Reopen the Synagogue and Cemetery in Mikulov to host Pilgrims and Tourists Properly

Reopen the Synagogue and Cemetery in Mikulov to host Pilgrims and Tourists Properly

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Samuel Fleischman started this petition to Jewish Community of Brno

Before the fall of the Soviet Union and the fall of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, a major effort was initiated by the World Leaders of Hasidic Judaism and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee to restore the Jewish spiritual and physical presence in the forgotten and neglected Jewish communities of Eastern Europe.

Although many organisations such as the World Jewish Congress and World Monuments Fund stepped in to offer assistance, the holy sites of Mikulov in South Moravia have remained sporadically or completely shuttered and neglected despite millions of crowns invested there recently.

On May 10th 2005, after years of preparation in both the United States and Israel,  a delegation of Rabbis and Cantors headed by
Grand Rabbi and Scholar, Rav Zusha Horowitz came to the town of Mikulov to celebrate the life of their Great Great Grandfather and teacher, Rabbi Shmuel Shmelke ben Hirsch HaLevy Horowitz, a founder of the Chasidic Movement as well as the Chief Rabbi of Moravia from 1773 until his death in 1778.

His holy grave, the graves of his students and family are located in the Jewish Cemetery in Mikulov and visited by hundreds of visitors and worshipers every year.

With the encouragements of the Horowitz Family Trust in composed of Rabbis, Scholars and Community Leaders, Mr. Samuel Fleischman of New York and Prague was tasked in 2003 with purchasing a property in Mikulov to "plant the seeds' of a cultural revival in this historic town and to facilitate the needs of the hundreds of Jewish visitors making pilgrimage to Mikulov each year.

At the 2nd annual gathering of the Horowitz dynasty of Chassidic Rabbis on April 29th 2006 in the Main Synagogue in Mikulov,  Mr. David Reichman of Great Britain pledged a deposit of 1,000,000. CZK to cover the initial costs of investing in the construction of a new Mikvah and Visitor's Center in the Mikulov Jewish Center

At a meeting in Town Hall in May 2006, this pledge of support was presented in person to the Mayor who gave his support for the project and referred Mr. Reichman and Mr. Fleischman to the Jewish Community of Brno who are the present title holders of the Jewish properties in Moravia.

In June 2006 the Jewish Community of Brno was presented with this generous offer to restore the Ceremonial Hall in the Jewish Cemetery as an educational center and construct a Mikvah for the spiritual and religious needs of our many visitors, but for unknown reasons the Brno community's leadership chose to ignore this donation, choosing instead to collect rents on the building to a well known manufacturer of ceramics. A few years later when the Brno Community evicted him for unknown reasons and failed to inform us of this and that the cemetery building's administration was quietly transferred to an organisation calling itself "Society of Friends of Jewish Culture in Mikulov" and their U.S. IRS registered for tax deductible donations from U.S. citizens calling itself "The Jewish Preservation Initiative". Both entities have ignored our countless inquiries including pledges of support and cooperation, keeping the gates locked to Jewish prayers on multiple occasions and not returning phone calls.

Several attempts have been made through the years to find a solution with leaders of the Jewish Community of Brno, but have regrettably failed thus far.

Now is the Time for Action!

The 470 year old synagogue in Mikulov was shuttered at the end of the 2019 tourist season with no explanation except for a sign posted on the front door.

Similarly, the same sign has also appeared on numerous occasions on the cemetery gates with no telephone number available for Jewish visitors or tourists to gain access to this holy site.

We have asked the following entities who were collecting money for admissions for an explanation but received to written reply from the following listed as responsible for maintenance and collecting donations:

1. The Museum of Southern Moravia

2. Society of Friends of Jewish Culture in Mikulov Inc.

3. Jewish Preservation Initiative <jewishpreservation.org> who unexpectedly shut down their website after we attempted to follow up on our $18. donation to them this past June when we requested additional information about their mission and activities. We have posted their previously published content as evidence from their tourist map of the cemetery where they solicit tax deductible donations.  An investigation of this entity's origins and its relationship with the Brno Jewish Community is underway.  We will publish our findings and reaction on this
troubling development. 

Our Rabbis were not given any reason by the Brno Jewish Community for the sudden closure of Jewish sites, even though the community has our contact information.

We are sure that these closures are NOT related to the recent man-made virus threat that originated from a laboratory in China, since the Christian cemetery and churches in Mikulov have been open as usual all summer without interruption.

If you would like to get involved in helping us reopen these vital historic sights and guarantee future unlimited access to both Jewish and non-Jewish visitors from all over the world, as well as the establishment of a self-funded Jewish Educational and Visitors Center in the Mikulov Jewish Cemetery's Ceremonial Hall, kindly complete and submit this petition and we will keep you informed of our future rescue efforts and activities .

Thank You

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