The Living Stones

New Bournemouth Jewish Communities Initiative and Call for Volunteers

In a generation’s time, who will know where you are buried, to whom you were related, who you were and what you did for Family, Friends and Community?

The Jewish Communities of Bournemouth are making a combined bid for a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to answer these questions. The result will be a searchable website that will contain information on the people buried in the Community’s cemeteries, together with photographs of the headstones, short essays about the people and the role played by Jews in the growth and development of the area; also, there will be material for schoolchildren and adults about Judaism and the Holocaust, and more.

But this is not a project for two or three people: to succeed it needs volunteers – researchers, genealogists, photographers, teachers, interviewers, writers and people with computer skills, and all willing to learn those skills in classes run by outside specialists.

Here’s an example of the kind of puzzle you might encounter:

What can we say about Ilya Neustadt from looking at this stone? We know when he was born and died, but not where; we assume he was Jewish but where are the usual Hebrew notes? Was he a doctor, an academic or perhaps a charlatan?

How can we find out anything about this person? A good place to start might be the local and national newspapers at the time of his death, because for all we know he might have been quite famous.

The Probate Calendar and the London Gazette might reveal his last address and his naturalisation details, and the JewishGen website could identify his place of birth and family details.

For the answers to these questions you should look at his obituary in The Independent, 19th February, 1993, or search for ‘Neustadt’ on this website: Link

Above all, this is a Social and Communal Project, so if you would like to get involved or just talk to us about it, please contact Barbara Lurie or Howard Freeman ( or