Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wishing You a Sweet New Year

Dear Friends.

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):

Spring Brunch
• 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

French SIG
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 the years.

Hungarian SIG
• 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 months.
• 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!

KehilaLinks
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.

German SIG
More than 20,000 records from Peter Lande’s German Town project have been added.

Education
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.

Bessarabia SIG
• 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.

Romania SIG
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.

Yizkor Books
• 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 way.

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 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 $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.
(
http://www.jewishgen.org/JewishGen-erosity/v_projectslist.asp?project_cat=55)

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.

Sincerely,

Warren Blatt - Managing Director
Michael Tobias - Vice President of Programming
Avraham Groll - Director of Business Operations

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Watch JewishGen's Brand New Video!

Dear Friends,

We are excited to announce the release of our brand new JewishGen video entitled "This is JewishGen.” The video explains more about us, who are the people “behind JewishGen” and how JewishGen can help you research your roots.


To watch the video now, please click here.

Enjoy - and please share with friends and family!

We would also love to receive your feedback. After watching the video, please leave a comment on our Facebook page by clicking here

Kind regards,

Warren Blatt, Managing Director

Avraham Groll, Director of Business Operations 
Michael Tobias, VP Programming

Monday, August 12, 2013

Mazal Tov!

Dear Friends,
As many of you know, the IAJGS recognized the KehilaLinks project for its “outstanding contribution to Jewish Genealogy” at the just completed conference in Boston. We are incredibly pleased that the project has been acknowledged, as we have considered it to be an incredibly useful resource since its inception in 1996.
But we must also take a moment to formally acknowledge Susana Leistner Bloch and Barbara Ellman, the leaders of the KehilaLinks project. It is safe to say that the KehilaLinks project would be unrecognizable in its current form, without the countless hours of hard work, planning, brainstorming, and simple devotion that Susana and Barbara display on a constant basis.
As anyone who has worked with them knows, they are constantly available to answer questions, and will do their best to help people be successful in their Jewish genealogical research. For this reason, we view this award not only as a “JewishGen award” but as a well deserved honor for two of our most important volunteers, Susana and Barbara.
Please join us in congratulating Susana and Barbara by leaving your congratulatory comments on our facebook page by clicking here (tinyurl.com/ktrqsu8).
Your comments will surely be appreciated.
Mazal Tov!
Warren Blatt, Managing Director
Avraham Groll, Director of Business Operations
Michael Tobias, VP of Programming

Friday, August 2, 2013

Yizkor Book Project Update - July 2013

Shalom,

With the Boston IAJGS conference just around the corner, I am quite certain that this month's Yizkor Book Project report finds many of you making your final preparations before the big event. Unfortunately, I am unable to be there but, very fortunately for those that will, once again Jan Meisels Allen has graciously agreed to the Yizkor Book Birds of a Feather meeting and this is an open invitation to attend.

During July, a further two books have been published through our Yizkor Books in Print Project:

- Jaslo, Poland - Yizkor (Memorial) Book of the Jewish Community of Jaslo, Poland
- Telekhany, Belarus - The Telekhan Yizkor Book

With these new additions, we have now published 18 books and you can see the full list of these books and read all about the project at http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/ybip.html We continue to be amazed by the very positive response to this project which we set up as a public service to those interested in seeing these translations as something that they can hold in their hands and share with their family.

I am also pleased to note that during July, we finished placing the complete and substantial English sections from the Brzozow and Dobromil Yizkor books which were kindly typed up by Helen Rosenstein Wolf and Susan Dressler, respectively. As I always note, there are many aspects of the Yizkor Book Project in which we gladly welcome volunteer assistance and typing up is just one of these. So if you would like to become involved in the YB Project in some way, I would be happy to hear from you.


Now to facts and figures for July, during this last month we have added these 3 new projects:

- Capresti, Moldova (Collection of criticism and reviews of the book 'Our Village Kapresht') http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Capresti1/Capresti1.html

- Krasnobrod, Poland (Krasnobrod; a Memorial to the Jewish community) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/krasnobrod/krasnobrod.html

- Turobin, Poland (The Turobin book; in memory of the Jewish community) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Turobin/Turobin.html


Added in 5 new entries:

- Calarasi, Moldova (Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities in Romania, Volume

- Capresti, Moldova (Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities in Romania, Volume

- Dumbraveni, Moldova (Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities in Romania, Volume

- Marculesti, Moldova (Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities in Romania, Volume

- Orhei, Moldova (Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities in Romania, Volume II) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/pinkas_romania/rom2_00327.html


We have continued to update 25 of our existing projects:


- Babruysk, Belarus (Memorial book of the community of Bobruisk and its

- Bedzin, Poland (A Memorial to the Jewish Community of Bedzin) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Bedzin/Bedzin.html

- Briceva, Moldova (Memorial Book of Brichevo) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Bricheva/Bricheva.html

- Briceni, Moldova (Brichany: its Jewry in the first half of our century) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Brichany/Brichany.html

- Brzozow, Poland (A Memorial to the Brzozow Community) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/brzozow/brzozow.html

- Byten, Belarus (Memorial book of Byten) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/byten/byten.html

- Czyzew, Poland  (Czyzewo Memorial Book) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Czyzew/Czyzew.html

- Dobromil, Poland (Dobromil: life in a Galician Shtetl, 1890-1907) http://www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/Dobromil1/Dobromil1.html

- Golub-Dobrzyn, Poland (In Memory of the Communities Dobrzyn-Gollob) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/golub_dobrzyn/golub_dobrzyn.html

- Goniadz, Poland (Our hometown Goniondz) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/goniadz/goniadz.html

- Gostynin, Poland (Book of Gostynin)

- Klobuck, Poland (The Book of Klobucko; in memory of a martyred community which was destroyed) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/klobuck/klobuck.html

- Kolomyya, Ukraine (Memorial Book of Kolomey) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/kolomyya/kolomyya.html

- Lukow, Poland (The book of Lukow; dedicated to a destroyed community) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/lukow/lukow.html

- Miedzyrzec Podlaski, Poland (Mezritsh Book, in Memory of the Martyrs of our City) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Miedzyrzec_Podlaski/Miedzyrzec_Podlaski.html

- Molchad, Belarus (Molchadz, In Memory of the Jewish Community) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Molchadz/Molchadz.html

- Ozerna, Ukraine (Memorial book of Jezierna) http://www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/Ozerna/Ozerna.html

- Rakow, Belarus (Rakow Community Memorial Book) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/rakow/rakow.html

- Ratno, Ukraine (Memorial book of Ratno) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/ratno1/ratno1.html

- Sierpc, Poland (The Community of Sierpc; Memorial Book) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Sierpc/Sierpc.html

- Stowbtsy, Belarus (Memorial volume of Steibtz-Swerznie and the neighboring villages Rubezhevitz, Derevna, Nalibok) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Stowbtsy/Stowbtsy.html

- Stryy, Ukraine (Book of Stryj)

- Strzemieszyce Wielkie, Poland (The Book of Strzemieszyce) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Strzemieszyce/Strzemieszyce.html

- Szczebrzeszyn, Poland (The Book of Memory to the Jewish Community of

- Wyszkow, Poland (Wyszkow Book)


Some important links to note:

- This month's additions and updates are flagged at http://www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/translations.html to make it easy to find them. 
-  All you would like to know about the Yizkor Books in Print Project http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/ybip.html
-  Yizkor Book Translation Funds
where your financial support will assist in seeing more translations go online.

All the best,
Lance Ackerfeld
Yizkor Book Project Manager