Members of the Board
Ron Doctor Contact
Special Projects Director:
Hal Bookbinder Contact
Communications & Discussion List Director:
Position currently vacant Responsibilities
Janette Silverman Contact
Ariel Parkansky Contact
Translations & Data Director:
Bena Shklyanoy Contact
Chuck Weinstein Contact
Emily Garber Contact
Board of Directors Responsibilities
Communications & Discussion List Director
1. Moderate Discussion Lists in accordance with JewishGen guidelines
2. Monitor Discussion Lists to identify researchers by town & project. Relay info to Towns and Projects Directors.
3. Monitor Ukraine SIG Facebook page
4. Post announcements to JewishGen Blog
1.Manage projects and the volunteers working on them.
2.Process completed datasets (mostly spreadsheets) for submission to the JewishGen Ukraine Database (JGUD) and to Ukraine SIG Master Name Index (UkrSIG MNI).
Special Projects Director
1. Get Board, Town Leaders, Project Leaders, and Key Researchers connected through Skype or a similar system for online voice and/or video conferencing
2. Manage Ukraine SIG surveys and report on results
3. Help Coordinator with LDS & Ukraine Archives negotiations to get permission for indexing and translation projects, cooperating with Mark Halpern’s “united front” effort
4. Adapt JRI-Poland “how-to” documents for Ukraine SIG
1. Compile e-mail distribution lists of YB Translation Project Leaders, KehilaLinks owners, people who submit data to JOWBR
2. Identify KehilaLink owners who are willing to provide a description of the data on their webpages
3. Identify YB Translation Leaders who are willing to prepare name/town indexes for their YB translations
4. Relay any queries, problems, or requests for assistance to the SIG Coordinator
5. Help SIG Coordinator create a “Town Leader” system using a modified JRI-Poland model
6. Create a list of towns within each district of each Guberniya
7. Work with Town Leaders to compile info for each town for entry into JewishGen Gazeteer (unless an entry already exists)
8. Compile a contact list of people who are interested in each town using JGFF and Discussion List postings.
Translations & Data Director
1. Coordinate and manage the work of translation project volunteers.
2. With the Coordinator, set priorities for translation projects.
3. With the Coordinator, recruit, give assignments to, track work progress, and evaluate volunteers for translation projects.
4. Coordinate identification, extraction, and cataloging of datasets that are on Russian language websites.
5. Review completed translation projects for accuracy, conformance with transliteration guidelines, and conformance with JewishGen Ukraine Database (JGUD) requirements.
6. Prepare completed datasets for posting to JGUD and to the Ukraine SIG Master Name Index (UkrSIG MNI). (Ariel will do the actual posting.)
7. Ensure that UkrSIG obtains Donor Agreements and/or Volunteer Agreements as appropriate for work done on datasets that are to be posted.
8. Update the UkrSIG website (using the Database Manager ... DBM) with new projects and with the status of ongoing projects.
1. Coordinate with the Translations Director and Projects Director.
2. Identify, recruit and coordinate volunteers for our projects
3. Check progress and status of volunteers periodically.
4. Keep the SIG's Survey results spreadsheet updated.
5. Maintain the Ukraine SIG Volunteers Wall of Honor.
Website Manager (assisted by a Web Team)
1. Maintain the website in accordance with JewishGen guidelines
2. Keep website up-to-date in a timely manner
3. Change content, structure and appearance of website as necessary and/or with guidance from the SIG Coordinator
4. Check other websites periodically for new ideas
Biographies for Board of Directors
Hal Bookbinder, Special Projects Director
Hal is past president of the JGS Los Angeles and the IAJGS. He has chaired or served in a leadership role for eight IAJGS conferences, has published numerous articles on research techniques, Jewish history, border changes and safe computing and has lectured at most recent annual conferences. In 2010, he was honored with the IAJGS Lifetime Achievement Award and was elected to the JewishGen Board of Governors. He currently chairs JewishGen’s Strategic Planning Committee and is the Director of Special Projects for the JewishGen Ukraine SIG. Hal created and continues to edit the Jewish Genealogy Yearbook. The 2011 edition includes almost 200 organizations involved in Jewish genealogy and history.
Hal has identified over 3,500 relatives, taking two lines back into the mid-18th Century. His family roots include Barenberg from Snitivka (Khmel'nyts'ka Oblast, Ukraine), Bookbinder from Dubno (Rivne Oblast, Ukraine), Muhlstein from Soroca (Soroca District, Moldova) and Sacharow from Poltava (Poltava Oblast, Ukraine).
Hal is originally from Newark, NJ, moving to Ulster County, NY when his folks acquired a small hotel there. After obtaining a Masters degree in computing from New York University, he entered the US Air Force where he tracked satellites from within Colorado Springs’ Cheyenne Mountain Complex and earned a second Masters degree in business from the University of Northern Colorado. Upon his departure from active duty, he and his family settled in the Los Angeles area.
Hal currently directs Information Technology Finance and Administration for the UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) Health System, teaches courses in business, information technology and mathematics for the Southern California Campus of the University of Phoenix and directs a work readiness program for recovering addicts at Los Angeles’ Midnight Mission. Hal, his wife Marci, their four adult children and four grandchildren all reside in the northwestern Los Angeles area.
Ronald D. Doctor, Ukraine SIG Coordinator
Dr. Ronald D. Doctor has been doing Jewish genealogy since 1992. He currently is President of the Kremenets-District Research Group (KDRG). Ron is on the Board of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Oregon, following several years as President and then as Membership Chairman. He also is on the Teaching Committee of the International Institute for Jewish Genealogy (IIJG). He has given numerous genealogy presentations, in Oregon, Washington State, and at IAJGS Conferences.
Before retirement in 1997, Ron was an Associate Professor at the University of Alabama's Graduate School of Library and Information Studies. He has Bachelor's, Master's, and Ph.D. degrees in engineering from UCLA, as well as an MLS from the University of Washington's School of Library and Information Science. In previous careers, he served as the Economics Commissioner on the California State Energy Commission, was a Project Manager at the Rand Corporation, and was Director of Capital Finance for national engineering and accounting firms. Following retirement, he returned to the Pacific Northwest. He now lives in Portland, Oregon.
Ron is researching Doctor (Diokhter), Varer, Averbakh, Korenfeld ... all from Kremenets, Oleksinets, Yampol, and Vishnevets, as well as Kazdoy (Kosodoy), Dubinski, and Dubovski ... all from Kiev, Uman, and Odessa. He has traced his Varer line back to the 1730s and his Averbakh, Korenfeld and Diokhter lines to the mid-1730s.
Emily Garber, Volunteers Director
Emily grew up in North Bellmore, New York, but has lived in the western United States (first New Mexico and now Arizona) for more than 35 years. She has been researching her family lines since 2007: Garber, Macevicki, Malzmann, Kesselman from Yurovshchina, Ukraine (aka Labun or Lubin); Wilensky and Epstein from Kozyany, Belarus (aka Kasan); Liebross and Wenkert from Ustechko, Torski and Zaleshchiki, Ukraine and Radauti, Romania. Her ancestors immigrated to the United States between 1897 and 1922.
After receiving a Bachelors degree in Anthropology from Vassar College, Emily moved west and earned a Masters from the University of New Mexico in Anthropology (specializing in archaeology). She recently retired from a career of more than 30 years in natural resource management with the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. She worked as an archaeologist; recreation, lands and minerals specialist; planner; and manager and also served on many wildland fire incidents as a Public Information Officer.
Emily is Treasurer of the Phoenix (Arizona) JGS. She has been an active member of the JGS for several years, teaching courses and workshops. She currently serves as one of the Moderators for the JewishGen Discussion Group and as Ukraine SIG’s Town Leader and KehilaLinks Owner for Labun.. She has also given back to the genealogy community by indexing New York City records for a variety of Italian Genealogy Group projects and indexing more than 325 pages of the 1940 U.S. Census for FamilySearch.org.
She maintains both a family history blog, The Extra Yad (http://www.extrayad.blogspot.com) and a JewishGen Kehilalinks webpage for Yurovshchina (formerly Labun), Ukraine at http://www.kehilalinks.jewshgen.org/yurovshchina/index.html . In addition, she has published an article in Avotaynu on her community genealogy work.
Lest one might think (as her husband and children do) that she spends way too much time on her computer, Emily maintains a semblance of sanity by pursuing other interests as a life-long singer and an avid road bicyclist.
Ariel Parkansky, Website Manager
Ariel is an Information Technology professional. He brings his professional and managerial skills to Ukraine SIG.
Ariel recently became Ukraine SIGs Odessa Town Leader. In addition, he is responsible for the Odessa KehilaLinks website which he has completely restructured. He is adding significant new data and other content to the KehilaLinks website, including translations of various Odessa Directories. Before becoming Odessa Town Leader, he organized a project to collect, translate, and publish Odessa vital records obtained by individual researchers. Previously, he was part of the project for the "Museum of the Jewish Colonies" website in Argentina.
Ariel began researching his family roots in the late 1990s and later added his wife's family to his research. His family comes originally from Bessarabia and Ukraine. They immigrated to Argentina at the turn of the 20th century. He grew up in Buenos Aires and has lived in Paris, France since 2003.
His family "forest" numbers 1,550 individuals of whom about 700 are living today in 18 different countries on 4 continents. His family genealogy website contains more than 700 pictures and documents going back in some cases to the 17th century. You can visit it at www.thefamilytree.com.ar
Bena Shklyanoy, Translations & Data Director
Bena immigrated to the U.S. in 1976 from Kiev, Ukraine (then part of the Soviet Union) with her husband and two small children. She grew up in a bilingual, Russian and Yiddish, family. She now lives in Chicago.
Bena has an M.A. in Linguistics, Russian language and Literature from the University of Kiev, and an M.S. in Management from the Lake Forest Executive School of Management. In Kiev, she worked as a technical translator and editor at an engineering firm. In the U.S., she became a computer programmer, then a project manager. She worked in information technology for more than 30 years. In retirement she craves loading her mind with its favorite playthings. One of them is coordination and keeping track of hundreds of details.
Russian is her first language. Ukrainian is too, for translation purposes. She has some knowledge of Polish and says she probably can wade through most Slavic languages.
Several years ago, through a chain of amazing coincidences, Bena came across many previously unknown relatives, some of whom used to live in her old hometown or now live close by. After retirement in 2009, she began her genealogical search with the help of Jewishgen and a Kiev archivist. Her goal is to compile her family story – history, anecdotes, rumors, photographs, et al. In 2007 and 2011, she visited her family shtetls near Kiev.
Bena’s ancestors lived in Berdichev, Levkov, Belaya Tserkov, Korsun, Tetiyev and possibly others. The names she is researching are: Averbukh, Kuppershmit, Babinsky, and Shlyapochnik.
Bena’s children live in Chicago and New York. She has five grandchildren.
Janette Silverman, Projects Director
Janette is a native New Yorker has lived in Arizona for the last 9 years. She has a BA in sociology/anthropology, an MS in Public Admin, an MS in Jewish Studies. She recently completed a Doctorate in Jewish Studies.
Janette has been active in the JewishGen and IAJGS Communities. She has been part of the moderating team for the JewishGen Discussion group for about 6 years. Currently she is President of the Phoenix Jewish Genealogy Group and is on an IAJGS subcommittee for membership. Her other Jewish genealogy activities include doing volunteer data entry for the IGG and teaching several classes each year on genealogical research techniques. Over the past several years she has transcribed thousands of Zhytomyr cemetery gravestones as well as Jewish gravestones in Phoenix, Arizona.
Professionally, Janette has worked in Jewish education for most of her adult life - teaching religious school and, since 1989 serving as Education Director at Conservative and Reform congregations. She also worked as the Hillel Outreach Director in Orlando and Sarasota for 3 years and for the Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee for 3 years. She is on the Board of the Arizona Jewish Historical Society and on the Board for the regional ADL. Janette also founded RelativaTree (http://relativatree.com), a company that offers genealogical research and consulting services. She continues working with her father and a small group of clients.
Janette began looking into her family's history as a project with her father around 1984. She found her 3 years of college Russian were immensely handy as she uncovered family records. As a result, she made some amazing discoveries over the years, including a 1986 realization that one of her grandmother's siblings (her dad's uncle) had survived the Shoah and probably still lived in Europe. Through research and a lot of luck, Janette and her family found him and began a correspondence through his granddaughter, an English teacher in Ukraine. That part of her family still lives in Ivano-Frankivsk. In 2009, Janette finally went to meet them, spending many hours in the Ternopil, Zhytomyr and Ivano-Frankivsk archives.
Chuck Weinstein, Towns/Districts Director
Chuck Weinstein began his own family search in 1992. In 1995, he became a moderator for the JewishGen Discussion Group. After three years, he was asked to become Project Manager for what was then known as ShtetLinks. At that time, ShtetLinks had 65 pages, most of them very simple. By the time he resigned from that position in 2004, ShtetLinks (now KehilaLinks), had grown to over 250 individual towns from 16 countries, many of which had developed into very extensive commemorations of their towns. Shortly thereafter, he became a moderator for Ukraine SIG, a post he continues in.
A board member of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Long Island since 2002, Chuck served as President in 2007, 2008, and 2011. He has also served as President of two of his professional organizations in the insurance industry. Chuck also serves on the Committee on Membership for IAJGS.
His roots in Ukraine run deep. His Weinstein and Schnayer ancestors come from Korostyshiv in what was the Volhynia Guberniya, and he also has maternal Weinstein ancestors in Voznesensk in Kherson Guberniya. Other roots are found in Lithuania and Romania. He is able to trace two lines back well into the 18th century and most of his other lines to early in the 19th century.
Chuck currently lives in Bellport, NY, midway out on Long Island. He has 4 children and 5 grandchildren.