By Ann Rabinowitz
Recently, a friend told me about a nostalgic replica of the shtetl of Miasteczko, Poland. The recreation of the shtetl is called Yankel’s Shtetl Station and it provides an experience of what life in the shtetl was like. The contact at the Yankel’s Shtetl Station is Gadi Jakob, firstname.lastname@example.org.
More about the replica can be seen on their site: http://shtetl.co.il/pws/. It is located in Kfar Hassidim, Israel, and you can learn more about it on this link: http://shtetl.co.il/pws/page!5247. Although partly in Hebrew, there is an English link too.
In addition, a further interesting virtual shtetl portal was developed in 2008 and is now part of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, http://www.sztetl.org.pl/en/cms/the-project/. This Museum is being constructed in in Warsaw, Poland. It is there that you can also learn more about the 2,913 Polish shtetls represented on the site, especially in the filmography and media.
By the way, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the term “shtetl”, you can go look it up on Wikipedia!!! It is the essential building block to find your ancestral records as they are organized by shtetl and not by family name.
To learn more, you can go to the Kehilalinks site on JewishGen and click on the Poland link: http://kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/Poland.html. The JRI-Poland site, http://www.jewishgen.org/jri-pl/, is also a tremendously helpful resource for your research into specific shtetls and families who lived there.
Have fun in your Polish research!