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News Archive

 06/07/2014  Ukraine SIG document acquisitions, translations and speaker

Dear SIGgers:

Many of you are already volunteering and working hard on our data acquisition or translation projects. We are working with CAHJP and hopefully will acquire more documents this summer (remember the treasure trove of documents we got from CAHJP at the conference last summer?).
We never know in advance what they might be able to get for us.

A couple of opportunities have presented themselves recently, such as a LitvakSIG project where they acquired files of Jews Under Police Surveillance in 1905 that included 546 lines (files) that are of interest to Ukraine SIG. We are working cooperatively with LitvakSIG so that the files can be translated. Several people have acquired and donated images of files on their own which also need to be translated (we'll be making an announcement of access to newly translated files as soon as we receive word from JewishGen offices that the files have been vetted).

At this point in the year, we can use your help - please donate to Ukraine SIG's data acquisition and translation project to help us with the costs of acquiring new data sets and when necessary, hiring translators.

The conference is coming up very soon and we have expenses associated with bringing in the phenomenal Dr. Eric Goldman as our official Ukraine SIG speaker. We would appreciate donations to the Ukraine SIG speaker's bureau.

There are many projects underway and donations to any of them are always appreciated. As an example of a project that donations helped fund is the recent acquisition of over 400 pages of documents from the Latvian National Archives which contain information of Jews leaving Courland for Kherson agricultural colonies in 1837 and 1840. Acquisition of those pages were funded by donations. A volunteer is currently working on translating them.

You can make a donation on line here if you chose not to donate on-line, there are instructions about how to mail in a donation and have it applied to the fund you designate.

Thank you for your generosity and willingness to contribute your time as well as money in our quest for information about our families.


Dr. Janette Silverman
JewishGen Ukraine-SIG Coordinator

 04/12/2014  Ukraine SIG Update and progress

Ukraine SIG has a lot going on. I know I'm not listing everything that has happened since January, but here is the progress of some projects.

Thanks to the amazing work of our volunteers, we have acquired AND translated Zinkov vital records for 1839, 1849 and 1850 and records from the Latvian National archives of people moving from Courland to Kherson for 1837 and 1840; translations of vital records from: Priluki 1864-1867, 1889 births from Nikolaev, a 1913 business directory from Mogilev-Podolsky. Many of these are currently being proofread and are in the pipeline for submission to the JewishGen main office for inclusion into the JewishGen Ukraine SIG database.

We have also acquired about 19,000 images from Odessa; a Zinkov-Letichev 1875 revision list is being translated as are records from Olgopol; microfilms from: Kerch, Nikolaev, Priluki, Olshana.

We have also added 8 new Town Leaders. Our Ukraine SIG discussion group is also growing.

Last, but not least, our Ukraine SIG Speaker for the IAJGS conference will be Dr. Eric Goldman - he'll be speaking at a session as well as at a 'Lunch With the Experts.'


Dr. Janette Silverman
JewishGen Ukraine-SIG Coordinator

 08/31/2013  The state of Ukraine SIG one month after IAJGS Boston 2013

As most of you undoubtedly know by now, at the IAJGS conference, which began almost a month ago (how time flies), Ron Doctor became the Ukraine SIG Coordinator Emeritus. I am very happy (and grateful) to say that although Ron now has time to work on his many personal projects, he stays very involved and up to date with the running of Ukraine SIG - it is his involvement that has allowed for such a smooth transition.

After the conference, although I was (and will remain I fear for a long time) overwhelmed with my new responsibilities, having an enthusiastic, committed and hard working Board made a real difference. It was especially important to have a Board like ours, given the huge amount of data that has been coming our way. On this Discussion List, the JewishGen Discussion Group, and our FaceBook page, you may have seen listed some of the areas and types of newly acquired documents.

Chuck Weinstein, our Towns Director recently wrote to me that '[f]or years, the complaint was 'There are few, if any, records from Ukraine available.' Now it seems we might be heading into a much richer time, but with a need to raise much more in funds for material.' indeed, the potential for obtaining the documents we have all been anxiously waiting for may be closer to acquisition, but we have to confront the real possibility of not having the necessary funds available to purchase them, or to pay for obtaining the scans volunteers are doing.

Of course, the work doesn't stop once we get the material. Then the challenge we confront is how do we get the material translated, indexed and made available for researchers. Concurrent with acquiring data we have to be running translation projects. Some of our town leaders and kehilla links owners have stepped up and taken on translation projects for the data for their towns.

However, we have neither enough volunteers nor funds - please be generous with your time and your wallet so we can all help each other in our efforts to find information on our families. Please fill out the skills survey on the Ukraine SIG website (the link is on the bottom right of each page) and donate using the dropdown menu on the Ukraine SIG site or the JewishGen-erosity menu on JewishGen. Donations can be made to the data acquisition and translation projects and the general fund or to any of our many other projects.

We still have two Board positions available - these two positions were formerly the 'Translations and Data Director' filled by Bena Shklyanoy - as our data sets and translation projects continue to grow, it is clear that it is too much for one person.
1. Translations Director who is a specialist in Russian and provides support and expertise to all different translation projects, defines standards, etc. This position will not execute or manage translation projects. This specialist should also work on developing 'translation tools / documents' for helping the project managers and volunteers to easily execute their projects.
2. Data Acquisition Director with the responsibility for identifying and negotiating the acquisition of new datasets, as well as fundraising for those acquisitions.

Our current Board is comprised of the following positions (biographical information for each of them as well as contact information can be found on the website.
SIG Coordinator: Janette Silverman
SIG Coordinator Emeritus: Ron Doctor
Special Projects Director: Hal Bookbinder
Media and Communications: Emily Garber
Discussion List Director: Phyllis Berenson
Projects Director: Lara Diamond
Information Systems Director: Ariel Parkansky
Towns Director: Chuck Weinstein
Volunteers Director: Joel Spector

Shana tova u'metuka - may the year ahead be one of health, peace and prosperity for us all

 04/07/2013  Ron Doctor resigns as SIG Coordinator; Janette Silverman agrees to be Coordinator

Dear Ukraine SIG Friends,

I have resigned as Coordinator of Ukraine SIG, effective at the IAJGS Conference in Boston in August. Janette Silverman has agreed to be my successor. I will continue to be involved and will help Janette and the rest of you as much as ever, so that we have a smooth transition to Janette's leadership. I will continue to work intensively on Ukraine SIG matters between now and August. We still have a considerable amount of work to be done.

I have many reasons for resigning. The main one is that there are some personal multi-year tasks that I must accomplish while I still am able to do them. I am deeply thankful to all of you and to our hundreds of volunteers who have helped us accomplish almost all of what I set out to do when I first took this position in July 2011. We have re-vitalized our SIG, created a service-oriented, person-oriented culture, and have set the SIG on a productive course into the future. Now it is time for me to leave.

Best wishes and Thank You for all you are doing to make our SIG a success and to help your fellow genealogists,


Ron Doctor (rddpdx@gmail.com)
Coordinator, JewishGen Ukraine SIG
where Jewish genealogy is personal

 02/27/2013  Ukraine SIG FHL Microfilm Scanner Survey is Underway ... Are you participating?

When I accepted the Ukraine SIG Coordinator job in July 2011 I promised to revitalize Ukraine SIG. Thanks to you, we have made great progress toward this goal. However, one major task remains undone. Many of you asked for better access to records from Ukraine's archives. I promised to start a project to help you obtain those records. Currently we have three major sources of vital records, revision lists, family lists etc. that reside in various archives in Ukraine: (1) You and your Ukraine SIG Town Leaders can write directly to the Archives. Miriam Weiner's website is a great place to start. Ukraine SIG will help you translate any records you obtain; (2) The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People (CAHJP) is acquiring records from various archives in Ukraine. Ukraine SIG has entered an agreement with the CAHJP to obtain selected records. Yochai Ben Ghedalia, CAHJP's Director, will be Ukraine SIG's luncheon speaker at the IAJGS Conference in Boston this August; and (3) The LDS Family History Library and FamilySearch Centers (FSCs, previously called Family History Centers) have microfilms of Jewish vital records for 79 towns within Ukraine SIG's geographical area. Ukraine SIG has launched a new project to help you obtain digital images of your ancestors' records from these microfilms and get them translated. That's what this message is all about.

The first step in our new project is to identify which LDS FamilySearch Centers have microfilm scanners and what kind of scanners each has. WE NEED YOUR HELP TO CREATE THIS LIST. All you have to do is fill out our simple online form after a visit to your local FamilySearch Center. Click on this link to go to the Microfilm Scanner Survey Form. Print the Survey Form and take it to your local FSC so that you can gather the necessary information. Then, go online and fill out the online Survey Form. Please respond to the Survey questions based on a recent visit to a center. Don't forget to click 'Submit' at the bottom.

As I mentioned above, the LDS Family History Library has Jewish vital records for 79 towns that are in Ukraine SIG’s geographic area of responsibility. They are on 235 microfilm reels. The list of towns and microfilm numbers are available on Ukraine SIG’s website. Detailed information and links to the Family History Library Catalog description of each film also have been posted on the relevant Town Page on Ukraine SIG’s website.

This FSC Scanner Survey was created and is being managed by Ukraine SIG. However, it is a cooperative effort of Ukraine SIG, Gesher Galicia and Belarus SIG. We invite other SIGs to participate. The more responses we get to this survey, the better the service we will be able to provide to all of our researchers. So, please, fill out the SURVEY FORM.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact Project Leader Harvey Kabaker or Ron Doctor. We are looking forward to hearing from you.


Ron Doctor (rddpdx@gmail.com)
Coordinator, JewishGen Ukraine SIG
where Jewish genealogy is personal

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