OPEN PUBLIC FOUNDATION “LIEPAJA JEWISH HERITAGE”
also known as
THE “LIEPAJA JEWISH HERITAGE FOUNDATION”
1. The Foundation is a non-governmental organization established in 2004. Its founders were:
Professor George Schwab – born in Liepaja, Vice-President of the American Association of Jewish Survivors of Latvia, an American public activist, scholar and political scientist;
Steven Springfield – President of the American Association of Jewish Survivors of Latvia;
Sheila Johnson Robbins – USA public activist, FAPE Board member, patron
Business Sector Patrons:
– Haas family
– Sergey Zaharjin
– Ilya Segal
2. As memories of the period when the Jewish Community lived and thrived in Liepaja (previously known as Libau) recede into the past, it becomes difficult to assemble and evoke memories of the Community’s heritage in Liepaja / Libau. Therefore the original aim of the Foundation was to research, collect, preserve and disseminate Liepaja’s / Libau’s rich Jewish past.
1. The Foundation’s original activity was the construction of a Memorial in Shkede (Šķēde) in memory of thousands of innocent victims of the Holocaust, in particular the Jews of Liepaja. The Memorial was dedicated on 4 June 2005.
2. In the following years, the Foundation has carried out research into the historical heritage of the Liepaja Jewish Community and promotes Liepaja Jewish Heritage guiding courses and organizes sightseeing tours.
3. The Foundation also assists with genealogical research and the collection of documents and reminiscences of Jewish families in pre-war Liepaja / Libau.
4. With financial assistance from the Foundation, a book “Extermination of Jews in Latvia” was published. This includes a chapter relating to the tragedy of Liepaja Jews written by the descendants of the saved Jews of Liepaja, Rita Bogdanova and Ilana Ivanova (Zivcon), as well as by researchers from Liepaja, Rosalia Sukhar and Eduard Kaplan.
5. The Foundation has paid, and continues to pay, special attention to the condition and maintenance of the Jewish cemetery and the Shkede Memorial.
The Foundation has established the following aims and goals :
1. Participate in common projects in cooperation with the Liepaja Jewish Religious Community and other Jewish organizations in Latvia and abroad, in the fields of education, culture and social activities.
2. Research, translation and publication of materials relating to the pre-war history of the Liepaja Jewish Community and the Holocaust.
3. Support and develop relations with the Jews of Liepaja and their descendants, by involving them in the creation of chronicles regarding the Jewish community in pre-war Liepaja.
4. Support, develop and implement educational programs on the Jewish history of Liepaja.
5. Research and report unknown facts relating to the Holocaust in Liepaja.
6. Organize and participate in meetings, seminars and conferences to further the Foundation’s main goals and complete the tasks set.
7. Co-operation with Liepaja’s local authorities in preserving Jewish memorials and the Jewish cemetery.