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Commission Seeks to Restore Jewish Graves of ‘gold Rush’ Period

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Leonard Weitzman, a veteran Pittsburgh Jewish communal worker, has been named a member of the Commission for the Preservation of Pioneer Jewish Cemeteries and Landmarks of the West.

The commission was organized to acquire title, restore and provide for the perpetual maintenance of a number of long abandoned Jewish cemeteries rediscovered in the Mortimer Lode country of California and Nevada. The burial grounds attest to the major participation of Jews in the pioneering days of the Gold Rush but, over the years as the gold ran out, the area was abandoned and reverted to nature, along with its temporary homes and its burial grounds.

Mr. Weitzman came across the cemeteries on a trip West and was shocked at the condition of the graves and the inaccessibility of the cemeteries. Meanwhile, California Jewish leaders also had been acting to develop some organized effort to restore the graves and out of this grew the commission. It will function as a branch of the Judah L. Magnes Museum in Oakland, California.

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