raise funds for a fence around the cemetery. In the second stage, we will reconstruct the tombstones and record the existing graves. The third stage will be the establishment of an endowment fund whose interest will be directed to the preservation of the cemetery for future generations. It is noteworthy that several cemeteries in the region – such as Sadigura and Boyan – are already undergoing a similar rehabilitation process, financed by former members of those communities currently residing in Israel and other countries around the globe.

Your assistance is crucial to realizing this important task. As someone whose origins are in the Novo-Selitza area you surely have deep-set roots in this town. Please help us preserve the memory of your ancestors and of the entire community.

 Contributions should be sent to:

"Novoselitzer Association (R.A.)", 7 Harduf Street, Omer 84965, Israel (c/o Prof.  Nachum Finger).

 If you know of former residents of the town who have not received this letter, kindly forward me their name and address.  Feel free to call me should you need further clarification.

 Most sincerely yours,

 Nachum Finger