Proposal
Tarnów, Poland Yizkor Book

Project Name. Translation of Community of Tarnów Yizkor Book

Project Leader
Dr. Ann Drillich


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

Project Description

This project is being initiated in order to fund the completion of the translation into English from Yiddish and Hebrew for JewishGen of the 1,381 pages (2 volume) Yizkor Book for Tarnów, Poland, “Tarnow: Kiyuma ve_ Hurbana Shel Ir Yehudit,” - “The Life and Decline of a Jewish City” (Tarnów, Poland). It was published in Tel Aviv in 1954-1968 ( Editors: A. Chomet, Tel Aviv, association of Former Residents of Tarnów, 1954-1968; in Hebrew and Yiddish).

The original 1954 manuscript can be found online at the NY Public Library at the following link: http://yizkor.nypl.org/index.php?id=1770

The Contents has been incompletely translated into English and can be found online at http://www.jewishgen.org//Yizkor/tarnow/tarnow.html

Key Audiences

Historians exploring Jewish and European history and Jewish genealogists seeking to trace their roots in Tarnow constitute the primary audience for the material. Holocaust researchers comprise another target audience for the book.

Project Synopsis

The objective of the project is to provide a complete English translation of the TarnówYizkor Book to JewishGen which will then be available on the JewishGen Yizkor Translations site.

Tarnów (50°01' / 20°59') is a town in Poland located 80 km east of Krakow.

Tarnow was founded in 1330 and there is written reference to Jews living in Tarnow in 1445.

The Tarnów Yizkor book edited by A. Chomet, and published in Tel Aviv in 1954 contains major sections on Tarnow Religious Jewry; Economic Life; Role in Science, Art, Literature and the Press; Zionism in Tarnów; The Jewish Socialist Party and The Bund; Memories, Personalities and Types; The Suffering and Destruction of Tarnów Jewry, Alphabetical list of names. Volume II contains Past eras, In Memory of the Missing, Fragments of the Former Jewish Community in Tarnow in Pictures; The Holocaust; After the Holocaust; Tarnow Jews in Israel and Abroad, List of Holocaust victims; Memorial pages

Project Importance

Yizkor books are unique sources of information on towns, primarily in central and Eastern Europe, whose Jewish populations were destroyed in the Holocaust. Written after World War II by emigres 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 stories of the major intellectual and Zionist movements of the 20th century.
Usually written in Yiddish, Hebrew, or both, Yizkor books are inaccessible to an English speaking audience.

There is relatively little information available in English regarding the Jewish community of Tarnow and its destruction. This Yizkor book contains significant history and information that is otherwise inaccessible. This project will result in the creation of a primary English language source of information for anyone doing research on Tarnow, its once vibrant Jewish community and its destruction in the Holocaust. The publication into English of such material is vital to assist current and future generations in learning about this large and important Jewish community and its destruction in the Holocaust.

The necrologies and lists of residents are of tremendous genealogical value; often the names of individuals who were taken to extermination camps or shot in the forests are not recorded elsewhere.

The translation of these important books into English makes the information available to many more researchers internationally. In 2002, the JewishGen Yizkor Book Project received the award for outstanding contribution to Jewish genealogy by the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies.

A complete English translation of the TarnówYizkor Book to JewishGen will be available on the JewishGen Yizkor Translations site.

Estimated Cost

The projected cost for this project is in the range of US $30,000. JewishGen will be responsible for paying the translators. Donations to the fund will be tax-deductible for US tax-payers.


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Updated 23 May 2013 by LA