We are already used to, what's the address “Hesed-Besht” letters come not only from our region, we are writing from other regions of Ukraine, From Israel, Germany. They ask to find the graves of relatives or to fix, clean up the gravestones.
In turn, we are looking for sponsors, who would help us in the restoration of burial sites. This has already become a planned work.
Another letter from Zhitomir was not quite ordinary. Honored Artist of Ukraine Boris Yakovlevich Portnoy contacted hesed, which the, being in old age, wants to immortalize the memory of his parents and Jewish fellow villagers, shot by the Nazis in November 1942 years in the village of Sharovka, Yarmolinets district, Khmelnitsky region. At his own expense, he purchased a slab of red granite, made a monument out of it and now asks for help in installing it.
We invited the artist to our place and drove to Sharovka with a khesed car, where Boris Yakovlevich has not been for forty years.
At the site of the mass grave stood an old, falling apart, reinforced concrete pedestal. Stunning beauty all around – green cliffs, descending in ledges deep down to the huge bottom of a dry lake. Now a stream runs along the bottom, and earlier there was a full-flowing deep lake.
In the autumn 1942 years, the Nazis in columns drove here the peaceful Jewish population of the village of Sharovka and the surrounding villages of the Yarmolinetsky district: defenseless women, children, old people. The artist's parents and all his numerous relatives found their end here..
With the help of employees and volunteers “Hesed-Besht” order was restored at the burial site – painted fence, bushes cleared, mown weeds.
A few weeks later, a car with a new monument came from Zhitomir. And the Foundation helped again – crane and hands, which established, concreted, cleaned, regardless of time and fatigue.
And now the evening setting sun illuminated a new monument with its rays: faces of martyrs with through holes instead of eyes, like a bullet trail, memorial plate with an inscription and Jewish symbols – menorah, traditional lions, which were depicted on ancient matzevah.
And at the bottom there is a sign of gratitude: “This monument was erected with the assistance of the Khmelnytsky regional charitable foundation “Hesed-Besht”.
Regardless of time and distance, on financial difficulties, for “Hesed- Five” there is an unchanging password “Hebrews” and “Memory”. And we are proud of it.