Wednesday, December 14, 2011

New Content Added to JOWBR (JewishGen's Burial Registry)

Posted by Nolan Altman


JewishGen is proud to announce its 2011 year-end update to the JOWBR (JewishGen’s Online Worldwide Burial Registry) database. The JOWBR database can be accessed by clicking here. If you are a new JOWBR user, we recommend that you take a look at the first two explanatory screencasts by clicking here.


This update adds approximately 60,000 new records and 16,000 new photos. The database is adding 120 new cemeteries along with updates or additions to an additional 225 cemeteries.


In what may be our most diversified update, we are adding or updating records to cemeteries from 37 countries literally spanning from A to Z, Australia to Zambia. This update brings JOWBR’s holdings to 1.76 million records from more than 3,350 cemeteries / cemetery sections from 64 countries!


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.


I want to particularly thank Eric Feinstein who has been helping me to find and gain permission to add many of the records from under-represented countries. In addition, without our volunteer transliterators, led by Gilberto Jugend, we would not be able to add the information from some very difficult to read photos.


Of particular note in this update are the following additions:
  • Brno & Ivančice, Czech Republic. Thanks to Jaroslav Klenovsky of the Jewish Community of Brno (http://zob.cz/) for more than 11,900 Bruno and 900 Ivančice records for these two cemeteries.
  • Ontario, Canada.  Thanks to Allen Halberstadt, coordinator of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Canada, Toronto’s Cemetery Project, for submitting and updating approximately 200 cemeteries with 4,900 records from various cemeteries.  In addition to the records, over 3,900 photos from Dawes Road Cemetery are included in this update thanks to the efforts of Robert Lubinski.
  • Albany, NY.  Thanks to Professor Barry Trachtenberg and the students in his fall 2011 course: American Jewish Experience at the University at Albany, State University of New York.  The students photographed and indexed 3 cemeteries and 2 synagogues' memorial plaques resulting in a contribution in excess of 4,000 records. (Look for an upcoming article on this model which I think could be successfully replicated in other schools.)
  • Petach Tikvah / Segulah and Savyon, Israel.  Thanks to Gilda Kurtzman for her ongoing submissions of 3,900 new records and 2,600 new photos.  The Petach Tikvah cemetery is represented by 62,600 records and 19,800 photos.
  • Czernovitsi, Ukraine.  Thanks to Bruce Reich and the JGS of Ottawa for submitting an additional 3,200 records and photos bringing the total for the Czernovitsi cemetery to more than 19,300.
  • Czech Republic.  Thanks to Achab Haidler for the first installment of 15 cemeteries from his site at www.chewra.com 
  • Balassagyarmat, Hungary.  Thanks to Ruben Weiser for 2,700 burial records from this Hungarian town.
  • Tiraspol, Moldova.  Thanks to Roberta Solit for her submission of 2,500 records from Tiraspol.
  • Mexico City, Mexico.  Thanks to the “Hebra Kadisha, Comunidad Maguen David” in Mexico City and Liz Hamui Sutton for arranging the submission of information for two Mexico City cemeteries totaling approximately 1,700 records.
  • Wroclaw, Poland.  Thanks to Dr. Marcin Wodzinsk who submitted 1,700 records from the Polish town of Wroclaw.
  • Catskills, New York.  Thanks to David Preiver for submitting more than 1,600 records from 9 cemeteries in the Montecello / Liberty / Catskills area of NY State. 
  • Soroca, Moldova. Thanks to the efforts of Brock Bierman we are adding more than 1,600 records from this town.  Brock is also coordinating efforts to photograph and index other Moldovan cemeteries and would appreciate hearing from researchers interested in this area through his website www.civicancestry.com 
  • Rhodes, Greece.  Thanks to Aron Hasson of the Rhodes Jewish Historical Foundation we are adding 1,400 records.  For photos of the headstones and more information on the Jewish community of Rhodes, please see http://www.rhodesjewishmuseum.org/  
  • Suriname. Thanks to Aviva Ben-Ur and Rachel Frankel, authors of “Remnant Stones: The Jewish Cemeteries of Suriname, Volume One: Epitaphs”, we are adding more than 1,300 records of stones in the 4 Jewish cemeteries in Suriname.
  • Various Countries.  Our thanks to Hana Holland, director of "Journey into Jewish Heritage" a student based group that is sharing their indexing records from various countries throughout Europe and Asia.  This installment includes records from Greece, India and Turkey.  For more information, please see http://www.jewish-heritage.org.il/default.aspx
  • New Countries.  This update includes our first listings for Bolivia, Haiti, Kazakhstan, Malta, Mexico, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Russia, Slovenia, Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia.  Although some are small in number, these listings help achieve JewishGen’s goal of permanently memorializing Jewish communities around the world.
  • 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.


Stay tuned for our inaugural upload for JewishGen’s Memorial Plaque project.  We currently have approximately 7,500 records to start with and are very interested in your help to add to those figures.  We’re still actively looking for additional files for the launch.  Please contact me to find out more about this project and how you or your JGS can help.


Nolan Altman
NAltman@JewishGen.org 
JewishGen VP for Data Acquisition
JOWBR – Coordinator
December, 2011

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