About the Rohatyn Jewish Heritage Program

Ця сторінка також доступна українською.


On the road north of Rohatyn

On the road north of Rohatyn. Photo © 2015 Alex Denysenko.

Rohatyn Jewish Heritage is a volunteer-led program of heritage preservation and education, working to re-connect the history of Rohatyn’s now-lost Jewish community with the people and places of the modern town. With the cooperation of current Rohatyn residents and volunteers from around the world, today the program focuses primarily on recovery of Jewish headstone fragments discovered in town and their return to the old Jewish cemetery. Future plans include a cleanup and rehabilitation of the old cemetery, a modest memorial space for recovered headstone fragments, and the development of educational materials to support a renewed appreciation of the intertwined communities which once lived in Rohatyn.

Rohatyn Jewish Heritage is registered as a nonprofit non-governmental organization (NGO) in Ukraine (громадська організація in Ukrainian), under identification number 41047464. The NGO is registered in Lviv but has scope in Rohatyn and the surrounding region, in Ukraine and in Europe.

We thank all the people of Rohatyn and the world who have helped during the past years. This website will be used to expand the program description and educational resources; please visit again. And in the meantime, you can find us on facebook.

Who We Are

Marla Raucher Osborn – Marla received her Juris Doctor from Hastings College of Law at the University of California, San Francisco, following a BA in Political Science from UCLA with concentration on Eastern European Governments and Political History. She has worked as a transactional lawyer in California, and for 2015~2016 was a staff member working on Jewish heritage projects at FODŻ (the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland), in Warsaw. An avid family historian since her early teens, Marla is one of the first active members of the RSRG and has served on the boards of directors of Gesher Galicia and Remembrance and Reconciliation, has written for many genealogy and heritage publications, and has lectured at schools, meetings, and conferences in the US, Israel, and Europe – including in Rohatyn. She made her first visit to Rohatyn in 2008, and in 2011 lived in nearby Lviv, Ukraine for five months to better engage with the region and with Rohatyn. Marla’s beloved paternal grandmother Chaje (Annie) was born in Rohatyn to an extensive Jewish family there; Annie and her parents emigrated to the US just before the start of World War I. Marla serves as president of the NGO Rohatyn Jewish Heritage. Email Marla.

Alex Feller – Dr. Feller is a board-certified anesthesiologist in the Chicago area; he earned his medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine after a degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan; he also has an MS in Computer Science from the University of Chicago. A skilled family historian, he serves on the board of directors of Gesher Galicia; in 2009 Alex founded the Rohatyn Shtetl Research Group (RSRG) as an internet-based network of descendants of Rohatyn Jewish families, now grown into an active private database and research community for people with roots in Rohatyn and nearby towns. Alex’s mother was born in Rohatyn to a large and talented Jewish family; he first visited Rohatyn with his parents for the 1998 memorial event, and then returned for working visits in 2011 which helped launch the renewed heritage projects. In addition to managing the financial details of the heritage program, he continues as the primary connection between Rohatyn Jewish genealogy and heritage activities. Email Alex.

Jay Osborn – Jay earned a BS with highest honors in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Irvine and has worked for 30 years as a computer design engineer; he is named on 20 US and GB patents for Sun Microsystems and Apple, and has worked in California, Europe, and Asia. Currently he is responsible for historical map research and assembly for the Gesher Galicia digital Map Room; the first map he assembled (in 2011) was the 1846 cadastral sketch of Rohatyn, for the RSRG. Although he has no family roots in Rohatyn, Jay is an engaged proponent of the ongoing heritage program; he has accompanied his wife Marla on almost all of her trips to the town, and serves behind the scenes as program manager for planning, documentation, logistics, and technical problem-solving. Jay serves as head of the supervisory board of the NGO Rohatyn Jewish Heritage. Email Jay.