Activity report 2018

Activity report 2018

Spring has arrived in 2019 and it is time to inform about the development of the association and its activities.

The association, founded in 2017 under the leadership of Günther Havranek and Ariel Muzicant, began its work in 2018 with great enthusiasm.

The association has set itself the goal of raising funds in cooperation with the Jewish Community, the Federal Office for the Preservation of Monuments and the National Fund in order to advance the restoration of the cemetery, which has been threatened by decay for decades. The cemetery is a testimony to the past of the city of Vienna from a time of successful coexistence of Jews and non-Jews.

Did you know that...

am Friedhof Mr. Spock vom Raumschiff Enter­prise allgegenwärtig ist?

Jeder kennt praktisch die Hand mit den V-förmig auseinander ge­spreizten Fingern von Mr. Spock, dem Wissen­schaftsoffizier der neben Captain Kirk durch das Weltall flog.

Solch ein Zeichen auf einem Grabstein zeigt, dass hier ein Cohen begraben liegt, ein Mit­glied der jüdischen Priesterkaste.

“Die meisten Menschen wissen bis heute nicht, was dahinter steckt”, pflegte der Schauspieler Leonard Nimoy zu sagen. „Sie wissen gar nicht, dass sie sich mit dieser Geste gegenseitig segnen.”

Review 2018

Over six weekends, a total of 325 volunteers turned out to spend 1625 hours pruning the wildly overgrown plants at the cemetery. This work, together with the voluntary activities during the guided tours, may be accounted for as an own contribution to the National Fund and represents an equivalent value of about EUR 36,000.00.

Furthermore, guided tours of the cemetery under expert guidance took place on five weekends. This resulted in donations of around EUR 2,000.00.

Info brochure:
With the support of the advertising agency Demner, Merlicek & Bergmann and the printing company Grasl Druck & Neue Medien GmbH, the info brochure “Memory of a vanished world” was produced.

PR work:
In order to draw attention to the precarious situation of the cemetery, journalists were invited to the cemetery grounds to get a picture of the decay of the cemetery.

Very detailed articles in the well-known newspapers helped to bring the Jewish Cemetery to the attention of the public and politicians.

Through appeals for donations it was possible to raise EUR 19,500.00.

An essential part of the work of the association is the search for proponents who support the association with their expertise, their network or financially. Already 60 prominent personalities from the worlds of business, culture, art, religion and politics have been recruited as supporters.

Cooperation agreement IKG:
A cooperation agreement was concluded with the Isralitic Religious Community regarding the joint coordinated approach to renovation work.

The association provides information via the Facebook page“Save the Jewish Cemetery Währing” until its own website is established.

In addition to the converted contributions in kind of the volunteers of about EUR 36,000.00, the association has generated income from donations and sponsoring of about EUR 23,600.00, which are offset by expenses of about EUR 1,300.00.

There is much to discover at the cemetery, such as interesting epitaphs:

Who knows how to honor motherly love, Who wants to appreciate womanly virtue, Who wants to honor kindness, wisdom, Stand still at this grave.

Outlook 2019

  • Set up a website
  • Conclusion of a lease agreement with the IKG concerning the premises on the first floor of the gatehouse at the cemetery.
  • Establishment of a museum in the rented premises on site with exhibitions on the subject of the Jewish Cemetery Währing.
  • Continuation of Volunteer Days (dates: March 10, April 14, May 12, June 2, July 14, August 4, September 8, October 6, November 1).
  • Expansion of cemetery tours (fixed dates: March 10, April 14, May 12, June 2, July 14, August 4, September 8, October 6, November 10, and December 8. The tours take place at 11:00 am and at 1:00 pm).
  • Application for inclusion in the list of organizations eligible to receive donations, issued by the Ministry of Finance, in order to make the donations made tax-deductible.
  • Seeking and awarding cultural sponsorships for individual gravestones as an expression of cultural responsibility or in memory of a relative buried here.
  • Collecting donations at home and abroad to support the renovation work at the Währing Jewish Cemetery.

Importance of volunteer work

The Importance of Volunteer Work for the Jewish Cemetery Währing

Volunteerism is a more indispensable part of the maintenance work at the cemetery grounds. In addition to the renovation of the graves, the continuous and proper maintenance of the vegetation on the site is one of the urgent needs, which, depending on the season, can sometimes be very intensive.

A prerequisite for the stonemasons to begin their work on the gravestones is the removal of weeds and brush. Volunteer efforts are considered personal contributions to the maintenance of the cemetery. In 2021, a total of 1,224 operating hours were documented, valued at an hourly rate of EUR 20.66. The volunteer work was therefore notionally worth EUR 25,287.00 in 2021 .

In accordance with the 2001 Washington Agreement, volunteer services related to cemetery restoration will be compensated 100% from the National Fund and therefore will again benefit cemetery restoration.

Pflege state 25.9.2011

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers who are willing to remove the wild vegetation with simple tools in all weathers, and also to thank MA 42 – Wiener Stadtgärten for collecting the green cuttings from the cemetery free of charge.

The achievements of the volunteers can be seen impressively in the example of the rehabilitation of sub-area 3 to the left of the Tahara House. While in 2011, sub-area 3 was still overgrown with scrub up to the top, after years of weeding, the renovation of the gravestones was successfully completed in 2020.