This past summer, for the first time in many years, we published a beautiful 24-page report highlighting JewishGen’s accomplishments over the course of the previous year. It has been viewed more than 14,000 times, and if you have not already done so, we encourage you to read it by clicking here.
The 2011 Update is a reflection of how the year has gone for JewishGen – busy, productive, and successful.
In terms of our online collection, more than one million records were added to JewishGen this past year, including more than 300,000 new entries for JOWBR(our online burial registry).
As you may have noticed, we have renamed some of our popular features so that they are immediately understandable to all of our users.
For example, the JewishGen ShtetlSeeker is now called the JewishGen Gazetteer. Similarly, JewishGen ShtetLinks is now called JewishGen KehilaLinks. In addition, major and significant improvements have been made “behind the scenes” to help foster an easier and more powerful experience.
To be sure, we still have lots of room to improve. For example, more than 42,000 new users registered for JewishGen last year, and yet only small percentages joined our Discussion Groups and Family Finder. These are important networking tools that have helped connect thousands of families, and we plan on improving these numbers in the year ahead.
Finally, and most importantly, our loyal users continued to provide us with a strong base of financial support – we received more than 6,000 donations last year – allowing us to operate within our budget for the second year in a row despite global economic uncertainty.
This feat was possible only because our users made a conscious decision to participate – each according to their ability – in the important service we are providing. Every single financial donor has a share in any success that results from JewishGen. While we received some donations in excess of $1000 or as little as $5, each was significant and important to us, and we are grateful.
As the New Year approaches, we remain confident that you and other JewishGen users will once again help support our important work to the best of your ability. Each donation makes a difference, and helps us to continue offering a service that has connected thousands of families over the past two decades.
If you are in a position to make a financial contribution to JewishGen, please click heretoday.
Regardless of your level of financial support, we are glad that you are part of the global JewishGen community – the JewishGen family – and we wish you and your family a happy and healthy new year, a Shana Tova and a K'siva V'chasima Tova.
Warren Blatt - Managing Director
Michael Tobias - Vice President of Programming
Avraham Groll - Director of Business Operations
Photo: Rosh Hashanah card made by Gisela Stern for her parents. (Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, Online Collection. Gift of Gisela Stern Simon, 2007.A.305).