Proposal
Indura, Belarus Yizkor Book

Project Name: Translation of Amdur, Mayn Geboyrn-Shtetl (Amdur, My Hometown)

Project Leader:
Jim Yarin


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

Project Synopsis

The purpose of this project is to professionally translate Amdur, Mayn Geboyrn Shtetl (Amdur, My Hometown) into English. [Iedidio Efron. Amdur, Mayn Geboyrn-shtetl / Amdur, Mi Pueblo Natal (Spanish). Buenos Aires: Talleres Graficios. 1973. 285 pages (Yiddish/Spanish)]. In the book, one of Amdur's former citizens, who emigrated to Argentina as a young man, recollects this typical shtetl's many interesting institutions and townspeople. As portions of the book are translated, they will be posted online, with highest priority given to biographical notes of townspeople.

Key Audiences

Jewish genealogists seeking to trace their roots in this region 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.

Amdur, today called Indura, is located in the northwestern corner of present-day Belarus, close to the borders of Lithuania and Poland. Between the 13th and 20th centuries, it was variously part of Lithuania, Poland, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and Belarus. During the 18th century, Amdur was an important seat of Lithuanian Jewry and was one of the meeting places of The Council of Four Lands, covering the large Jewish community in lands that are now part of Poland, Belarus, and Lithuania. At the beginning of the 20th Century, Amdur had a reported population of about 2,000 residents. During World War II, the Nazis reportedly deported the Jewish population to various extermination camps. Amdur was the hometown of Chaim Cheikel Amdurer, an early Chassidic master. This book has biographical notes of Amdur's townspeople, making it a source of genealogical and family history not available anywhere else.

Project Description

Through this project, JewishGen will translate the 199 pages of Yiddish authored by Iedidio Efron and put them online. To accomplish that JewishGen will hire a professional 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: $7,500


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Updated 17 Jul 2009 by LA