My Story


Hello, my name is Simion Batelman and I would like to share with you the reason why I created this website.

I was born in Chisinau. Me and my family immigrated to Israel in 1989 when I was 5 years old. After I finished serving 3 years in the armored corp in the IDF I started learning Stomatology in Chisinau Moldova. I was excited because I returned to the city in which I was born and from which I had some vague childhood memories.

After graduating I decided to settle in Moldova and opened my own small business. My father visited me a year ago to see how I was doing.

Jewish cemetery ChisinauAs my grandfather’s grave is located in the Jewish cemetery in Chisinau, we went to the cemetery to visit the grave. When we got to the cemetery we realized that although my father fixed the monument before we left to Israel it needs some renovation but compared to other tombstones we could understand that our situation is not that bad.

My father asked me to renovate the monument and so I went to the cemetery manager to ask for help with the renovation.

After a brief visit to the grave of my grandfather I was told by the manager of the Jewish cemetery that the monument is in a very poor shape and renovation will not help and therefore he suggested destroying the monument and placing a completely new tombstone. On the spot I asked him about the price of a new monument and apparently because he thought I was on a visit to Chisinau named a price that I could not pay immediately for the job. I told him I understood the price, so I’ll think about it and left the cemetery.

After several inquiries I made and a number of meetings with professional masons, I met with a family friend who told me that the price I received in the Jewish cemetery is very high, a thing which I heard from several people and professionals masons before.

Jewish Cemetery MoldovaBecause the winter was coming and the weather conditions I decided to postpone the renovation of my grandfather’s monument until the coming of spring and in the meantime I went searching for professionals who will do the work of renovating my grandfathers tombstone in the Jewish cemetery when the time comes.

After meeting with people I got the idea that putting a new tombstone in the Jewish cemetery in Chisinau, Moldova is quite a difficult thing because the manager doesn’t really want to “get other people in”.

In the spring I went to the Jewish cemetery with my family’s friend to find out whether the prices of the manager for the monument got down.

My friend’s father died in the winter and unfortunately this sorrow made my family’s friend realize the real prices of tombstones in Chisinau.

Jewish Graves ChisinauWe went to the cemetery manager. At first he did not recognize me, and we talked and I was introduced as a student who lived in Chisinau and after a little investigation we got the same price as I got on my first visit but after negotiating the price dropped by 40 percent. I got really upset because I realized that most probably Jews who come to the cemetery in Chisinau encounter someone that uses the situation and peoples helplessness which cant consider alternatives because of the short time that they have in Chisinau and the inability to reliably test the quality and workmanship of professionals as well as the costs of performing the work, a thing that created a gap.

I decided that under no condition I will agree to cooperate with this person and I won’t give him to work on my grandfather’s tombstone.

I left the cemetery extremely upset and started to search even harder for a really good professional that will do the job and after a while I found one that I got very positive feedback on and people told me that he would do the job even thou its in the Jewish cemetery.

Jewish Tombstones MoldovaWe met at the cemetery and after a brief conversation we closed on the final price, which included replacing the monument and not only fixing it, which was at a lower price that I got my last visit to the cemetery.

How great was my disappointment when the cemetery manager recognized me and said to a professional with whom I came that he will not allow him to do the job without a long bureaucratic process that will cost extra money, a thing I can’t remember being told when I got the first and second price negotiation with the manager. The professional mason I came with told me he can’t do anything about the new “extra price” and that we must do as the manager says.

Jewish Grave Renovation ChisinauI was willing to pay more for my grandfather’s tombstone just not to give that person the satisfaction of getting money from me for the job.

I was surprised at some of the bureaucracy that I fronted I was asked to show my grandfather’s death certificate even though he died in the 50 which I could not give. The bureaucracy piled, but I could not give up mentally and morally.

So after a six-months struggle that demanded effort and perseverance me and my new stone mason friend managed in indirect ways and indirect efforts of “persuasion” I got to the point that a new tombstone was placed on the grave of my grandfather in this Jewish cemetery

After the series of hardships that had. I realized that many Jews fall prey to an absurd situation that when they come to Moldova for the mitzvah of honoring and remembering their relatives they encounter injustice and because the lack of modesty and their desperate situation they get “tricked” by people. And so I opened this website where you can contact me and I will try to help you as much as I can with advice and contact you with professionals that will get the job done because I don’t want Jews like myself fall prey to such injustice especially if I can do something about that.

Please click here to contact me and I will do my best to help you renovate any Jewish tombstone/grave in Chisinau or Moldova.