A cemetery clean-up is not only about work. Volunteers who joined SVIT Ukraine’s annual ‘workcamp’ to clean the Jewish cemetery of Chernivtsi (Czernowitz) also have the opportunity to learn about the multi-ethnic past and present of western Ukraine, make friends and have fun. Yesterday, we went for an excursion to Jewish heritage sites in Kosiv, Kuty and Vyzhnytsia – and had a pick-nick next to the scenic village of Sheshory.
This year’s SVIT volunteers come from Ukraine, Romania, Switzerland, Finland and recently a young man from India joined the group. Another one from the US may do next week. Their motivation is diverse. Some like to travel, some want to learn about the history of western Ukraine, others want to prove they are good group leaders or just need a break from their daily routine. But all of them want to make the world a better place.
Yesterday, we had a field trip to Kosiv, Kuty and Vyzhnytsia with their amazing Jewish cemeteries. In between Chernivtsi and these places are of course much more sites to visit, but these places are outstanding. A hot-spot for all who were looking for souvenirs was Kosiv market whit its beautiful Ukrainian folk art. On recommendation of Jakub Schwarzman of Chernivtsi’s Jewish community we had a stop in the village of Sheshory at the foot of the Carpathians. The village is picturesquely located next to a river forming natural basins for swimming. Next to the river is a pick-nick place with tents and fire places where we rested.
Now, I’m already back in Lviv and am thinking of the last days and all I experienced. I feel gratitude, it was a privilege to meet the volunteers. Thank you guys, have a great time in Chernivtsi!
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