The Malta Independent 3 December 2021, Friday

Save our cemeteries, save our collective heritage

Wednesday, 13 October 2021, 09:32 Last update: about 3 months ago

The Tayar Foundation for Jewish Heritage in Malta has launched a campaign to restore and maintain Malta's three Jewish cemeteries.

The cemetery found in Kalkara has quite a history having been endowed by the Italian Livorno Jewish community to provide a burial place for Jewish slaves who were captured and eventually died in Malta. Thankfully, slavery ended before any such burial could take place, but there is a great deal of interest in restoring this historic cemetery.

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The other cemeteries are at Ta' Braxia and Marsa, alongside the Ottoman Military Cemetery, with only the latter currently being used.

The Tayar Foundation's target is to raise $50,000 to refurbish these cemeteries and provide funds for their ongoing maintenance.

Although now small in number, the Jews have quite a history in Malta. In 1749 a neophyte Jew, one who had converted to Christianity, by the name of Giuseppe Cohen foiled a plot to assassinate Grandmaster Manuel Pinto de Fonseca. As a reward he was given a pension of 300 scudi annually. Cohen was also given a house in Valletta, which remained in his family until 1772, when it was taken over to house Monte di Pietà, which is now part of the Inland Revenue.

Thankfully, conditions are now much more favourable for the Jews in Malta, states the Tayar Foundation's chairman, Julius Nehorai. We are keen to restore these fine monuments, which are as much a part of Maltese history as Jewish but there are too few of us here to support the cause. That is why we have created a crowdfunding campaign to encourage support both locally and worldwide from Jewish and other philanthropic organisations.

If you would like to donate or learn more please visit https://www.jewcer.org/project/malta-cemeteries/. For more information on the foundation visit www.jewishheritagemalta.org


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