Additional Activities of the IKG Vienna
For IKG Vienna one very important result from the Washington Agreement negotiations of January 2001 was Austria's recognition of its obligation to provide additional support for the restoration and the maintenance of known and unknown Jewish cemeteries. However, the first agreements for implementing this declaration obligations were not reached until December 2009:
Link: Chanukah gifts for Jewish cemeteries (IKG press release from December 22, 2009)
The political party The Greens had previously introduced for the second time the Legislative Proposal concerning the Maintenance of Jewish Cemeteries in the fall of 2008 with the support of the IKG Vienna.
Halakha (Jewish law) prescribes the ongoing maintenance of Jewish cemeteries and tombs. Approximately 220,000 Jews lived in Austria until 1938 and maintained approximately 61 cemeteries, some of which were no longer in use at the time. Under the National-Socialist regime, 65,000 Austrian Jews were murdered and more than 135,000 were expelled. Today the Jewish Communities of Austria have approximately 7,500 members who are unable to maintain around a quarter of a million graves throughout Austria on their own. Comprehensive support from the government is necessary in order to restore and maintain the Jewish cemeteries and tombs as memorials and places of considerable cultural historical significance in accordance with Halakha and in recognition of the Republic of Austria's historic responsibility.