Yizkor Book Project, September 2014


In my Yizkor Book Project reports I freely talk about Yizkor books on the assumption that everyone knows what I'm referring to. It seems, though, that I was misguided as I learnt from a message from someone a few weeks ago who wasn't all that clear as to what was being talked about. Therefore, to explain -  Yizkor books were written after the Holocaust as memorials to Jewish communities destroyed in the Holocaust and were usually compiled  by √©migr√© organizations from those communities and contain descriptions and histories of the community, biographies of prominent people, necrologies, photographs etc.  As such, they are an invaluable source of information for people who wish to learn about these communities and the people who lived within them. As most of the books were written in Yiddish and Hebrew, our mission is to make available the "treasures" they contain available to a much wider audience by translating them into English (and some other
languages) and this comes about thanks to a worldwide team of volunteers who share the vision behind the Yizkor Book Project.

Of course, as these books are quite often extremely long - 600 pages or more, the translation of them takes a great deal of time and financial resources. Each time we manage to place an entire book online, it is always a memorable milestone for our group and this past month two such projects were completed. So, I would like to take this opportunity to send out my many thanks to:

- Ann Belinsky and Harvey Spitzer for the incredible achievement of completely translating the Karelichy, Belarus Yizkor book
- Seth Morgulas and Helen Rosenstein Wolf for their mammoth task of preparing the text files from the English version of the Kozienice, Poland Yizkor book

Now to facts and figures for September.

During this last month we have added in 4 new projects:

- Beograd (Belgrade), Serbia (Historical Archives of Belgrade Remembrance Book of Holocaust Victims in Belgrade) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Belgrade/Belgrade.html

- Lask, Poland (Memorial Book of Lask)

- Sokolivka, Ukraine (Sokolievka / Justingrad; a century of struggle and suffering in a Ukrainian shtetl) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Sokolivka/Sokolivka.html

- Szydlowiec, Poland (Yizkor book Szydlowiec) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Szydlowiec1/Szydlowiec1.html

Added in 5 new entries:

- Abramowo, Belarus (Jewish Settlements in the North and South-West Provinces (1835 - 1890)) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/belarus1/bel001.html

- Augustow, Poland (Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities in Poland, Volume IV) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/pinkas_poland/pol4_00126.html

- Lotovo, Belarus (Jewish Settlements in the North and South-West Provinces

- Sarowo, Belarus (Jewish Settlements in the North and South-West Provinces

- Suchowola, Poland (Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities in Poland, Volume

We have continued to update 19 of our existing projects:

- Czestochowa, Poland (The Jews of Czestochowa) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Czestochowa1/Czestochowa1.html

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

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

- Gorlice, Poland (Gorlice book; the community at rise and fall) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/gorlice/gorlice.html

- Jadow, Poland (The Book of Jadow)

- Karelichy, Belarus (Korelitz; the life and destruction of a Jewish

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

- Kozienice, Poland (The book of Kozienice; The birth and the destruction of a Jewish community) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/kozienice/kozienice.html

- Latvia (The Jews in Latvia)

- Lenin, Belarus (The community of Lenin; memorial book) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/lenin/lenin.html

- Lviv, Ukraine (Lwow Volume: Part I)

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

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

- Sanok, Poland (Memorial Book of Sanok and Vicinity) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/sanok/sanok.html

- Stryy, Ukraine (Book of Stryj)

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

- Turets, Belarus (Book of Remembrance - Tooretz-Yeremitz) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Turets/Turets.html

- Turka, Ukraine (Memorial Book of the Community of Turka on the Stryj and

- Wlodawa, Poland (Yizkor book in memory of Vlodava and region) http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Wlodawa/wlodowa.html

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.

Lance Ackerfeld 
Yizkor Book Project Manager

JGS of the Conejo Valley and Ventura County (JGSCV) November 3 Program The Margarine Moonshiners from Minsk: Conducting Story-Driven Research

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

The Jewish Genealogical Society of the Conejo Valley and Ventura County (JGSCV) will hold a general meeting, co–sponsored with Temple Adat Elohim, on Monday, November 3, 2014 7:00-9:00 PM  at Temple Adat Elohim 2420 E. Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks, CA

NOTE: Please note the different day of week and time for this meeting.

The Topic:   The Margarine Moonshiners from Minsk:  Conducting Story-Driven Research

Tammy Hepps takes a journey through story-telling that is funny and yet a genealogical journey that teaches us how to research. Hepps’ routine search on her great-grandfather revealed the shocking surprise that he had been incarcerated in Leavenworth, which led her to trace a group of brothers and brothers-in-law recently emigrated from Minsk, who set out to sell margarine as butter in defiance of the law. Hepps uncovered the hijinks of her great-grandfather, who fled with his family repeatedly before the feds finally nabbed him, the brother-in-law he fingered who was excommunicated for selling lard as butter, another brother-in-law who was arrested for threatening to kill a witness, and more. Hepps uses numerous historical and genealogical repositories to retrace her journey to get to the bottom of this long-concealed chapter in her family history. You will learn how you can better pursue the fascinating leads in your family trees when you think like a story teller.

Speaker: Tammy A. Hepps is the creator of Treelines.com, a family story-sharing website and winner of the RootsTech 2013 Developer Challenge. She has fourteen years of experience in digital media with a degree from Harvard. Hepps has been working on her family tree for more than twenty years and combines in Treelines.com her depth in genealogy, technology, and storytelling. She serves on the Board of Directors for JewishGen and the Philadelphia Jewish Archive Center, and the Board of Advisers for the NY Family History School.

The Schmoozing Corner which is held starting 6:40 PM will be facilitated by JGSCV founding member   and Secretary JGSCV, Debra Kay Blatt. The Schmoozing Corner is available if you would like individual insights for your genealogical pursuits from an experienced JGSCV member 20 minutes before each meeting.
5-Minute Genealogical Hint:  International Jewish Genealogy Month which is celebrated during the month of Cheshvan - October 25 to November 22, 2014, honors our Jewish ancestors through the pursuit of Jewish family history research. 

Our traveling library will be available starting at 6:30 PM. To see which books are in our traveling library see our website under library- traveling (www.jgscv.org).       
The Jewish Genealogical Society of the Conejo Valley and Ventura County is dedicated to sharing genealogical information, techniques and research tools with anyone interested in Jewish genealogy and family history.  There is no charge to attend the meeting.  Anyone may join JGSCV.

2015 Membership Drive: We have started our 2015 membership drive-- annual dues paid now are good through December 2015. Dues are $25 for an individual and $30 for a family. Forms are available at the meeting, on the JGSCV website—under Membership- and in the JGSCV newsletter, Venturing Into Our Past.

Directions: Take 101 Freeway - exit Rancho Road in Thousand Oaks, go north (if coming from the west, cross Thousand Oaks Blvd ) to E. Hillcrest Drive turn right on E. Hillcrest go about 1.3 miles (just east of Conejo School Road) Temple is on the right. There are approximately 75 parking spots within the complex. There is no parking on Hillcrest Drive . You may park in the complex or on any of the side streets.

For more information, please see the JGSCV website:  www.jgscv.org

 Light refreshments will be served.


Jan Meisels Allen
President, JGSCV

PBS's Finding Your Roots November 4 Program JRI-PL Major Player

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

I previously posted about PBS’s 10-part series, Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. This is a reminder about the upcoming November 4 program “Our People, Our Traditions," which had ancestral research input by Jewish Records Indexing-Poland (JRI-PL).

The three personalities where the 5-million Polish Jewish records database was a key resource are: attorney Alan Dershowitz,  Grammy Award winning singer Carole King and Pulitzer Prize winning playwright and screen writer and playwright Tony Kushner.  All three have deep roots in Poland.

JRI-Poland’s online database was involved in both the starting point and in documenting the ancestry of all three peoples’ stories.

Check your local listing for your local PBS station.  The program  usually shows at 8PM Eastern and 7PM Central.

To read more about JRI-Poland’s role in these three stories see:  http://www.jri-poland.org/

The Jewish Journal ran an article on this episode exploring Jewish genealogy.  The article may be read at:  http://tinyurl.com/qar5mhf

The article also mentions Professor Gates saying a good starting point for Jewish genealogy research is JRI-PL.
Original url:
Thank you to Rand Fishbein for sharing the JJ article with us.

To read more about the profiles of the three episodes personalities go to:

Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee announced that they will be posting online with free public access its Poland collection from 1945-1949.  This collection was confiscated by the Communist Authorities.  The collection documents the JDCs efforts to assist holocaust survivors following the holocaust.

To access the collection go to: http://tinyurl.com/nhrj5vw

Original url:

Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

(US) Indiana and Ancestry.com Partner to Digitize 13million Records to be Available Online

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

The Indiana Commission on Public Records and Ancestry.com have announced an agreement to digitize 13 million birth certificates, death certificates and marriage records.  The birth and death records go back to the early 1900’s and the marriage records date from 1958-2005.

The records older than 75 years will start becoming available in 2015 and be completed in 2016- the centennial of Indiana.

The records will be available on Ancestry.com where they will be available by subscription. After three years the records will be available free through the state archives.

To read more go to: http://tinyurl.com/na8xenc
Original url:

Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee