Restoring Legacy: Reclaiming the Brest-Litovsk Jewish Cemetery in Belarus

Tuesday, February 13

USA 12:00 pm PT / 3:00 pm ET

UK 8:00 pm / France 09:00 pm / Israel 10:00 pm

The talk will last approximately 75 minutes

About this talk

Over 80 years ago, the headstones that once stood in the Brest-Litovsk Jewish cemetery, (pre-war Poland and today Belarus), were desecrated and used for other purposes. Over 1200 headstones have been discovered over the last 20 years and will finally come home to rest in a stunning memorial. This memorial will be a testament to Brest's rich Jewish heritage, acknowledge and honor the community that was so brutally extinguished in the Holocaust, and educate visitors about Brest's Jewish community of today.

How did the cemetery disappear?
What happened to the matzevot?
How did The Together Plan become involved?
What has been done so far and what are the plans for the future?
Where are the 1249 salvaged headstones at the moment?
How does this memorial play a pivotal role in Jewish history?
How will this support the functioning Jewish community in Brest today?

About Debra and Artur

Debra Brunner is originally from London and has been working in Belarus for over ten years. She is a passionate advocate for Jewish community, history, heritage and identity. Debra has worked tirelessly to grow The Together Plan in order to give agency to Jewish people coming out of a traumatic past, to empower them and give them skills and self-belief to rebuild and revive. It is Debra's mantra that together we can make a real and positive difference for a better, stronger and more cohesive Jewish landscape in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

Artur Livshyts was born in Minsk and spent two years living with a relative in Nashville, Tennessee. It was there, as a child of the Soviet Union, that he discovered Judaism; he studied Hebrew and had a bar mitzvah. It was his first foray into Jewish life. He spent a year living in a boarding school in Israel before returning to Belarus where he completed his education in Minsk, studying Human Rights Law. Having had a taste of Jewish life, he has made it his life's work to strive for a revival of the Jewish community in Belarus. He met Debra Brunner in 2009 and together, since that time, they have worked to build and grow The Together Plan.

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