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Translation of

(Bielsk-Podlaski, Poland)


Project Leader: Andrew Blumberg
JewishGen Liason/Advisor: Lance Ackerfeld

Project Name

Translation of the Bielsk-Podliask; Book in the Holy Memory of the Bielsk Podliask Jews Whose Lives Were Taken During the Holocaust Between 1939 and 1944, ed. H. Rabin, Tel Aviv, Bielsk Societies in Israel and the U.S., 1975.

Project Synopsis

The yizkor book “Bielsk-Podliask; Book in the Holy Memory of the Bielsk Podliask Jews Whose Lives Were Taken During the Holocaust Between 1939 and 1944” was published in 1975 with portions in Hebrew, Yiddish, and English. The English portion of the book is already online in the Yizkor Book Project. A few Yiddish sections as well as the Yiddish table of contents have been generously translated and placed online thanks to descendants of the original authors. The goal is to translate the remaining 510 pages of Hebrew and Yiddish text.

Key Audiences

Jewish genealogists seeking to trace their roots in this town constitute the primary audience for the material. However, the material has the potential to be of broader interest to scholars specializing in Jewish history and society. In addition, in light of the current political atmosphere in Poland, the material may serve as a resource for Poles who venture onto the internet in search of information and original source material about Jewish history in their town and their country.

Project Importance

Yizkor books are unique sources of information on once vibrant towns, primarily in central and eastern Europe, whose Jewish populations were destroyed in the Holocaust. Written after World War II by émigrés and Holocaust survivors, yizkor books contain survivor testimonies, narratives of the history of the town, details of daily life, religious and political figures and movements, religious and secular education, and gripping stories of the major intellectual and Zionist movements of the 20th century. The necrologies and lists of residents are of tremendous genealogical value, as often the names of individuals who were taken to extermination camps or shot in the forests are not recorded elsewhere. Usually written in Hebrew or Yiddish, these important books are not accessible to most users, who cannot read these languages. Thus, the translation of these books into English unlocks this information to many more researchers all over the world. The JewishGen Yizkor Book Project received the award in 2002 for outstanding contribution to Jewish genealogy by the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies.

Founded over 750 years ago, Bielsk Podlaski is a town in northeastern Poland. Local rulers granted Jews economic privileges beginning in the late 15th Century. The town's Jewish population was 4,079 in 1897, more than half of the town's population. Between WWI and WWII the Jewish population was approximately 2,500. The German's occupied the town in June of 1941 and they began to shoot Jews. Creation of a ghetto was ordered one month later. In November the ghetto was liquidated. Jews were murdered or sent along with Jews from other towns to Treblinka.

Project Details

The entire English section of 43 pages is already online. The book has 544 pages of Hebrew and Yiddish. Twelve pages of the Yiddish text, the two-page Yiddish section table of contents, and the 20-page necrology have already been translated.

The project goal is to put the translation of the remaining 510 pages online at

To complete the translation, JewishGen will hire a professional translator(s). The project coordinator will select the order in which the chapters will be translated and will work closely with the translator to ensure a grammatically correct and idiomatic translation. Specific tasks the project coordinator will perform include proofreading, editing, and preparing the work for submission to the Yizkor Book Project. The resulting translations will be posted, as they are completed, on the Yizkor Book Translations site at

Estimated Cost

The estimated cost of the translation project is $15,000.


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Updated 27 Oct 2022 by LA