During the period from 8 to 13 August a Volunteer Camp was held in Old Sambor. Volunteers from Ukraine, Israeli, USA, Russia and Poland took part in it. The purpose of the Camp was to learn the Jewish heritage of the cities Old Sambor, Dobromil, Sambor and Turka.
On Tuesday, August 8, volunteers arrived at Old Sambor, where they were kindly met by Yury Leus. After a guided tour made by Yuliana Yarema we divided into two groups. The first group helped in synagogue: it repaired a roof which was in a poor condition. The second group went to clean up a Jewish cemetery.
Next day we went to Old Sambor. After having dinner, we went on an expedition to Dobromil where we met Lyubomir Yacinych and Mihailo Kril. We held a memory ceremony near the monument on the Jewish cemetery. Then we went to village Skelivka, well known by its polish name Felsztyn, which was mentioned by Jaroslav Hašek in his book “The Good Soldier Švejk“. We saw an old Jewish cemetery there which had been also destroyed. After the excursion we returned to Old Sambor and contunued our work. After the work had been finished we watched a documentary about the Jews of Sambor, Holocaust in this city and what was the Jewish heritage.
On Thursday, 10th of August, we went to Sambor, where we were welcomed by Boris Kaushansky, the Head of the Jewish Community. We visited the place where earlier there were a synagogue and a cemetery. There are night clubs there now. We also visited a place near the village Ralivka where mass shootings of Jews had taken place. The Jews from Sambor, Old Sambor, Turka were buried there. One group of volunteers cleaned up weedy graves and the other one gathered and threw away garbage. We managed to clean up a large number of graves.
On Friday, the 11th of August, most of the time we spent at our working places in Old Sambor. We did a lot of work. In the evening, after the preparation, we started a Kabalat Shabbat ceremony. Guests from Lviv and Sambor joined us. The ceremony took place in the synagogue, where we repaired the roof. 75 years after the last ceremony in these ancient walls Kiddush was recited.
On Saturday, the 12th of August, we went on an expedition to Turka, where we visited the People’s Museum Boyko with Ruslan Yusipovich. After this we visited a synagogue, a Jewish cemetery and a Memorial of the shooted Jews of Turka. We also went to the village Boryniv, where we met a local historian, who told us about the life of local Jews. In addition, we learned about Boyko recipes of cheese and bread and tasted them. After that we went down to village Roslukh, from where we started going up to the mouth of Dniester river.
On Sunday, the 13th of August, we summarized the results of our work and also discussed what else could be added to our volunteer activity.