jgbanner.gif (17838 bytes)

L'Shana Tova from JewishGen

Part I - JewishGen's Officers


One year ago when JewishGen conceived of a "grass roots" effort of "preserving our history for future generations" we never imagined the excitement and the participation that it would create within the Jewish genealogical community and the Jewish community at large.

We were certainly not prepared for the tremendous outpouring and donations of information coming to our databases from so many people.

As we are all aware, the list is growing daily. What is even more amazing to us is how we have been able to keep up with the increased volume of information...and the accompanying increased volume of users.

By now, the increased bandwidth required and supplied, is old hat...but what we've never really expressed is the fact that JewishGen has been blessed over these many years with a cadre of volunteers who have stepped up to the plate and it has been their enthusiasm, their dedication and their creativity which has not only kept us afloat, it has truly made JewishGen what it is today.

Even in New York, we were "touched" by so many of you who have shown your support and your enthusiasm to participate over the long haul in what we feel is one of the most extensive projects for "Jewish continuity" in the world.

JewishGen has been described as and has achieved its distinction as the leading internet site for Jewish Genealogy for several reasons.We have been blessed with a team of managers and volunteers who are unequaled. We have been blessed with thousands of users who have joined this grassroots effort with vigor and enthusiasm. JewishGen's success is the result of all of you who contribute to JewishGen and JewishGen hosted projects. It is this grassroots effort that is so important to our "precious history". But most important... it is a sense of being, a sense of contribution that we are all experiencing... independently and collectively which has made JewishGen so exciting.

It could not and would not be without all of you!

As we all prepare for a New Year and a New Year that will cross two millenniums, JewishGen has taken several "giant steps" organizationally to meet the growing need to continue in this upward spiral of growth.  

We are pleased to announce that the Board of Directors has elected additional  officers of the corporation, officers who many of you will recognize... because they have all been involved in the JewishGen movement for many many years.

We want to introduce them to you today... and hope that you will extend your wishes for a healthy and prosperous New Year to them as well, for without them.... the information that is at your fingertips today and the information that will be at   your fingertips tomorrow would not be a reality.

Susan E. King, President

(History) Visionary and founder in 1986 of the original 150 member bulletin board which enabled people to discuss their Jewish genealogical searches, Susan King "grew" a tiny mailing list to the leading internet site for Jewish Genealogy known and used world wide by tens of thousands of researchers. With the support and guidance of her Board of Directors, Susan took JewishGen into 501 c (3) status in 1996 and  became one of the leaders in Jewish genealogy as we know it today. She has been recognized for her outstanding accomplishment by both Federation of Genealogical   Societies and the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies with   their Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996.

Carol W. Skydell, VP Operations.

(History) In 1995, when Carol offered to assist with moderation of JewishGen, little did she know that at 70 years of age and without computer expertise she would be leading a team of moderators initially restricted to the discussion group, now expanded to 33 mailing lists hosted by JewishGen. Carol's writing and public relations skills and her eye to consistency and detail have been critical to JewishGen's growth and image over these many years. She will serve as our "traffic cop" making certain that inquiries go to the right project managers and insuring that the legal requirements for donated material to be made available on the JewishGen servers are met.

Warren Blatt, VP Technical Services

(History) Warren has been with JewishGen since its inception on Fidonet. One of the original members of the JewishGen "Mod Squad", Warren has participated on the Board  since its incorporation in 1996. Warren maintains the website and insures that enthusiasm for new information to be placed online meets the high standards we have set for all  JewishGen databases. In addition to all else, Warren is responsible for the virtual primer on how to do research on Jewish ancestry, the FAQ. He is most knowledgeable not only on how to do effective research, but committed to making JewishGen more user-friendly in each edition of our home page, InfoFiles indexing, and in the latest release of all programs  that keep the behind the scenes technical services operating at optimum.

Michael Tobias, VP Programming and Development

(History) Michael goes back with us to 1995 when he developed the original search engines for Yizkor Book Project and REIPP, the forerunner of JRI-PL. Among those of us who love  and respect Michael for his creative ability, he is known as "the wizard", and his wizardry has truly put JewishGen out in front in the leadership role it presently enjoys. The search engine currently in place for the Family Tree of the Jewish People, is a product of Michael's ingenuity, and response to suggestions from others working behind the scenes.

Joyce Field, VP Research Projects

(History) Joyce has been involved with the Yizkor Book Project and developed and implemented the translation project moving it from 0 translations online to a total of 125 translations in a year. Her masterful attention to detail, her experience with and  ability to deal with organizations around the world made her a perfect choice to lead JewishGen, JewishGen projects and SIGs into the next millennium. Joyce will set up a central clearing house for information on who is doing which research project under the auspices of which special interest group and with which data from which archive in which location. She will serve as research resource person to all the mailing lists and SIGs functioning under the JewishGen umbrella.

This energetic team of VPs will be looking for folks to work closely with them, to assist in taking small pieces of the bigger puzzle off their shoulders. We urge you all to visit and click on the Volunteer Opportunities link in the Share/Contribute category from the home page http://www.jewishgen.org to see where you can fit in by offering assistance to any one of the above mentioned officers of the corporation.

By the looks of things, we all have our work cut out for us and the newest members even before they start. <grin> For you technical guru's you need to sign up for Michael and/or Warren's team so watch for their requests for help delineating specific skills. Lest the non-techies out there feel ignored, rest assured there is a place for you with Carol's and/or Joyce's team.

And if you feel so inspired and we hope you do, that you will make a contribution in their honor as we mark the beginning of a New Year. You can do so now through a new JewishGen-erosity page located at:


Truly, there are no words to thank these special individuals who have given so generously of themselves, their precious time and their incredible skills.

We also stand in awe over the outpouring of donations of information that JewishGen has received from all over the world. This is just the beginning of our effort to join with our brothers and sisters around the world... so that together we are working toward a commonality of purpose... that the "ruins" rise again from the ashes and that future generations will never forget what and who came before them.

On behalf of the board of JewishGen, our new officers, our staff we wish all of you a healthy, prosperous and happy New Year.

L'shana Tova

Susan E. King