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History and Life of Jews in Bessarabia

  • Steven Zipperstein: Rethinking Kishinev: How a Riot Changed 20th-Century Jewish History
    (added December, 2013),

    Kishinev's 1903 pogrom was the first event in Russian Jewish life to receive international attention. The riot, leaving 49 dead in an obscure border town, dominated the headlines of the western press for weeks, intruded on US-Russian relations, and had an impact on an astonishing array of institutions, such as the nascent Jewish army in Palestine, and the NAACP. It most likely also influenced the first version of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.Why did it have such impact, and why did it become a prism through which Russian Jewish history has been defined?

    Thank you to Steven Zipperstein, who generously agreed to have an audio file of his lecture at our site (thanks to Patricia K. for contacting Steven Z.) Audio MP3, 1:22 minutes
    Geographical area: Kishinev (Town)
    Language: english

  • The History of Jewish Surnames (Truth & Myths)
    This is the story about how the Jewish names were developed throughout the History, from the Shem Hakodesh (Hebrew sacred names) up to the kinnuim (secular names in every country). It's a worthwhile cultural information, and also a help to genealogists who want to research in their roots. Also, detailed explanations about truth and myths are included.
    Geographical area: General
    Language: english
  • The Lost Jews of McIntosh
    added November, 2013

    Article written by Vossler, Ron at German from Russia heritage Collection (GRHC). (thank you to Pat Fuller for pointing to this article)
    Geographical area: General
    Language: english

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JewishGen

  • Communities Database
    A database of the myriad towns and cities where our ancestors came from, with geographic data, and links to more information. This is the first place to find your shtetl (small town) and learn about it.
    Geographical area: General
    Language: english
  • FTJP (Family Tree of the Jewish People)
    A database of family trees, individually uploaded by other researchers. Here you can search for specific people, not just surnames. Here you can match generations as well as individuals. If you find a match, you can contact that researcher. Don't forget to upload your own family tree so others can find you!
    Geographical area: General
    Language: english
  • Galicia SIG
    Including Austro-Hungarian owned Ukraine
    Geographical area: General
    Language: english
  • Jewish Records Indexing -Poland
    A database to vital records held in various Polish archives. This is an index; directions are on the website to order the actual records.
    Geographical area: General
    Language: english
  • JewishGen SIGs
    A collection of the many specialized research groups within the Jewish Genealogy umbrella. Join the ones which serve your own interests.
    Geographical area: General
    Language: english
  • JGFF (JewishGen Family Finder)
    A database of the surnames and towns being researched by others. Check your own towns and names,to see if anyone else matches. Upload your own places and names,so others can find you.
    Geographical area: General
    Language: english
  • KehilaLinks
    A collection of web pages commemorating the individual shtetls our ancestors grew up in. These pages are volunteer-created, and may have photos, stories, and other bits which "bring the towns to life".
    Geographical area: General
    Language: english
  • ROM SIG
    Romanian Interest Group
    Geographical area: General
    Language: english
  • Ukraine SIG
    Ukrainian Interest Group
    Geographical area: General
    Language: english
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Maps & Gazetteers

  • 1910 Marx's Large world table Atlas and Gazetteer
    Marx's Large world table Atlas is an adaptation of Debe's Atlas, with the placenames converted to Russian, and with the addition of sixteen plates of European Russia, Европейская Россія. This page links to scans of these sixteen plates.
    Geographical area: General
    Language: english
  • FEEFHS: Map Library
    Plenty of maps from Europe and Russia including Russian Empire of 1882, 1887, 1902 and 1908
    Geographical area: General
    Language: english
  • FHL Standard Finder
    Standard Finder is a FamilySearch Labs application which provides access to standardized information for names, locations, and dates. These databases are used by several FamilySearch applications to assist researchers in searching for exact spellings as well as for indexers who enter information used for RecordSearch.
    Geographical area: General
    Language: english
  • General Map of Bessarabia
    Showing Postal and Major Roads, Stations, St. Petersburg, 1821
    Geographical area: General
    Language: english
  • Topographic Maps of Eastern Europe, an atlas of the Shtetl
    Topographic Maps of Eastern Europe offers a collection of small and large scale historical maps of the lands of the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Pale of Jewish Settlement in late Tsarist Russia. Thousands of communities can be found in these images where our ancestors lived and eventually left.
    Geographical area: General
    Language: english
  • WWII Aerial Photos and Maps - Bessarabia
    The web site WWII Aerial Photos and Maps includes pre-WWII Russian topographical maps. These maps are in Russian for parts of Ukraine, mainly those in the north. To access the maps, it is necessary to use this map-based index. Move the page down with the cursor and click on the town or area of interest.
    Geographical area: General
    Language: english
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Online Databases

  • Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People (CAHJP)
    The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People at Hebrew University in Jerusalem has an extensive town-based collection of documents dating from the late middle ages to the eve of the Holocaust. The Central Archives also has been obtaining from various Archives in Ukraine microfilms of important collections of documents including vital records.
    Geographical area: General
    Language: english
  • Ellis Island Database
    The first database to include immigration to the United States through Ellis Island. This link will take you to a search form designed by Dr. Stephen Morse, computer whiz, which is easier to use and more flexible than the one provided at the Ellis Island website.
    Geographical area: General
    Language: english
  • FHL FamilySearch Catalog
    The LDS Family History Library Catalog lists a large number of microfilms important for Jewish genealogy research. It is searchable by town name and by keyword for revision lists (Russian censuses), Jewish vital records, Jewish community documents and more.
    Geographical area: General
    Language: english
  • One-Step Search Tools
    After Dr. Stephen Morse designed a better Ellis Island search form, he realized there was a need for similar access to many databases. This link has all of them.
    Geographical area: General
    Language: english
  • Routes to Roots Foundation
    Miriam Weiner's town-searchable database detailing the Jewish-genealogy-related inventory of many archives in Ukraine. The website contains suggestions for ordering documents from Ukraine Archives. The website also includes inventories for archives in Moldova and Poland.
    Geographical area: General
    Language: english
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Shoah

  • Dubossary article on Pinkas Hakehillot
    Translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot: Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities, Romania, Volume 1, pages 418-419, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, 1969

    This article is about the Shoah in Dubossary town.
    Geographical area: Dubossary (Town)
    Language: english

  • Tiraspol article on Pinkas Hakehillot
    Translation translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot: Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities, Romania, Volume 1, pages 445-447, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, 1969

    This article is about the Shoah in Tiraspol town.
    Geographical area: Tiraspol (Town)
    Language: english

  • US Memorial Holocaust Museum (USHMM)
    The online catalog of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum has 293 documents and lists and many photos that deal with Ukraine Jews during the Holocaust period.
    Geographical area: General
    Language: english
  • Yad Vashem
    Yad Vashem has more than 1,000 documents, lists, photos and other datasets that deal with Ukraine Jews during the Holocaust period. Their catalog of items can be searched by town name, personal name, and keyword. This is a seriously underused resource.
    Geographical area: General
    Language: english|hebrew
  • Yahad - In Unum
    A French organization conducting research on the Holocaust by bullets, has identified hundreds of killings sites of Jewish victims murdered during WWII and has recorded more than 1,500 interviews of eyewitnesses (bystanders) of the Shoah in the Ukraine. You can access the video testimonies, photos and archives for each village investigated by town name, by geo-localization and by keyword.
    Geographical area: General
    Language: english
  • Yahad Map of Execution Sites of Jewish Holocaust Victims
    Yahad - In Unum, a French organization conducting research on the Holocaust by bullets, created an interactive map indicating the mass execution sites located by Yahad teams in which the Nazis and their allies murdered Jews in towns and villages throughout Eastern Europe. Each site includes a link to a brief profile and research findings (video testimonies, archives, photos) for each location.
    Geographical area: General
    Language: english
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Yizkor Books

  • JewishGen Yizkor Book Translation Project
    Individual Yizkor books, translated into English. These are ongoing projects, and the list continues to grow. Link to Bessarabia SIG Yizkor Project Page
    Geographical area: General
    Language: english
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Cemetery

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General History

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Images, Photos and Videos

  • Video about Jewish Bendery (2013)
    Created by Ruslan Rufikovich, Bendery, Moldova (14 minutes)

    Former Jewish town - shtetl Bendery. In this video, the Jewish past of the city, long forgotten, long-gone, which resemble now only just surviving in the buildings: Schmalz House, Central Synagogue, the synagogue coopers, clerks, plumbers, joiners and carpenters, paramedics, doctors, textile workers, Shlyapochnikov, Chabad synagogue 'Sadigurer Kloyz' Choral Synagogue (Bank of Manus) and the Choral Synagogue (Prefecture Tighina), House LS Berg, library Sokolov-Haim Zoellick, high school Schwartzman, a former Shkoala primare number 5 (4-Jewish cool), the hotel 'Paris' Chaim Berzhyuka (pharmacy Joseph Mulmana), pharmacy Krasnov Nisenboim Jewish Hospital, the hospital Mulmana, baths and Stemkovsky Balaban home Konshtyka and Livenshteyna home traders Chaim Cabbage, Abramovich Gorshteyn, and brothers Janiszewski, Jewish shops, inns, brothels, and many others ..., The accompanying Klezmer Song is very nostalgic: The Jewish Schtetl (see words here).
    Geographical area: Bendery (Town)
    Language: english

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Travel Reports

  • A Journey in Two Worlds
    Trip to Moldova and Ukraine in May of 1996. Michael Maidenberg, revised in October, 2014. Printed with permission of the author, 2014.
    Geographical area: General
    Language: english
  • A Journey into Two Worlds
    Join Mike Maidenberg as he travels back to Bessarabia and Ukraine, to visit the places his family lived. Mike's journey took place in 1996 and he revised the journal in 2012.
    Geographical area: General
    Language: english
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