Proposal
Slutsk, Belarus Yizkor Book

Project Name. Translation of Slutsk, Belarus Yizkor Book

Project Leader
Margot Tutun
Margot Tutun


JewishGen Yizkor Book Project Manager
Lance Ackerfeld
Fax: 1-909-259-7005

Project Synopsis

Jews reputedly lived in Slutsk over 400 years ago. It was a regional seat, and the center of economic and cultural life for a large district. Many secular authors and important rabbis were born in Slutsk. The town was also an important center of learning and Torah publication, and Slutsk and its environs typify the best of White Russian Yiddishkeit.

In 1962, former residents of Slutsk published a 450-page yizkor book: Pinkas Slutsk u-benoteha (Slutsk and vicinity memorial book), Editors: N. Chinitz, Sh. Nachmani, Tel Aviv, Yizkor Book Committee, 1962 (H, Y, E). Translated portions of the book are online at http://www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/slutsk/slutsk.html. Another 150 pages of Hebrew text remain to be translated. This project will raise funds to pay the current translator.

Key Audiences

Jewish genealogists seeking to trace their roots in this town constitute the primary audience for the material.  However, the material has the potential to be of broader interest to scholars specializing in Jewish history and society in this region.

Project Importance

Yizkor books are unique sources of information on once vibrant towns, primarily in central and eastern Europe, whose Jewish populations were destroyed in the Holocaust. Written after World War II by émigrés and Holocaust survivors, yizkor books contain narratives of the history of the town, details of daily life, religious and political figures and movements, religious and secular education, and gripping stories of the major intellectual and Zionist movements of the 20th century. The necrologies and lists of residents are of tremendous genealogical value, as often the names of individuals who were taken to extermination camps or shot in the forests are not recorded elsewhere. Usually written in Hebrew or Yiddish, these important books are not accessible to most users, who cannot read these languages. Thus, the translation of these books into English unlocks this information to many more researchers all over the world. The JewishGen Yizkor Book Project received the award in 2002 for outstanding contribution to Jewish genealogy by the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies.

The yizkor book contains excerpts from Yiddish literary luminaries, all of whom were born in Slutsk, such as Y.D. Berkowitz, Mendele Mocher Sforim (Mendele), Isaac Dov Berkovitz, and Baruch Katznelson. It also contains an excellent index of names at http://www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/slutsk/slu528.html and has sections about surrounding towns.

Project Description

Approximately 150 Hebrew pages remain to be translated and put online at http://www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/slutsk/slutsk.html. To accomplish that JewishGen will need funds to pay the current excellent translator. The project coordinator will select the order in which to translate the chapters and will work closely with the translator to ensure a grammatically correct and idiomatic translation. Specific tasks the project coordinator will perform include proofreading, editing, and preparing the work for submission to the Yizkor Book Project.

Estimated Cost. $5650


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Updated 20 Sep 2009 by LA