As we approach Rosh
Hashanah (which begins at sundown on Wednesday, September 4th – the
earliest it has been in 115 years!) we are excited to share with you
some of the latest news at JewishGen.
Here are some brief highlights from the past half year (please read all the way down):
• Karen Franklin and Gary Mokotoff were “Guests of Honor” at JewishGen’s inaugural Spring Brunch.
• Lance Ackerfeld (from the Yizkor Book project) was recognized as the our first ever “Volunteer of the Year.”
• Pictures and speeches can be accessed elsewhere on our facebook page.
International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) Conference in Boston.
• The IAJGS recognized our KehilaLinks project for its “outstanding
contribution to Jewish Genealogy.” Special Mazal Tov to KehilaLink
coordinators Susana Leistner Bloch and Barbara Ellman.
• JewishGen had a strong presence at the conference with more than 80 JewishGen related presentations.
• JewishGen debuted its new video “This is JewishGen” to favorable reviews. Click here to watch the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nASSn4rDXh4
The French SIG, for the first time, has received permission to index a
large cemetery in France, and they are working with the Cercle de
Genealogie Juive of Paris to incorporate records they have obtained over
• 36,000 new records have been added from 16 towns throughout present day Hungary, Romania and Sub-Carpathia.
• Maramaros Tax Census Records from 1815, 1820-1821, and 1826 are
almost all complete and should be online within the next couple of
• Work on the Szatmar (Satu Mare – presently in Romania) is almost complete.
• Received the first batch of records from the Miskolc cemetery. Photographs will be included in JOWBR.
JOWBR (Cemetery Registry)
75,000 new records (with 21,000 photos) have been added. This means
that the JOWBR project now contains more than 2 million burial records!
More than 90 new webpages were created, and 6 orphaned pages were adopted.
Memorial Plaque Project
In its initial year, the database includes close to 30,000 records from
the US, Israel and British Columbia. These records come from 46
different Synagogues and other institutions.
More than 20,000 records from Peter Lande’s German Town project have been added.
We conducted 8 classes and taught more than 150 students. Courses
included: Basic Genealogy, New York Genealogy, Independent Study,
KehilaLinks, and Exploring the JewishGen website.
• 12,495 vital records were added to the database.
• More than 5,000 records from the Bendery cemetery were added.
• 788 records from the Beltsy cemetery were added.
• Work has been completed on creating a Geographical Dictionary of towns and Shtetlakh where Jews lived in Bessarabia.
• 15 translations have been completed from the “Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities in Romania, Vol.2”
• 2 Books (out of 20) have been translated from the “Bessarabia Annual Books, 1862-1914” collection.
The ROM-SIG is celebrating its 20th year, and they are “on a roll!” The ROM-SIG has now added 180,600 records to the database.
• 8,500 records were added to the Necrology database.
• 17,000 records were added to the Master Name Index.
• 10 translations were completed.
• 20 new books were added
• 36 new entries were added
• 25 projects have been updated monthly
And this is not even covering half of it!
We have our work cut out for us the remainder of the year, and into
next. There remain millions of records throughout the world that have
yet to be digitized, indexed, and made searchable on JewishGen. Some
for-profit companies seek to obtain these records, and then charge to
access them. It is our belief that Jewish family research should be
freely accessible, and we are doing everything we can to keep it that
As always, major and significant improvements (with the
rapid advance of technology, these improvements are always significant)
have continued to be made “behind the scenes” to help ensure an easy,
powerful, and secure web experience.
Finally, and most
importantly, our loyal users continued to provide us with a strong base
of financial support – we received nearly 8,000 donations last year –
allowing us to operate within our budget despite global economic
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 $1,000 or as modest 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 the following link- it
will be greatly appreciated.
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