Matana a.s.

  Administration of Buildings and Cemeteries 


Matana a.s. – Administration of Buildings and Cemeteries

         Matana a.s. (Hebrew: gift), was established in 1992 by The Jewish Community of Prague to manage its immovable property. A significant part of the portfolio of its managed property consists of Jewish heritage sites, primarily cemeteries, synagogues, and other purpose-built buildings. These sites are managed by a special department of the company – the Administration of Buildings and Cemeteries. Matana a.s. is owned and controlled by The Jewish Community of Prague. Since 2002, the company has managed sites, including those owned by the Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic. The management activities of Matana include securing the financial and material means and other necessary works carried out by professional companies or its employees – local cemetery caretakers. 


   The Jewish Community of Prague (JCP) is the oldest and largest of Jewish communities in the Czech Republic, and in the past, it represented all Jewish people in the Czech Republic. Before the Second World War, there were
roughly 120,000 followers of Judaism in Czech lands. Some escaped the war in time, moving abroad. However, most were transported to Terezín during the war, and other concentration or extermination camps survived only by a few. In the 1970s and 1980s, the Jewish Community was persecuted, and the life of Jewish people was radically restricted. Only after the socio-political changes brought by 1989 was the Jewish Community restored together with its institutions, following democratic beliefs. The Jewish Community of Prague currently facilitates its members' religious and cultural life while contributing to securing their social and medical needs. A lot of its means is devoted to education. The community runs its own kindergarten, primary and secondary schools, and two care homes with medical and care services. In the Czech Republic, the Jewish Community of Prague owns many Jewish heritage sites, 181 of which are cemeteries alongside dozens of buildings, especially cemetery facilities, ceremony halls and 30 synagogues. Due to a long-term lack of maintenance or violent and deliberate damage, many sites remain in severe condition and disrepair. The Jewish Community of Prague devotes a significant part of its annual budget to rescuing, restoring, and maintaining these sites. Despite such investments, however, the resources remain insufficient.


           Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic (FJC) brings together Jewish communities following Orthodox, Conservative or Reform (Liberal) Judaism and other Jewish organisations. It coordinates activities of independent Jewish communities, especially in religious, social, educational, and cultural matters. To do so, the Federation of Jewish Communities works with state and local government authorities and other institutions in the Czech Republic, in public and the media. It collaborates with international institutions and organisations while protecting the Jewish community against antisemitism, racism, xenophobia, and other discrimination. Moreover, the Federation of Jewish Communities maintains its movable and immovable heritage alongside more Jewish heritage sites in the Czech Republic if other Jewish communities or institutions do not maintain them. The Federation of Jewish Communities owns 95 Jewish cemeteries, 9 synagogues and 3 significant buildings. As in the case of The Jewish Community of Prague, most of these sites are in disrepair. Since 2002, the Foundation for Holocaust Victims has regularly provided financial support for restoration and maintenance. Nevertheless, as the progress is slow, there is still a long way to go before their restoration is accomplished.

           In 2014, the Federation of Jewish Communities finished a crucial project called the Revitalisation of Jewish Historic Buildings in the Czech Republic, which focused on reconstructing and making accessible fifteen significant heritage sites in seven regions alongside establishing a network of ten regional centres showcasing Jewish culture as a unique cultural heritage in the Czech Republic. The Project Manager of the Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic manages the project and communication with its partners. At the same time, technical support was secured by establishing further collaboration with Matana a.s. In most synagogues and rabbinical houses, visitors may find permanent thematic exhibitions which, together with other programmes (lectures, concerts, projections, theatre shows, etc.), facilitate an encounter with Jewish history and Judaism in a unique and authentic setting. The cooperation with local communities and regions in which the heritage sites may be found is crucial for the project's success. Local cultural institutions, community clubs, and initiatives often support regional centres that showcase Jewish culture and history. Since 2019, the project has been part of the European Route of Jewish Heritage, a project focused on European tourism and social development certified by the Council of Europe.

Furthermore, the Federation of Jewish Communities manages the Endowment Fund Zecher, which secures financial means for the reconstruction, restoration and maintenance of endangered movable and immovable Jewish heritage, with a particular focus on Jewish cemeteries in the Czech Republic, direct support of restoration, methodological guidance, professional supervision, surveys, assessments, etc. One of its recent achievements is the restoration of the synagogues in Police u Jemnice and Neveklov.

Matana a.s. prefers a combined financing of restoration, maintenance and documentation of Jewish cemeteries supported by public resources, emergency programmes offered by the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, local governments' financial support, Czech or foreign grants, and private sponsors.



Support Heritage Site Maintenance

Given the large number of heritage sites that require restoration and maintenance, we welcome any form of financial support.

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We select tombstones which are currently in need of repair. Please browse our list and help us restore the tombstones of those without someone to maintain them.