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June 2012

The JewishGen Latvia Database has recently been updated to include abstracts of records from the 1897 All-Russia Census. Many thanks are due to Arlene Beare for commissioning this project to abstract and index these records covering towns and cities throughout Latvia. There are over searchable 25,000 entries from this census, making it a valuable resource for all researchers of Latvian Jewish ancestry.

May 2012

The TV program "Who Do You Think You Are" from May 4, 2012 traces the ancestry of Rashida Leah Jones, daughter of jazz great Quincy Jones and 60's TV icon from the Mod Squad, Peggy Lipton. To trace her mother's heritage, Rashida travels to Latvia and visits the LSHA and our good friend Rita Bogdanova.

July 2007

IAJGS 2007 in Salt Lake City, Utah The Latvia SIG members who attended the conference had a busy day on Thursday, July 19th. It started at 11:15 AM with the SIG's annual meeting. Twenty-six members attended the meeting and the luncheon that followed. Henry Blumberg, the SIG's president, chaired the meeting and his detailed account of the meeting follows.

[click here to see the rest...]

June 2006


Members of the SIG, the JGS of Washington, Peter Lande and Vadim Altskan of the USHMM have provided materials related to the history, families and lives of Latvian Jewry as well as where they lived. Holocaust records from a number of sources indicate where many died. Much of this material is in Russian and Hebrew and remains, regrettably, un-translated.

Included are a variety of documents covering Jewish life in Latvia and also immigrant communities and their families, particularly in the United States. Typically, most of these families often have links in Israel, South Africa, the UK and elsewhere in Europe.

The library also contains the Beth Hatefutsoth database of Latvian Jewish communities in the Diaspora. This is a subset of the BH database covering communities from all over the world and the SIG wishes to thank Beth Hatefutsoth, Dov Levin, and Martha Lev Zion for making this database available. Since, September 2005 entries in this database have been featured in the Latvia SIG newsletter and future issues will continue this practice.

Database Initiatives

A major activity for 2005 has been the bringing on-line of a number of archival databases, including: Marriage Lists for Riga containing more than 9,000 marriages and almost 20,000 surnames and given names, the Family Lists for Rezekne with more than 6,000 entries, the All Russian Census of 1897 for Riga, Rezekne, Krustpils and areas within Courland accounting for nearly 7,000 Jewish residents. A current effort is underway to bring on-line the 1897 census results for Dvinsk, a major center of Jewish life in Latvia at that time. The Latvia SIG wishes to thank Arlene Beare for her untiring efforts in acquiring and bringing these databases on-line.

Testimony Translations

Again, thanks to Arlene Beare the Latvia SIG has acquired transcripts of the original interviews of approximately 30 Holocaust survivors done by Aina Antane of the Center for Judaic Studies, University of Latvia, Riga. These transcripts, originally in Russian, are being translated into English and are being featured in the Latvia SIG newsletter as they become available. When complete, we hope to have the English transcripts available on this website.

February 2006


Past newsletters are now available on this site for download.

Dvinsk (Daugavpils) and Rezekne

Dvinsk (Daugavpils) and Rezekne Shtetlinks are in the construction phase. For a preview, please visit If you have material related to Dvinsk and/or Rezekne that you think is appropriate for inclusion on the those Shtetlinks, please contact Dave Howard.

July 2004


The new ShtetLinks site of Ludza is now available for viewing. These pages can be accessed from here.

The Ludza ShtetLinks site is a product of collaborative efforts of Chaim Freedman, Paul Cheifitz, Dr. Zeeva Levy, Elizabeth Reinhart, and Robert Heyman. The web site is a work in progress, so please check back often for updates.

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