About Oholei Zadikim
|17 Tamuz 5774|
About Oholei Zadikim
As it sounds Oholei Zadikim- is an organisation that has tasked itself with the preservation and refurbishment of Jewish cemeteries, Synagogues, mass murder sites and takes special interest in the restoration of the Oholim of Zadikim.
Although the main scope of activity takes place in Eastern and Western European, projects have successfully been completed in over twenty different countries across the Globe, see the following articles: Cemeteries & Countries.
Oholei Zadikim pride themselves being involved in everything from Location, preservation, restoration of cemeteries and Jewish Heritage sites and is committed to increase visitors and misspallelim to these holy sites.
Rabbi Gabby CEO
Oholei Zadikim is an organization set up in 1989 and chaired by Rabbi Yisroel Meir Gabby. Spending the majority of the year out in the field, travelling across Europe - it is his genius that spear heads the organisation.
Originally from France he immigrated to Israel with his family and founded the organization which is now based in Jerusalem.
It was Rabbi Gabby's original visits to Eastern Europe even before the fall of the Iron Curtain that subsequently led to the founding of Oholei Zadikim, seeing the appalling and dismal state of Kevorim and cemeteries dilapidated due to years of neglect and ongoing vandalism which were at times being used by squatters for grazing areas, warehouses and gardens for its neighbours.
Although Rabbi Gabby knew that going in alone he could not save them all. (Especially as there were other organisations involved but were delaying this vital work.) This was a colossal task and serious undertaking, which needed to be acted on immediately, enough was the silent pain of the thousands of deceased that panged his self-conscience, something had to be done, someone had to take on the bureaucracy, someone had to stand up for the sanctity of the righteous, - the rest is history with dozens of success stories Thank G-D.
Thus began a restoration and salvation that has lasted for more than twenty years-its extent inconceivable, yet nothing is unattainable in the eyes of Rabbi Gabby who has made this his life mission.
Who oversees projects?
Alongside Oholei Zadikim, is an established rabbinic committee comprised of five Rabbi's; Rabbi Avraham Yeshayahu Bick and The Mskelia Rebbe (union member rabbis in the U.S. and Canada) and in Israel: Rabbi Meir Sirota, 'Rabbi Chaim Elazar Sheinberger, and Rabbi Chaim Yehuda Rabinowitz.
Supported by and regularly consulted are these acclaimed Rabbinic and contemporary authority that stand behind and encourage the activities of Oholei Zadikim, please see following articles for attached notices of consent.
Oholei Zadikim's goal is to preserve and restore wherever possible Jewish cemeteries- right across the World –whether it's cleaning or landscape activities that require the years of neglect to be rectified, requiring extensive work that can involve cleaning and weeding the overgrown or scrubbing of the actual tomb-stone allowing them to become visible again.
Re-marking and erection of fallen tombstones and cemetery parameters is also mandatory, but not always possible due to limited funding or legal consideration. In such circumstances the best possible effort is made to ensure the area is left as dignified as possible.
Besides for the above activities there are dozens of undiscovered burial sites and mass graves that are chanced upon occasionally and considerable effort is undertaken to ensure that they are marked and recorded as necessary.
In Israel, Oholei Zadikim have worked to locate the ancient landmarks Galilee through a huge study and have marked the graves of several "lost" ancient Amoroim and Tanoim - and have published a book determining the locations of graves according to the study conducted. The department head of the Israeli branch is Rabbi Hertzberg sh'lita.
Oholei Zadikim has completed projects in Iran, Turkey and Greece in addition to almost every country in Europe.
Past & Future goals
To date, over twenty years of operations directed by Oholei Zadikim- directly and indirectly have saved dozens of cemeteries, refurbished hundreds of tombs and re-erected many Oholim above kivrei Zadikim.
It has established eight synagogues within close proximity to the graves of the righteous, in addition to the hallmark project of Medzibuz. "Kiryat Baal Shem Tov "- as it is known which includes a synagogue, Mikve, kitchen and huge dining rooms, spacious guest accommodation, including more than 200 beds, and the most recent 2014 addition of the Mayan-the natural springs of the Baal Shem Tov.
Among other activities, Oholei Zadikim has solicited ten Torah scrolls used at synagogues located on site of the graves of the righteous in Israel and abroad, and always has candles in over ten tombs.