Koidonov (Dzyarzhynsk, Belarus) Yizkor Book

Project Name. Translation of the Koidonov Yizkor Book

Project Leader
Jeff A. Ferber

JewishGen Yizkor Book Project Manager: Lance Ackerfeld

Project Synopsis

This project is being initiated in order to fund the translation of the Koidonov Yizkor Book. This 216 page “Memorial Volume of the Martyrs of Koidonov” was edited in 1953 by the renowned Yiddish writer Avraham Reisen (1876-1953). It was published in 1955 by the United Koidonover Association. Koidonov is located 23 miles SW of Minsk. The town was renamed Dzerzhinsk by the Soviets in 1932.

Key Audiences

Jewish genealogists seeking to trace their roots in Koidonov constitute the primary audience for the material. However, the material has the potential to be of broader appeal to scholars interested in the region or specializing in Jewish history and society.

Project Importance

This Yizkor book is a unique source of information about Koidonov and the lives of shtetl Jews in general. The Koidonov Yizkor book is an invaluable source of genealogical information that is not available anywhere else. Without a translation, the history, necrology lists and stories contained in this text would remain inaccessible to many if not most researchers. The Koidonov Yizkor book is a memorial and its translation would be a fitting tribute to our ancestors whose Jewish lives were brutally cut short in October of 1941.

The Koidonov Yizkor book is uniquely important for several reasons. Koidonov was home to several traditional synagogues, Hasidic shtibels as well as several praying houses. The Koidonov rabbinic tradition includes a hasidic dynasty that begins with the first Koidonov rebbe, Shlomo Hayim (1797-1862). Rabbi Hayim is the great, great grandfather of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907-1972). In addition, several other recognized rabbinic scholars are associated with Koidonov. These include Aaron Samuel ben Israel Koidonover and Zevi Hirsh Koidonover, the author of the popular Mussar work “Kav ha yashar” (“The Just Measure”).

Project Description

This project is intended to result in the translation, from Hebrew and Yiddish to English, of the complete Koidonov yizkor book. The resulting translation will be posted on the Yizkor Book Translations site. To complete the translation, JewishGen will hire a professional translator. The Project Coordinator will select the order in which to translate the chapters 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.

Estimated Cost. $5,000


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Updated 27 May 2010 by LA