|Site Map||Contact Us||Hebrew Homepage|
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
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:
Association (R.A.)", 7 Harduf Street, Omer 84965, Israel (c/o Prof.
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,