During the past year, JewishGen continued to make great strides in
providing databases and making them available to the Jewish community worldwide as a
public service. To this end.... we are forging relationships with many other organizations
and archival institutions so that together we can "preserve our history for future
JewishGen's mission and policy has always been that we simply ask for a non-exclusive
license to publish data. This means, all information compiled by you, belongs to you...
and you are free to do with it what you want. This also is an important comfort level for
many of the organizations and institutions with whom we already have relationships, and
for those with whom we are presently in negotiation.
We spoke the other night about the FTJP... and hope to have some updated figures for you
in the coming days on where we are in the collection process. Will we reach the goal we've
set forth (1,000,000 names)....stay tuned...<grin>
The JGFF, on the other hand, the first place people start to connect with JewishGen and
with others has seen one of the most incredible jumps in participation of any of
JewishGen's services. In the last 12 months... the number of researchers has grown from
12,000 to 25,855 where it stands today.
And here are some other very interesting JGFF statistics...
There are currently 150,836 data records, 48,396 unique surnames and 16,034 unique towns.
The search requests have jumped from 60,000 a month to well over 100,000 a month with
120,000 being the highest in any given month.
We reached the 1 million search mark in December, 1998 (1 year and 8 months from when we
started the counter on this new engine in 4/97). Today we are at 1.8 million and should
easily see the 2 millionth search well before the close of another one year period.
Michael Tobias, Warren Blatt, Iris Folkson, Ruth Grant, Carol Skydell and I /color>continue
to monitor the JGFF entries and help desks... and we are pleased to have Alex Sharon
joining this team to help with ongoing maintenance so that the entries will be monitored
on a regular basis. Alex is currently engaged in cleanup and correction prior to the
issuance of a hard copy JGFF to be distributed to all the local JGS who order one.
The JewishGen Holocaust Global Registry, under the
brilliant management of Kathy Altman has also seen a steady and consistent growth. There
are well over 1,700 entries in this database and ongoing efforts are being maintained with
the Shoah Foundation to compare the databases of our respective organizations to insure
that no stone goes unturned to "connect or re-connect" a family.
Just last night I took a look at the Interactive databases and was astounded at the number
of you who have put up your Family pages on the JewishGen site... there are over 890
families represented here. The Publications, Meetings and Links Databases have grown as
well, but they lack managers.. and we would love to have some volunteers come forward to
help us promote and "maintain" these important resources. Bill Lipton had been
monitoring these databases under the supervision of Ed Goldberg.. but Bill has recently
had to go offline for an extended period of time. Do we have any volunteers? Please
contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Some technical skill required.
Our most recent addition to the JewishGen site is the InfoSeek Server which we purchased
during the year. Over the last 6 months we have seen a growth in html and text based pages
on JewishGen... from 2,500 to over 7,500. In fact, we have heard from people who have
recently been astounded at the amount of information and if you haven't looked lately...
then shame on you!!!
In any event, this server allows you to search all the
documents on JewishGen by subject. Although it does not allow for DM Soundexing... the
best searches are by subject and towns... since there is a wealth of information stashed
away all over the site. This will certainly help you get closer to what you are looking
for. Special thanks to Warren Blatt for getting this set up.. and to InfoSeek Corporation
who so generously provided us with this HIGH impact engine at a very reduced non-profit
rate. To access it, go to our homepage, http://www.jewishgen.org/,
scroll down to the bottom and click on Search this Website.
It's difficult at best to keep up with all the new material in database format on
JewishGen today.. but the best way to find out what is going on around here.. is to
frequently check the "What's New on JewishGen" page at:
What is happening in the database arena is no less exciting than anything we have
mentioned to date. We hope you will thank the "cast" and congratulate them for
their outstanding contributions.. in making our research just a little bit easier.
New on JewishGen in the last 12 months..
- Minsk Surnames database
- 1903 'Vsia Rossia' for Minsk Gubernia database
- American Jewish Historical Society manuscript catalog database
- Boston Marriages database, Rabbi Aaron Gorovitz
- Mogilev Birth Index of boys, 1864-1894
- Boston 'Jewish Advocate' Wedding Announcements database
- 1891 Galician Business Directory database
- The 1906 Rechitsa Uezd Duma Voters List database
- German Jews at Stutthof Concentration Camp database
All wonderful, but a few stand out as highlights and are worth spotlighting for special
American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS)
Manuscript Database located at
is truly a revolutionary research tool, because it opens up 40 million pages of archival
documents that were before now uncatalogued. It contains full desriptions of over 1,100
unique and valuable manuscript collections. It's the key to the AJHS' archives, never
The AJHS database is full-text searchable, as well as browsable by category. It was
produced over three years by volunteers of the JGS of Greater Boston.
Another set of favorites are the three Boston databases:
Boston Advocate Obituaries (over 20,000), Boston Advocate
Wedding Annoucnements (over 4,000, and it's just started), and the Rabbi Gorovitz Marriage
Database. Each has unique characteristics. The Gorovitz database contains a
tremendous amount of information about each marriage, and the results are displayed
in a highly compact and organized format. The two "Boston Jewish Advocate"
databases are searchable not only by the name of the principal parties, but it also picks
up surnames of relatives/survivors, and maiden names of mothers, etc.
These Boston databases were volunteer efforts by two people who each devoted a tremendous
amount of time and dedication:
David Rosen (the two "Jewish Advocate" databases") and Joseph Lurie (the
Rabbi Gorovitz marriage database).
One could just imagine if there were special localized resources like these for each and
every Jewish community throughout the world. If JewishGen'ers volunteered to index the
Jewish genealogical resources in their local Jewish communities, and these resources were
then made available to the greater Jewish community via JewishGen, well... it's a
wonderful dream... and perhaps we might be able to look back a year from now.. and begin
to see the realization of what we all can do when we cooperate together in a grassroots
effort ... sparked by a few, perhaps but gathered by many!
Let's not/color> forget the SIGs Mailing List message archives... and if you are trying to make
plans for the year 2000, knowing when Jewish holidays fall and in the years to come, take
a look at the updated JOS Calendar! A little surprise from Warren Blatt and Michael
Tobias. Some of us are known to need this! <grin>
JewishGen's INFOFILES and FAQ's continue to provide ongoing information to the
genealogical researcher and we welcome more INFOFILES... take a look at the more than 190
offerings.. and if there is something you feel expert on and want to share it.. please
JewishGen SIGs and Special Research Groups are forming almost every day and some of them
have quite extensive websites.... Belarus SIG, Denmark SIG, Galicia SIG, German Jewish
SIG, South Africa SIG are either new to JewishGen this year or have grown
tremendously. There are newsletters, articles, search engines and all sorts of interesting
information which should not be missed if you have interests in any of these areas. A good
place to make certain that you don't miss a trick is to visit http://www.jewishgen.org/listserv/sigs.htm
and click on them, one after the other.
JewishGen is host to many organizations who share in some way a common purpose and goal
and the work they are performing is to the benefit of us all. /color> Again the LitvakSIG,
JRI-PL, RomSIG, The Missing Identity and IAJGS sites have much to offer all of us.
We are in the process of launching the JewishGen MarketPlace Mall.. where we plan to be
providing JewishGen specialty items along with other genealogical related products/color> in the
Well it's broken record time... but the storage of all the databases, our web server, our
internet connectivity is a major expense... and although the information is there.. if we
don't have the servers, the internet connectivity, the increased bandwidth to serve you...
well it isn't worth a whole lot to anyone now, is it?
We hope you will see it in your hearts to support this
effort and the effort of so many people by contributing to JewishGen today in their
There is nothing more gratifying for each and every one of
those individuals who have made these significant contributions to "preserving our
history for future generations" than a little recognition from their peers.
Just take a look..
and then go to
and say thanks!!! They all deserve it!
Susan E. King