Archival Records, Art Work and More Noted Lost Due to 9-11

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

An article by the Associated Press notes besides ending nearly 3,000 lives, destroying planes and reducing buildings to tons of rubble and ash, the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks destroyed tens of thousands of archival records, irreplaceable historical documents and art.

Two weeks after the attacks, archivists and librarians gathered at New York University to discuss how to document what was lost, forming the World Trade Center Documentation Task Force. But they received only a handful of responses to survey questions about damaged or destroyed records.

After Sept. 11, "agencies did not do precisely what was required vis-à-vis records loss," said David S. Ferriero, the Archivist of the United States, in an email to The Associated Press. "Appropriately, agencies were more concerned with loss of life and rebuilding operations - not managing or preserving records." He said off-site storage and redundant electronic systems backed up some records; but the attacks spurred the archives agency to emphasize the need for disaster planning to federal records managers.

To read the entire article go to:

Original url:

Thank you to Randy Herschaft, Associated Press for alerting us to the

Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Director-at-Large
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

(USA) California AB 1053 Increased Pricing for Birth and Death Records

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

It was reported previously on this forum about California AB 1053 which if enacted , would raise the fee for certified copies for birth and death certificates from $3.00 to $12.00 ( a $9.00 increase) for death and from $7.00 to $18.00 for birth (an $11.00 increase) regardless of when the record event occurred. The bill passed the California Assembly and has had hearings in the Senate where it has been amended even further. The most recent amendment was on July 12, 2011 and it is scheduled for its second reading in Appropriations Committee on-August 15. To read the current version go to:

Original url:

The most recent version, retains the $9.00 and $11.00 increase respectively. The bill now splits the fee 15% for state and 85% for local/county registrars. In addition the increase is made incrementally, $5.00 as of January 1, 2012; $2.00 as of January 1, 2013 and $2.00 as of January 1, 2014. This provision is repealed on January 1, 2014 unless renewed or deleted.

However, a new section was added effective as of January 1, 2014 which would adjust the fees by the percentage change in that year's State Budget Act for those items appropriating funds to the state department that is responsible for birth and death records--the California Department of Public Health--Vital Records. The increase would include the total percentage change in salaries and operating expenses of the Department, not to exceed the total cost of the program or services provided. We would not know the increase of fees for each year starting with 2014 until the California budget is approved annually.

With the state fiscal crisis it is anticipated that the bill will pass with the additional fees. When further action is taken on the bill it will be reported on this forum.

Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Director-at-Large
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

(USA) National Archives To Hold Genealogy Programs September 2011

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

In September, the National Archives and Records Administration (USA) will feature genealogy-related programs highlighting records from its holdings, including two programs on the upcoming April 2, 2012, release of the 1940 census. These programs are free and open to the public, and will be held in the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. Selected programs will be
repeated at the College Park National Archives building.

Programs begin on September 6 and run through September 21. Topics include:
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Ombudsman
Introduction to Genealogy: Military records
Beyond the Basics: Census Search Strategies
"Help! I'm Stuck"
Women of the Polar Archives
Beyond the Basics: Introduction to the 1940 Census

For more information go to:

If you missed the National Archives Genealogy Fair: Become Your Family's
Detective April 20-21, 2011 the National Archives has posted some of the
materials and PowerPoint presentations at:

Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Director-at-Large
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

The War Graves Project

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

The War Graves Project intent was to photograph every war grave, individual memorial, "Ministry of Defence" grave from WW1 to the present. They are now working as a joint venture with the [UK] Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and assisting the Office of Australian War Graves Canadian Veterans Affairs and the New Zealand Ministry of Heritage and Culture enabling families to obtain a photograph of a grave or memorial. As of 2011 they have been able to record over 1.6 million graves and memorials. Look at the countries around the world-not just Commonwealth countries, where a soldier may be buried. Go to: They are continuing to add to the collection. The photograph does require a minimum payment of £3.50, for a 5x7 glossy mailed overseas from the UK costs £6.50-less within the UK. however, searching and obtaining information on the gravesite is free. I have done several searches with "Jewish" sounding Names (Cohen,
Goldberg, Katz and Shapiro) and there are a number of gravesites with those

Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Director-at-Large
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

Project HEART- Searchable Database of Holocaust Era Property Records

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

Project HEART (Holocaust Era Asset Restitution Taskforce), announced its searchable database of Holocaust era property records now contains 1.5 million records, making the database the largest, publically available single-source database of lost Jewish property assets from the Holocaust era.

The 1.5 million records contained in Project HEART's online database consist of property addresses, lists of homeowners, professions, lists of known confiscated properties, business directories, insurance policies , and other archival information that can assist potential applicants in their research. To research the database go to:

Project HEART is an initiative of the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), in cooperation and with the support of the Government of Israel, to help Jewish families identify personal property confiscated by the Nazis and to help victims seek restitution.

For more information go to:

Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Director-at-Large
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

2011 IAJGS Conference: Translators Needed

If you've got language translation skills and a few hours to volunteer those skills to help genealogy researchers, then the International Conference on Jewish Genealogy needs you!

We could use your skills in any of the following languages: Dutch, Hebrew, Ladino, Lithuanian, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian/Cyrillic, Slavic languages, Spanish, Ukrainian or Yiddish.

Your volunteering for four hours on a single day could mean the rest of that day is yours to freely attend the Conference, take in sessions or other features, and research YOUR roots! Please volunteer for this worthwhile and stimulating purpose: it might also help you!

Please Contact Shelley Kellerman Pollero, at

Project HEART

Their online database has more than 1.5 million Holocaust era property records. 
Click here to read more.

The Vél d'Hiv Roundup

In June 1942, 12,000 Jewish adults and children were removed from their homes in Paris and sent to Nazi death camps. It was the largest mass arrest in wartime France. 

Click here for the entire article.

2011 IAJGS Conference: Update

There's just a week left for on-line registration. Have you signed up for all the breakfast, lunch and dinner programs you want to attend?

After midnight EST July 31 — that's next Sunday night! — you can't add meals to your agenda. Some embassy visits and computer workshops will be open for new sign-ups at the conference, until they reach capacity. If you procrastinate, you might miss out.

The Grand Hyatt kitchens are known for their delicious food. Here's just a sampling of some dishes (everything is kosher) you will see at the SIG luncheons:

Garlic Seared Roast Beef
Herb Crusted Chicken Breast Atop a Cannellini Bean and Fennel Ragout
Mediterranean Vegetable Ratatouille with Fresh Herbs

The food at the Gala promises to top all other meals and includes:

Poached Salmon over Pasta and Vegetables
Yellow and Red Gazpacho
Corned Beef with Stone Ground Mustard and Chimichurri Sauce
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Some computer workshops and the visit to the French Embassy are full. Listed below are sessions with seats still open, as of this writing.
9:30 AM
  Reunion for Beginners
2:15 PM
  Social Media on the Mac for the Jewish Genealogist
9:30 AM
  Using Family Tree Maker for Great Printed Output
2:15 PM
  Start Blogging for Genealogy!
2:15 PM
  Introduction to JewishGen: Computer Workshop
7:30 AM
  The Yad Vashem Shoah Victims' Database
9:30 AM
  Planting a Family Tree Online with
2:15 PM
  Getting Started with Family Tree Maker PC
9:30 AM
  Newspapers Online
2:15 PM
  Jewish Records Indexing-Poland Workshop
9:30 AM
  Litvak Seek - Search the ALD Successfully
2:15 PM
  JewishGen Databases - Computer Workshop
12:30 PM
9:30 AM
1:30 PM

Please visit for more information

JewishGen named one of Family Tree Magazine’s 101 Best Websites

From Family Tree Magazine

Now as good-looking as it is useful, this site affiliated with the Museum of Jewish Heritage recently added the 1.5- million-entry Yizkor Book Master Name Index. Its Family Tree of the Jewish People now boasts data on nearly 5 million people. And don’t overlook the Family Finder database of 450,000 surnames and towns, ShtetLinks for 200-plus communities, and the Online Worldwide Burial Registry.

Genealogy helps group prove Jewish roots

According to the Jerusalem Post, Israel has recognized the Chuetas of Palma de Majorca as Jewish. 

The Cheutas trace their roots back to the  Spanish island of Majorca, where they were persecuted relentlessly. Many of the Chuetas have documentation of their family lines, often going back 500 years and it was their ability to prove their genealogy that helped gain their recognition as Jews.

Click here to read the entire article.

Torah scroll's journey Uganda

Click here to read the entire article from the Jewish Review.

Australian Jewish Cemetery being Restored

SOME of the tombs in the old Jewish section of Rookwood Cemetery lie crumbled on the ground. Others stand crooked, on the verge of keeling over, weighed down by the passage of time and the elements.
But thanks to a large-scale restoration project spearheaded by the Jewish Cemetery Trust (JCT), the gravestones – some dating from the 1860s – are set to be returned to their former splendour.
At present, JCT has committed to restoring 112 heritage tombs. That is in addition to the 52 gravestones it has already refurbished during the past year.
JCT chairman Jack Fisher said it was all part of a five-year plan to refurbish up to 1600 plots within the historic grounds.
Click here to read the entire article.

2011 IAJGS Conference Update: Researching Israeli Relatives

Here's some information about the session, "Finding your Israeli Family," Th-407, scheduled from 2:15 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thursday at the conference.

Michael Goldstein & Garri Regev will be leading our first reality-based session featuring a "live" demonstration on how to search for living Israeli relatives. You are invited to send in the names and any information you have to:

While success cannot be guaranteed, participants will come away with a practical guide to performing this type of research. (Since some of the investigation may need to be done from Israel we'd like the advance information in order to prepare.)

We will use your material during our talk only if you are at the session. Even if you don't send any data in advance, you're still welcome to attend the session and bring your questions about researching people living in Israel.

Michael Goldstein and Garri Regev 

New Education Class: Independent Study

Posted by Nancy Holden

Ever dream of a genealogical search companion? JewishGen is offering an Independent Study class. Your topic, your schedule, your questions. 

Nancy Holden will be available Friday July  29 - Friday August 26 for projects centered on research in  the United States, Canada or the Pale of Russia (Latvia to Southern Russia). This session will follow the format of other JewishGen Education classes using a Forum and one-on -one consultations via the internet.

The level of your knowledge, and the Family you decide to research is not an issue. However, in order to qualify for this class we ask that you submit a paragraph about your project: your research SURNAME, your research towns, your research goals.

This will be a Do-it-Yourself, computer-based, online seminar. Individual readings will be posted according to your research needs. To get the most out of this course, you will need 8-10 hours a week and commit to posting to the forum as work on your project.

Is this course right for you? This is beyond the basics. Read the course descriptions to see if what you want to do is covered by a course already being taught. If not, this may be the perfect class. Students should be comfortable on the internet and able to upload and download pdfs, images and word documents.

Enrollment is limited. Please send your qualifying paragraph to any time after July 15, 2011 for consideration. Students will be notified of enrollment procedures by email.

Charge: $100 to be paid after acceptance to the class

Looking for Stories...

The Museum of Jewish Heritage, (of which JewishGen is an affiliate), would like to hear from people who remember seeing the Statue of Liberty for the first time. The Museum also welcomes related photographs and parents’ and grandparents’ stories.

These submissions will be considered for inclusion in a new website planned for the upcoming exhibit about Emma Lazarus, the Sephardic Jew whose poem graces the base of the Statue.

To submit a story, or for more information, please email

JOWBR Update

Posted by Nolan Altman

JewishGen is very proud to announce its 2011 pre-IAJGS Conference update to the JOWBR (JewishGen’s Online Worldwide Burial Registry) database.

This update adds over 120,000 new records and 49,000 new photos.  The database is adding 182 new cemeteries along with updates or additions to an additional 130 cemeteries from 26 countries.  Since last year’s conference, JOWBR has added close to 300,000 records to the database which brings JOWBR’s holdings to 1.7 million records from more than 3,200 cemeteries / cemetery sections from 51 countries!  (Although the burial records are now “live” additional description files, maps and overview photos for these new cemeteries will be made available shortly.)

Once again, you will see that the donors for this update include a mix of individuals, Jewish genealogical societies, historical societies and museums.  We appreciate all our donor’s submissions and the transliteration work done by a faithful group of JewishGen volunteers.  Of particular note in this update are the following additions:
  • Star of David, North. Ft. Lauderdale, FL.  Thanks to the joint efforts of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Broward County (JGSBC)  (Coordinator - Susan Steinfeld) and Record-A-Grave  (Coordinator - Jon Andersen) we are adding almost 30,000 records and photo from many of the cemeteries sections.
  • Lodz, Poland.  Thanks to a dedicated team of data entry and validation volunteers, we are adding the final installment of approximately 19,000 records to those that are currently live.  JOWBR now includes approximately 70,500 records from the “Organization of Former Residents of Lodz in Israel” burial registers.  These records will also be added to the JRI-Poland database.
  • Mt. Carmel, Philadelphia, PA. Thanks to the efforts of James Gross and the JGS of Greater Philadelphia for obtaining and submitting the cemetery indexing work of Eagle Scout Ian Montgomery.
  • San Diego / Oceanside, CA  Thanks to Roberta Berman and the San Diego Genealogical Society for submitting approximately 6,600 records from 6 cemeteries in the San Diego area.
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Thanks to Ada Green for indexing the largest Jewish Cemetery in Vancouver, 4,300 records, and updating 5 other area cemeteries.  Ada has also updated NY area cemeteries with Nadworner and Bialystoker plots.  Total new submitted records, approximately 6,500.
  • Columbus / Bellaire, OH and West Virginia Thanks to Jules Duga for continuing to submit records from Columbus area cemeteries.  This update contains approximately 7,399 records from 13 cemeteries.
  • Arlington National Cemetery.  Thanks to Harvey Kabaker and the JGS of Greater Washington for their final installment of burials and photos from Arlington National Cemetery bringing the total to 5,200.
  • Satu Mare, Romania.  Thanks to Alexander Huzau for submitting over 4,500 records from the Orthodox and Staus Quo Ante cemeteries in Satu Mare.
  • Ottawa, Canada.  Thanks to John Diener and the JGS of Ottawa for submitting approximately 4,500 records from the Jewish Memorial Garden cemeteries and Bank Street cemeteries in Ottawa.
  • Czernovitsi, Ukraine.  Thanks to Bruce Reich and the JGS of Ottawa for submitting an additional 3,600 records and photos bringing the total for the Czernovitsi Cemetery to more than 16,000.
  • Lima, Peru.  Thanks to Peter Salamon ( for submitting 3,100 records from Jewish cemetery in Lima.
  • Richmond, VA.  Thanks Congregation Beth Ahabah ( for submitting 2,700 records for the Hebrew Cemetery in Richmond along with the cemetery’s Confederate Section, “the only Jewish military cemetery in the world outside of Israel.”
  • Szydlowiec, Poland.  Thanks to Mel Fishman for his 2,100 data records and accompanying photos.
  • Germany – Various. Thanks to Rolf Hoffman ( for submitting 1,500 records from his research representing a number of German cemeteries.
  • Youngstown, OH.  Thanks to Marcia Levy for coordinating the receipt of 1,200 records from the Children of Peace cemetery in Youngstown, OH.
  • Germany / Poland.  Thanks to David Lewin for submitting more than 1,000 records from various cemeteries in Germany and Poland.
  • Nassau / Suffolk, Long Island, NY.  Thanks to the Jewish Genealogy Society of Long Island for updates to all the Long Island cemeteries originally submitted 5 years ago.
  • New Countries. 
    • Barbados and Suriname.  Thanks Todd Knowles for submitting records for the Jewish Burial Grounds in Barbados and the Cassipora Creek Cemetery and Old Sephardi cemeteries in Suriname.
    • Kenya.  Thanks to David Lichtenstein and Charles Szlapak for submitting records from 3 Kenyan cemeteries as a result of a conversation started by Avigdor Ben-Dov on the JG Discussion List regarding Jewish cemeteries in sub-Saharan Africa.
    • Eritrea.  Thanks to Mae Goder, Sami Cohen and Mansoor Cohen for their work at the Asmara Jewish Cemetery.
  • Jewish Veterans – Nationwide.  Thanks to Hershel Sheiness for submitting burial records for Jewish veterans interred in National Cemeteries around the country.
  • Whether your name or records are listed above, we appreciate all your submissions!  Thank you to all the donors that submitted information for this update.

We appreciate all the work our donors have done and encourage you to make additional submissions.  Whether you work on a cemetery / cemetery section individually or consider a group project for your local Society, temple or other group, it’s your submissions that help grow the JOWBR database and make it possible for researchers and family members to find answers they otherwise might not.  Please also consider other organizations you may be affiliated with that may already have done cemetery indexing that would consider having their records included in the JOWBR database. 

Artifacts Wanted

Please read the following message from Esther Brumberg - senior curator of collections for the Museum of Jewish Heritage.

The Museum is seeking the donation of a prewar wedding canopy (chuppah), or a prayer shawl (tallit) that was used as a wedding canopy.

As you may know, the first floor of the Museum’s Core Exhibition explores vibrant and multifaceted Jewish life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Personal artifacts and family photographs accompanied by documentary films provide a rich emotional component to the exhibition. 

The beginning of the Core Exhibition highlights several life cycle events that are important to Jewish life. One of them is the wedding. The wedding display features clothing worn by a bride and groom under a canopy. The Museum’s current canopy, on loan from a private collection, will be taken off exhibit temporarily to be used at the wedding of a grandchild of the lender. This happy event reinvigorates the Museum’s search for a canopy of its own, and reinforces its message as a living memorial and museum. 

If you have such an item to donate or know of a congregation or individual who might, please contact me at 646-437-4248 or For more information regarding donating artifacts, visit our website.

image: chuppah on loan to the Museum. Collection of the Mogilner-Glatzer family.

Ceremony honors Jews killed by Polish neighbors

From the Associated Press by Czarek Sokolowski 
JEDWABNE, Poland (AP) — Poland's president made a repeated apology during ceremonies on Sunday marking 70 years since Polish villagers murdered hundreds of their Jewish neighbors in a World War II massacre that caused painful soul-searching in Poland when it was revealed in 2000.

The date of the massacre in the village of Jedwabne, some 190 kilometers (120 miles) northeast of Warsaw, has entered Poland's remembrance calendar and the state and church leaders have apologized.

"The nation must understand that it also had an active role," President Bronislaw Komorowski said in a letter that was read out during the ceremony.

On Sunday, Chief Rabbi of Poland, Michael Schudrich, said prayers for the dead at a monument to the massacre victims.

A relative of the victims, Icchak Levi, came from Israel. He cried over the stone monument that says in Polish, Hebrew and Yiddish: "In memory of the Jews of Jedwabne and surrounding areas, men, women, and children, fellow-dwellers of this land, murdered and burned alive at this site on 10 July 1941." 

A statement from an organization of Holocaust survivors in America said Jedwabne is an example for the cases when the local populations collaborated with the Nazi's in killing Jews.At the end of the ceremony, the participants places pebbles at the monument, in a sign of mourning.

A state investigation that closed in 2002 said that some 40 Polish men killed between 300 and 400 Jewish men, women and children in Jedwabne, in Poland's northeast, beating some to death and burning others alive in a barn. It was impossible to state the exact number of victims, the investigators said.

The probe was ordered after Polish emigre historian Jan Tomasz Gross described the massacre in his book "Neighbors" published here in 2000. According to Gross, some 1,600 Jews were killed in Jedwabne. In 1949, a communist-era court convicted 12 Poles in the Jedwabne massacre, saying they assisted German forces in the killings, which took place after German troops occupied Poland at the start of the war.

Some 3 million of Poland's prewar Jewish population of 3.5 million were killed in the Holocaust.

Click here to read the entire article. For more about Jedwabne, click here.

Newark Jewish Chronicle

The Newark Jewish Chronicle, the predecessor to NJ Jewish News that closed down in 1943, is now being resurrected with an on-line pay-per-view archive.

Click here to read the entire article.

Genealogy in the Round: JGS Conejo Valley and Ventura County July 17

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

The Jewish Genealogical Society of the Conejo Valley and Ventura County (JGSCV) will be meeting on Sunday, July 17, 2011 1:30-3:30 pm at Temple Adat Elohim, 2420 E Hillcrest Drive in Thousand Oaks, CA.

The Topic: Genealogy In The Round:
Share Your Successes, Failures, Artifacts and Brick Walls

Come and share a genealogical success, failure, brick wall, or genealogical artifact! This is YOUR meeting-We all learn from one another-take this opportunity to share your genealogical story-success or failure, ask questions about your brick walls, and more!

If you wish to participate in the program, please contact Jan Meisels Allen at Each participant will be given 5-10 minutes to share-depending on the number of presenters. Whether you are a JGSCV member or a potential member-we'd love to hear your genealogical story.

Our "Schmoozing Corner" will be facilitated by JGSCV board member and genealogist, Marion Werle. The "Corner" is available for 15 minutes before the meeting to answer questions attendees may have about their genealogy.

Our monthly book report will be given by Dalya Dektor , founding JGSCV member reporting on Ariana Franklin's "The Mistress of the Art of Death". In 1170, medieval Cambridge, England four children have been murdered. The crimes are immediately blamed on the town's Jewish community, taken as evidence that Jews sacrifice Christian children in blasphemous ceremonies.
What is timely about this book as recently reported by the BBC, is the recent discovery of 17 bodies in a well in Norwich with the skeletons date back to the 12th or 13th Centuries and DNA evidence shows that 5 of seven of skeletons were from a single Jewish family.

Our rotating traveling library will have Categories A and B To see which books are listed under which category, please go to our website, and look under traveling library. The books are available starting 30 minutes before the program to shortly after the program.

The Jewish Genealogical Society of the Conejo Valley and Ventura County is dedicated to sharing genealogical information, techniques and research tools with anyone interested in Jewish genealogy and family history. ( There is no charge to attend the meeting and all are welcome to attend.


For those of us living in the western San Fernando Valley, Conejo Valley, Ventura County and further west this should not affect us!

If you are driving to the July 17 meeting, which requires you traveling on the 405 Fwy, CALTRANS is closing the 405 Freeway over the Sepulveda Pass and interchanges from the 10 Fwy to the 101 Fwy on July 16-17, and the traffic will be the "mother of all traffic jams". If you are traveling from the San Fernando Valley take the 118 Fwy to the 23 Fwy to get to Thousand
Oaks-Hillcrest Drive exit and go east to the Temple . If you are coming from Los Angeles, take the Pacific Coast Highway (CA Route 1 N) to either Kanan-Dume Road or Las Virgenes-Malibu Canyon Rd , to the 101 west toRancho. Look at Google maps or MapQuest for other alternatives. Leave earlier than you usually do.

For more information including directions to the meeting, see our website

Jan Meisels Allen
President, JGSCV

Jews of Puerto Rico

Jewish history in Puerto Rico can be traced back to the 15th century and the Second Voyage of Christopher Columbus. Though it would take hundreds of years for a Jewish community to be established in Puerto Rico, many Jews settled on the island hoping to flee from the scrutiny of the Spanish Inquisition.

Click here to read the entire article from the Jerusalem Post.

Man, Oh, Manischewitz

Click here to read the entire article.

2011 IAJGS Conference: Update

Our program has grown to more than 230 events that offer to enrich, educate, enlighten, amuse and please the palate of Jewish family researchers coming from many countries to this singular international conference. Time is growing short to register on line for these six days of —
  • hearing informative lectures and panel discussions
  • learning and refining research techniques
  • doing on-line research with free access in the Resource Center to many databases that normally require paid subscriptions
  • watching fine professional films with themes of Jewish heritage
  • enjoying a kosher lunch or breakfast with a Special Interest Group
  • getting together with genealogical Birds of a Feather
  • visiting embassies of nations with historical and ongoing important for Jews
  • mixing and networking with old and new friends who have common interests in Jewish genealogy
  • taking in a special performance of Theater J's "The Moscows of Nantucket"
  • hearing about resources available at the National Archives and U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • attending workshops to enhance your on-line research successes
Registration closes for the pre-conference dinners, Breakfasts with the Experts, SIG meals and the Gala at midnight EST July 31, less than three weeks away. You can't add meals to your agenda on site. Embassy visits and computer workshops will be open for new sign-ups only until they reach capacity. If you procrastinate, you might miss out.

Visiti to learn more. 

Marlene Katz Bishow, Vic Cohen and Sue Isman, co-chairs
31st IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy

2011 IAJGS Conference Update: Resource Center

Posted by Suzan Wynne

This year’s Resource Center is a real benefit to researchers, and definitely should not be overlooked. It's a valuable place to spend time studying maps for ancestral towns, reviewing computerized surname indexes, and searching
through a wide variety of databases to fill in gaps in your research.

It's a "problem worth having" because it's virtually guaranteed to compete with your equally strong desire to attend Conference sessions, network, see Judaic films, visit vendors, etc. (You also will be able to avoid going outside into the August heat of Washington by conducting your research in the comfort of the Grand Hyatt, and still be close to other Conference features you want to catch!)

The Resource Center also will be a lively, "happening" place to be because virtually EVERY Conference attendee will visit the Resource Center! How can you pass that up? (And when you do come by, we suggest you bring a listing of your "research goals," the specific surnames, towns, or dates you’re researching so that you can spend your time more wisely.)

Where’s what this year's Resource Center consists of:

  • Carefully selected reference materials, specialized archival materials, and maps (laminated and available on long tables) from the hosting organization, the Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington (JGSGW)’s extensive library collection;
  • 5 PC computers dedicated to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) Central Names Index (CNI). That index will help inform attendees' Holocaust-era research and be a major aid when conducting research at the Museum itself
  • 35 additional PCs loaded with links to websites usually accessible only through subscription or membership.
  • Translation Services located in an adjacent room, with a free 20-minute appointment for conference attendees who sign up at the Conference, its schedule to be posted.
The Resource Center will be open during these days and hours:

  • Sunday, August 14, from 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Monday, August 15, from 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, August 16, from 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, August 17, from 7:30 a.m.- 9 p.m.
  • Thursday, August 18, from 7:30 a.m.– 5:30 p.m.
  • Friday, August 19, from 7:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.
We'll have a large number of links available to both free and subscription (free at the Conference) genealogy-related websites. These will be on the Resource Center's 35 computers, and be available for all SIX DAYS of
the Conference.

  • Accessible Archives
  • British Newspapers Database (British Library)
  • Conditions and Politics in Occupied Western Europe
  • Find My Past and Ancestors on Board
  • Financial Times Historical Archives
  • Gale News Vault
  • GenTeam
  • Godfrey Memorial Library (GOLD)
  • Guardian and Observer Digital Newspaper Archives
  • Israel Genealogy Society
  • JGSGB Website Databases
  • MyHeritage
  • New England Historical and Genealogical Society
  • Newspaper Archive
  • The Forward
  • The Jewish Chronicle (Great Britain)
Save the Date: ProQuest Databases will only be available on Wednesday, August 16! On that date, and from 7:30 am to 9 pm, ProQuest has agreed to provide free access to their numerous and specialized databases. To be fair
to all users  wishing access, we'll need to limit use of the computers with ProQuest on them to one hour per user. Here is what the ProQuest databases available that day will include:

  • ProQuest Sanborn Maps Geo Edition (all content)
  • Ethnic NewsWatch (includes Jewish Newspapers)
  • Historic Map Works Library Edition (all content)
  • HeritageQuest Online (all content)
  • Gannett Military Newspapers (all content)
  • Canada's Heritage from 1844- Globe and Mail (all content)
  • Canadian Newsstand (all content)
  • Toronto Star (all content from inception to current, as available)
  • ProQuest Dissertation and Theses (all content)
  • American Periodicals Series Online--1741-1900 (all content)
  • List of 20 Historical Newspapers (16 U.S.-based and 4 International):
As you can see, this year's Resource Center is abundantly filled with versatile research tools.  Please come by the Resource Center: you'll thank yourself!

Books and archival materials can be checked out for use by turning in a government-issued picture ID to be left with Resource Center staff. This ensures that materials are returned. No one will be permitted to leave the
room with library materials.

But you do have to be a Conference registrant to use the maps, books, archival materials, and computerized databases there. With that in mind, Conference registration rates are very flexible and include full week or
single day registration, as well as discount rates for spouses/companions, college and high school students. You also can arrange for Grand Hyatt Washington hotel lodging through the Conference website.

For further information, please contact The Conference website is

See you in August!
Suzan Wynne
Resource Center Coordinator

Update: Yizkor Book Project

Posted by Lance Ackerfeld
As we head out into the long hot summer or the long cold winter, for those on the other side of the planet, I have to report that June was yet another "hyperactive" month for the Yizkor Book Project. 

Quite a large number of new books and entries were added and notably, a new Translation project has been added this month for Dej, Romania (Des, Hungary) and we are looking for financial support for this project in order to allow those of you with roots there to read about the people and thriving culture that existed before the Holocaust. If you feel able to assist in helping to finance this or any of our currently running translation projects, please click here.

June also saw the addition of a large number of necrologies which not only immortalize the names of our loved ones but also can provide their family relationships, professions, dates of birth and more or these people. As such, these lists are also an invaluable genealogical resource and to assist in research, the names from the necrologies are periodically added to the searchable Yizkor Book Necrology Database.

These days, this important but time-taking work of adding to the database is carried out by Max Heffler, who also carries out a myriad of other tasks for JewishGen and elsewhere. I would truly like to spread the heavy load which these days falls heavily on Max's shoulders alone and am eager to hear from any of you who have some time to help in preparing the lists in Excel which are then added to the database.

As far as the June figures go, we added 9 new projects:
We have added the following 27 new entries:
We also have added updates to 26 of our existing projects:
The Yizkor Book Project now contains 1,301 entries, 627 books, 9,468 pages, 20,023 images and we continue to grow and grow with all of your help.